(ARA) – It’s time to start thinking about warm weather – and what fashion trends will be sizzling hot this season. It’s never too soon to think about style, says Courtney Hammonds, faculty member in fashion and retail management at The Art Institute of Atlanta-Decatur.
  Fashion is about new looks, new combinations, new takes on older trends. This season is no different, Hammonds says. One website he particularly likes to look at for fashion trends is, which points to nine major trends we are sure to see.
  * Biker Chic. The military look – a mainstay for the last decade – is out. The biker look is in. You’ll see the motorcycle jacket, in silver or traditional black, with silver zippers, even quilted. And, borrowing from the style, a motorcycle skirt. And don’t forget motorcycle boots.
  * The return of the Maxi Dress (yes, down to the ankles). And sheer this time around.
  * Lots of lace. Lace this spring will be on the classic side with quality antique lace fabrics, and less of the stretch and/or allover lace look.
  * Silhouettes of the 1950s and 1960s. The influence of “Mad Men” continues. This era’s flattering full skirts and narrow waists along with the hip-hugging sheath dresses predominate.
  * Tassels. A simple little decoration with thousands of years behind it.
  * Remember kitten heels from the ’60s? Jackie Kennedy and Coco Chanel wore them for a classy look. They’re the perfect accompaniment to ’50s and ’60s silhouettes.
  How should you choose what trends to follow? Hammonds says, “Your image is more than your exterior. Your image should make you feel poised and polished, channeling your own particular style, and instilling in you a sense of success and confidence.”
  For more details about trends and how they can work for you this spring, Hammonds suggests browsing online and recommends starting with  and, to which he is a contributor, in addition to
  After you’ve chosen what trends fit your desired image and lifestyle, look at your budget and think – seriously – about what you can and can’t do. Then start with consignment and thrift stores – it’s amazing what adding a piece to an outfit already in your wardrobe can do to give it a new look. Hammonds says, “A label doesn’t always connote fashion; sometimes it just means you’re a follower, not a leader.” And, of course, you can frequently find great labels at those consignment and thrift shops that might be price-prohibitive at retail.
  Then, go to the stores sooner rather than later. While you may be wrapped up in your heaviest winter coat, the fabrics and styles will be saying “spring.”
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