Tip #1: Mix a body-con dress with an oversized biker jacket.
While the body-con dress has been a wardrobe staple for some time now, we have usually seen this silhouette paired with a tight-fitting leather jacket or shrunken schoolboy blazer. It-girl Annabelle Dexter-Jones decided to play with this proportion by wearing a fitted Kate Moss for Topshop Suede Dress ($250) with an oversized motorcycle jacket (in this case, borrowed from her brother) to a private dinner celebrating Topshop's New York flagship store. We were quite taken with this new combo and suggest that you try a contour-hugging dress, like Tutu Blue's Black Eyelet Dress ($179), with an oversized moto jacket or boxy bomber to achieve an equally masculine-feminine look.
Tip #2: Try a ruffled, single-shoulder cocktail frock.
As brand ambassador for her family's fashion label, Margarita Missoni knows how to wear a seriously busy pattern. Though it is usually the print of her garments that catch our eye, we were actually besotted by the shape of the Missoni Navy One Shoulder Dress ($3150) she wore to the Missoni cocktail party in London. With spring upon us, we highly recommend investing in a similarly shaped one-shouldered dress for an al fresco evening event or a night on the town. We like Mason by Michelle Mason's Asymmetrical Ruffle Dress ($375); it's a completely fresh and modern take on more traditional cocktail attire!
Tip #3: Wear a long tux vest as a blazer alternative.
Lately, we have been noticing a preponderance of cap-sleeved duster coats and sleeveless jackets on some of the most fashionable trendsetters. Natalia Vodianova, for example, chose a tuxedo vest to wear to the launch of the lingerie line she designed for Etam. Dressed up or dressed down, this abbreviated version of your favorite blazer will help you look tailored and polished well into the warmer months! We suggest including a similar style in your spring wardrobe repertoire, like Helmut Lang's Sleeveless Blazer ($390).
Tip #4: Enliven your outerwear with a bold band jacket.
Though Sara Blomqvist may not be as familiar as some of the paparazzi favorites we usually feature, this model certainly can teach us a lesson about off-duty style! Seen backstage at Lanvin's Fall 09 show, the Swedish mannequin looked ready to lead the charge in a red military-meets-marching-band coat, complete with gilded buttons, epaulets, and frogging details. We love the idea of swapping out your usual jacket options with this well-decorated alternative. To get this uniform-inspired style, be sure to check out sites like eBay.com, your favorite local vintage boutique, or Army-Navy surplus stores. These shops will be your greatest allies in helping you get an especially authentic accent piece!
Tip # 5: Pair a chichi tutu skirt with an easy t-shirt.
Voluminous bottoms have been a major fashion fascination for the past few seasons, and we couldn't be more interested in seeing the different variations of this versatile style. Nicole Richie opted for a full, short skirt in black satin for the Rachel Zoe and Decadestwo charity benefit during Los Angeles Fashion Week. After researching Richie's selection, we were pleasantly surprised to find that hers was originally a long vintage find, which she had shortened to create a darling new shape. We love the young mother's D.I.Y. spirit, but the look can be just as easily achieved by picking up Topshop's Tie Back Full Skirt ($55). Pair the statement skirt with a basic tee to achieve Richie's perfectly unfussy ensemble.
Tip # 6: Play up your shoulders this spring.
At a launch event for Topshop's New York store, Michelle Monaghan looked on-trend by wearing spring's most noteworthy fashion story: the strong shoulder! Monaghan mixed a gray suede Barbara Hulanicki for Topshop Puff Sleeve Shoulder Jacket ($260, available April 28th) with monochromatic staples, so as not to look overdone. Her nude Topshop Boutique Cashmere Mix Top ($40) and tapered black trousers allowed her strong-shouldered silhouette to take center stage, creating a masterfully composed outfit! Of course, the strong shoulder is a tricky look to get right, so try Marc by Marc Jacob's Glove Leather Jacket ($798) or Banana Republic's BR Monogram Stepweave Wrap Jacket ($275), which are both artfully constructed to help you get the drama of the modern bold-shoulder without looking like the ghosts of eighties-past have come to haunt you! Â--Kate Mulling
Photos of Margarita Missoni, Natalia Vodianova, and Nicole Richie, from Getty Images.