Not every trend is for every body, but the key to impeccable personal style is starting with a solid foundation and building from there. Dr. Deirdre Hooper’s “Girly Casual Chic” style is exemplary of the kind of pieces that can carry you seamlessly through the season and beyond, no matter what the trend. Get her look with some of these classic items.
A more directional “trend” piece: We will be seeing a lot of bright colors in months to come – neon oranges and pinks, and electric blues and greens. When it comes to investing in trends, you should evaluate and buy based on CPW (“cost per wear,” which is the cost of the item divided by the number of times you will wear it). Spend less on über-trendy items since you probably won’t wear them as often as you would a real piece of jewelry or a watch. But regardless of your choice, be daring. A fun statement piece will make an outfit! Hermes H-hour PM Double Strap Watch, $599 at Swap: 7716 Maple St., 304-6025,
Light scarf or wrap: Worn properly, a beautiful scarf can add so much to an outfit. And it does double duty since it’s both functional and stylish- bundled up now, and long and loose as the weather changes. This one is nice because it incorporates neutral tones coupled with a strong shot of vibrant color (as seen on many of the runways – Stella, Lanvin, Chanel, etc. – for spring). Moksha Fine Wovens, $100 at Victoria’s Uptown: 7725 Maple St., 861-8861
Neutral flats: It’s OK to spend money on a pair that’s well-made because they’ll go the distance, and you’ll have them for many seasons to come. Remember to get them re-soled even before your first wear; that way the original soles will always stay perfect and you can re-sole time and again, extending the life of the shoe. Gucci Horsebit Flats, $485 at Saks Fifth Avenue: Canal Place, 301 Canal St., 524-2200, www.saksfifthavenue.com
A good basic jean: Absolutely essential to any wardrobe. Preferably a skinny jean, but straight leg is OK if you can’t go there. Straight or skinny are a) more fashion forward, and b) more versatile, because you can wear them with flats, heels or boots. JBrand 10” Skinny Capri in “Ink” wash, $160 at Em’s: 246 Metairie Road, 834-2795
Loose fitting (and long!) cardigan: Layering is a great idea in the months to come because as the climate changes you aren’t tied to something that you can’t take off. Longer is more current than the short cardigan, which has the danger of looking very “college-coed” depending how it’s worn – unless, of course, you are a coed. See by Chloe, $368 at Angelique: 7725 Maple St., 866-1092
Classic handbag: The ultimate investment piece and a staple in any wardrobe. Nothing says more about your personal style instantly. Chanel “Madam” in Distressed Caviar leather with Serpentine Chain, $2,595 at Saks Fifth Avenue: Canal Place, 301 Canal St., 524-2200, www.saksfifthavenue.com