STYLISH & CHIC

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combining-fabrics-dress-in-articleWarmer weather and longer days are upon us. It’s time to put the coats and sweaters towards the back of your closet and bring back the sexy, feminine and colorful pieces into your wardrobe. In Miami, sexy rules our streets, and South Miami is a town where every woman knows that around every corner is a trendy boutique filled with unique pieces to suit her desire of the moment.

“Shopping in SoMi is a home base for locals, we’re in the heart of a wonderful area,” said Barbara Hinterkopf, co-owner of Kristine Michael Apparel.

The boutiques in the area are filled with something for every woman, from the trendy girl to the working woman to the classy lady and even the boho chic lady, gym rats and soccer moms. The owners of these shops are not only in tune with the trends of this season but also their customers.

Wondering what you need to add to your closet to stay fashionable this season? Here are some tips.

“The style for the season brings in a feminine flair with a tomboy edge,” said  Alina Villasante, owner of Peace Love World.

alexis nicolette store

Alexis Nicolette interior

Our fashionistas have suggestions on the absolute “it” item you should add to your closet. Pick what fits your style from these trends and find different ways to mix and match. After all, purchasing an outfit you can only wear a couple times isn’t very budget conscious, try to find the piece you know you can mix and match to look fresh with an array of things. This will keep you chic all season long.

“One thing to buy this season is a printed bottom” said Janine Hensley, co-owner Aleren, who projects the look will stay in fashion through Fall.

If a more romantic look is your thing, “introduce something with lace and chiffon,” said Astrid Marguarit, co-owner of Alexis Nicolette.

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La Mod printed pants.

The ladies at Kristine Michael have a few items they think you must add to your closet this season. An eyelet piece, a great pant — skinny ankle white jeans are most versatile for Spring/Summer — a textured light sweater that you can use for layering or wear alone, a fully washable lightweight leather jacket in a bright hue to add a pop of color to your outfits, and a maxi dress which can take you from day to night.

Want the entire spectrum of fabulous styles you should keep an eye out for this season? There are a few trends coming up, from bright colors to textures and prints. When deciding on colors for this season, the biggest are coral and mint. Though you can’t go wrong with any pastel color, muted pink and nude are also popular this season as is powder blue. The brights are also in style. Adding something with neon or even tie-dye is a good idea. Combining hues like fuchsia and pink together or coral and turquoise will add great color contrast to your outfit. An animal print in an unexpected color like taupe or yellow will add personality. If you’re more in the mood to be subtle, you can’t go wrong with neutrals like bone, beige and white. In fitness-wear, Blue Fish owner Barbra Quanstrom suggests bold colors like violet, gold, yellow, lime green and turquoise.

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Alexis Nicolette designer gown.

Color blocking is still showing up in almost every designer line, from casual styles to cocktail dresses. Black and white combinations are also popular this season and will be good pieces to invest in as they’ll stick around into the Fall.

Mixing and matching prints and fabrics is also hot. If you’re up for something bold, try mixing a floral with an Aztec print or a stripe with a polka dot, as long as you keep it in the same color family for unison. The mix of fabrics is very popular, and you can find a lot of it at Kristine Michael. Mixing fabrics textures – like sheer with cotton, chambray with silk, or sheer with eyelet – can be found on a few of their tops and dresses. Even casual tees are revamped by mixing silk and cotton or knit tops with sheer backs.

Prints are popular this season, with florals in jeans and silk pants being the most common. Silk pants are an easy-to-wear look you can dress up with heels and a sexy top or down with sandals and a tank top. When wearing floral jeans keep the top light, loose and in a solid or neutral color paired with a neutral heel. Shorter ladies and those with bigger body types should stick to smaller prints when looking for the perfect printed pant. Hensley also adds the printed tuxedo jean as a big trend this season. Printed blazers are also popping up and a good addition to your wardrobe if you’re not bold enough to try a printed pant.

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Alexis Nicolette evening accessories.

Textures used this season range from cutouts in dresses and sexy tops to studs, spikes and rhinestone accents on many ensembles. Light knits, lace, chiffon, or anything soft and flowy are great pieces to add to your closet. Eyelet in crochet and not so much lace are found in everything this season, from tops to shorts and dresses. Leather trimming and peplum are also still around, according to Hensley.

