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We shimmy past 'Flashdance' shoulders and bralettes to the SS17 trends that actually make you look good!

The evenings are lighter, the sun is out (intermittently, at least) and I’ve finally removed my thermal vest, wahey! Yep, spring has sprung and my thoughts have turned to my spring/summer wardrobe – which, to be frank, needs work.

Happily, Oxford’s Clarendon Centre has the key new season trends covered, and all under one roof at that (meh, who needs the new Westgate with all this great clobber around?!). So if you can carve out a couple of hours of sweet freedom, whizz into town and hit Zara, H&M, Office, Gap, Swarovski and Claire’s Accessories (yes really – it’s not just for 8-year-old girls).

But first, peruse our pick of the Clarendon Centre’s most wearable spring/summer styles (don’t worry, no bralettes or Flashdance shoulders).



WE SAY: They’re not very practical when you’re eating soup but who eats soup in the summer, right? A statement sleeve adds an easy dash of pizzazz to your look – throw one on over your jeans and bingo! Zara has gone huge on this trend, and we also love Gap’s marl grey sweatshirt reboot, now with fluttery cuffs.



Silver H&M pumps, £14.99; Pink Zara Ballerinas, £25.90; GAP Cutout d’Orsay flats, £34.95

WE SAY: Bored of wearing your trusty white trainers? Try a pointy flat – they’re more elegant than sneakers but you can still run for the train. Metallics are a particularly savvy buy because they act as a neutral and go with every outfit. Ditto animal prints. What’s more, the pointy-ness of the toe makes them magically leg-lengthening, despite them not having a heel. We’re sold.



WE SAY: The trench coat never goes out of fashion but equally it’s never been more in fashion than this season. It doesn’t have to be beige any more either – do consider khaki or navy. It’s probably the most useful piece you can buy for spring and has magical outfit-sprucing-up powers. Worried about looking like Inspector Clouseau or your grandmother? Push up the sleeves for added nonchalance and wear with jeans for a modern feel.



WE SAY: Catwalk designers have gone wild for vibrant shades this season (see Gucci’s ‘explosion in a paint factory’ colour palette for inspiration). In the real world, brights can be daunting but we’re championing pink as a good gateway colour because there’s a shade to suit everyone. Try on various hues to see what works best with your hair and skin colouring. And if you’re not a girly type you can de-pretty it by wearing it with battered blue denim.




WE SAY: Earrings are the fastest growing jewellery category around, as women embrace multiple piercings (is getting your ears pierced the new mid-life crisis? Who cares when there’s so many pretty studs around). Earrings this season are either very big or very small – take your pick. Either plump for a pair of ladylike dangly ones – we promise you won’t look like Pat Butcher, especially if you dress them down with trainers (a special shout out to the H&M ‘Love’ hoops – how cute are they and a day-brightening steal at £5.99). Alternatively, Claire’s Accessories is great for fun multi-packs of studs – like these ones…




Zara khaki shirtdress, £39.99; blue Gap midi shirtdress, £49.95; Zara Polka dot shirtdress, £49.90; Gap sleeveless shirtdress, £44.95


WE SAY: If you’re going to buy a frock for summer, make it a shirt dress. They’re stylish, practical and often come with tie belts that can be adjusted depending on how many pies you’ve eaten – what’s not to like? They’re versatile too – wear them on the school run with flats, to work with heels and a trench or on holiday with sandals. They come in all colourways and fabrics this season, so there’s something for everyone.

Find more ideas here


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