6 Essentials for Spring

STYLE FILE

March 21, 2004|By Maria Blackburn | Maria Blackburn,Special to the Sun

Ah, it's spring and the makeup is pale and pinky, the clothes are feminine and fresh. We know, we say that every spring. But we mean it this year, and to show you how serious we are, here are six items one shouldn't be without this season:

The calendar may say spring, but the thermometer doesn't always agree. Layer up with a springy argyle sweater knit from warm, lightweight silk and cashmere. Grab one in green and you'll match the leaves. Sweater, $78 at Banana Republic.

The bias stripe dress shirt. All of those failed American Idol contestants can't be wrong -- this is the shirt for men this season. We love the classic tailoring and casual style of these shirts when left untucked and paired with jeans. Shirt, $50, at Marshall's.

Two words: dramatic eyes. Bright, dramatic eyes in cool blues and aquatic greens blended with sandy browns make us long for the beach and leave us feeling refreshed and ready for summer. Clinique High Impact Shadow Quad, $25 at Hecht's and other department stores.

The ladycoat. Just to the knee and splashed with color, this dainty coat is for ladies who lunch and those who scarf Power Bars in the car while driving to meetings. It looks great with jeans or khakis, and we haven't seen a color yet that we don't like. Coat, $198, at Banana Republic.

A nifty '50s-inspired dress. We're talking full skirt to just below the knee with a strappy or sleeveless top here. Even without a rustling petticoat, this is the kind of dress that would make Laverne and Shirley proud. Heck, it might even inspire your mother to reveal, "I had one of those." Try polka dots, a floral or basic black -- the color doesn't matter. It's all about shape. Black and white polka-dot dress, $20 at Marshall's.

Two more words: bright lips. Match the intensity of your sky-blue eyes with lips painted the color of the sunset. Orange-red lipstick is the color of the moment. Yves Saint Laurent Rouge Pur lipstick in Papaya Orange, $26 at www. saksfifthavenue. com.

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