Silhouettes are also something to pay attention to. The high-low style is definitely still around and seen on anything from dresses to tops. When choosing a maxi dress, something with a high-low skirt or an asymmetrical skirt is more on trend. If that’s not your style, pick a fresh look on the top with a scoop neck or open back. Trapeze dresses are also fresh this season. Trapeze dresses have a similar cut to an A-line dress, where the top is fitted and the skirt flows open, except it’s a lot more flowy than an A-line silhouette.

One thing to do this season is mix and match. “I love a sleek look with an edge. Combining a sleek Peace Love World Boheme bottom with a bold fashion top and a leather moto jacket. I like the feel of being in clothes that make me feel classic yet elegant at the same time,” said Villasante.

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The Dressing Room interior.

For those of you sporting a belly bump in the warmer months, Tutti Bambini Maternity Concierge helps keep moms in style with their own line, which will be out soon.

“When I was expecting, I found it really difficult to find trendy and comfortable clothing, so I decided it was time to put a twist on maternity clothing for the Miami mom,” said Lourdes Leon-Vega, owner at Tutti Bambini. “I believe expectant moms should look and feel as sexy as when they’re not expecting.”

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Blush Boutique interior.

The line will have off-the-shoulder tops, snake print silk pants with the belly band for comfort, jeggings, short dresses, and maxi dresses. Expecting ladies might find it difficult to stay on trend, but Leon-Vega recommends staying away from baby-doll styles with the ribbon tie on the back. Not only has it been out of style for a while, it isn’t flattering. As for prints, large prints like flowers or stripes over your bump is not flattering. Instead keep it simple with solid tops paired with jeggings, jeans or even silk pants.

The active girl and busy mom can easily take it from the gym to the streets in the relaxed yet put together athletic wear found at Blue Fish. Barbra Quanstrom’s designs include a lot of mesh, bold prints, lace and embellished tops.

“Our line is sexy workout wear that is also fashion forward. It works to wear it to the gym, carpool, run errands, or even travel in,” said Quanstrom, owner and designer, who designs to fit every body type.

“Just because you’re a size 10 or 14 doesn’t mean you’re not fit; you have a different body type. We fit the same piece on as many body types as possible to make sure that it fits well on everyone and there aren’t love handles or back fat bulging out,” she said.

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Peace Love World high low top.

These boutiques not only provide a personal shopping experience, but you’ll be able to find a few one-of-a-kind items. Christine Brooke Crawley, owner of La Mod, puts her architectural degree to use when designing her own handbag line, which is sold at her store.

At Alexis Nicolette, “unique pieces can be designed upon request for the perfect fit and design to fit a person’s image” said Marguarit, who is known to revamp many of the pieces she sells at the store by changing the original design. “I like glamour with a little bit of edge,” she added.

The mentality to go out of their way for their customers is evident in almost every shop in SoMi.

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The Dressing Room high low outfit.

“I’ve gotten home, had a customer call me on my cell telling they needed something, have come back down to the store,” said Jorge Sauma, co-owner of Ohm Boutique. “Vanessa (co-owner) has taken off her own necklace or boots to lend to a customer to complete their look.”

“You come here because you don’t like department stores, you want more attention, you tell us what you want to hide, we’ll find the perfect outfit that shows your assets,” said Vanessa Sauma. “Tell me what your weekend is like and we’ll find something. People have come in saying I’m leaving on a cruise tomorrow and haven’t packed and I pack their bags here.”

Ohm Boutique also keeps tracks of what dresses they sell for special events to make sure their customers aren’t seen in something someone else is also wearing.

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The Dressing Room jean top.

“The best advertisement is people wearing your stuff and feeling confident because then they return,” said Kiki Garcia, owner of The Dressing Room. “I go through the sales racks with customers and give them suggestions on how to style and wear different pieces.”

Let this be your guide to fashion for the warmer months ahead. In Miami it’s all about color, lightweight fabrics and silhouettes that add a bit of sex appeal. How bold will you go this season?

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