ette that works for you."
This year, the key is in the details.
Soft embellishments like fringe, ruf-
fles, lace, embroidery, eyelet cutouts
and crocheted edges are popping up
on everything from clothing and
handbags to shoes and accessories.
"We're seeing embellishment, yes,"
says Sally Horvitz of Sally's Design in
West Bloomfield. "It might be a
sweater with a little sparkle or a black
and white blazer with embroidery on
the shoulder. We've got to erase in a
lady's mind that embellishment is for
somewhere very dressy."
Another popular trend is to pair a
frilly, feminine top with a casual pair
"That's what fashion's all about —
you should be able to mix it up," Ryan
Even for men, colorful stitching,
raw edges, embroidery or asymmetri-
cal designs are hot.
Skirting the issue
Minis are back. Again. But don't
worry, skirts of all lengths are popular
this season, from the barely there mini
to hemlines just above or below the
"The trend is toward shorter hem-
lines. Is every woman going to be
wearing a mini? No," Andrews says.
Skirts gravitate between flirty A-line
or full styles, to pencil-straight designs
from the '50s.
Designers and merchants seem to be
mixed on whether military hues of
khaki, olive green and dark brown will
remain in vogue. But these same folks
are united in their love for cargo.
The white shirt is always right for
The utilitarian look with multiple
pockets and zippers is everywhere in
capri and full-length pants. It even
shows up in skirts and shorts.
-"It's not quite so Army looking. It's
cleaned up. We're even seeing cargo
pants in satin," Andrews says.
In fact, satin cargo pants are becom-
ing very popular for evening wear, says
Scott Gregory's Schwartz.
Cargo can be a sophisticated look
if it's a slim-fitting pant, adds
Hersh's Rothenberg. "Women can
feel comfortable in it ... not like
(they're wearing) their daughter's
This year, cargo capris sport a
drawstring at the hemline. The
string can be pulled tight so the
hem balloons out or it can be left
hanging, Andrews says.
There's no escaping an interna-
tional influence in fashion this
From Asian-inspired Mandarin
collars and frog clasps to Oriental
prints, Eastern influences are huge.
At Sally's Design, Horvitz is selling
plenty of Asian-inspired sweaters and
Marshall Field's offers dozens of
other accents like Chinese hair
sticks, Geisha-print sandals or deco-
rative handbags with Asian themes.
If the head-to-toe theme is too
much, stylists suggest adding just a
touch — like a piece of jade jewelry,
a beaded hair clip or a bamboo-han-
dled bag -- to your wardrobe.
Nordstrom reports a move away
from chunky heeled shoes, in favor
of more feminine styles with straps,
round toes or low heels, also called
"kitten heels" or "mini-stilettos."
Flats, however, are just as fashion-
"Flats are very pretty. Flats are a
great way to tone down a mini or
short skirt," Andrews says.
The only thing "out" for shoes,
says TJ Maxx fashion spokeswoman
Laura McDowell, is your basic black
At Birmingham's Imelda's Closet,
vibrant-colored strappy sandals are
flying out the door.
Styles from Luc Berjen and Peter
Kent are especially popular, says co-
owner Jayme Kirschner.
The boutique also sells matching
children's and adult flip flops ($36-
$48), handmade by a local
company and embel-
lished with beading,
sparkles and flowers.
For men only
While men's fashions don't go
through the dramatic swings of
women's wear, guys can expect a few
new trends this season.
"The white shirt has novelty stitch-
ing, embroidery, pleating — things that
give interest to texture," Ryan says.
Men's clothes also feature new high-
tech advances like wrinkle- and stain-
resistant fabrics, and fresh colors
of plum, sky blue and bur-
Military or sport-inspired
details like cargo elements
and athletic stripes also
Athletic-inspired gear, from
velour sweatsuits to running pants
and retro sneakers, shows no signs
of losing its buzz.
"It's all about Hard Tail pants,
lycra pants or terry-cloth cropped
pants with drawstrings," says
Feldman. "They're comfort
Strappy sandals for summer at
Imelda's Closet, Birmingham.