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Spring style tips with Nicole Dwight

Amanda Smith

Looking at your wardrobe and not feeling quite ready for spring?

We asked Canberra Outlet Centre’s style guru Nicole Dwight for her tips, tricks and must-haves for the season.

What are the top trends coming through this season? 

While spring is all about lighter, floatier fabrics, Canberra’s a bit unusual because we still need jackets much later in the year than other places. With this in mind, I think everybody should have a nice biker jacket or blazer to drape over your shoulders – that way you can get away with wearing your spring wardrobe without feeling too chilly.

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Bomber jacket, Portmans

What kinds of colours can we expect to see? 

Animal prints of varying types are always on trend. Florals come spring-time are always safe but I think this year we’ll be seeing more block colours in a bold hue – for example red, yellow or mustard. I’ve seen a fair bit of emerald green around which I’m also excited about.

What are your top five must-haves this season? 

An off the shoulder top 

Definitely invest in an off the shoulder top because it’s not going anywhere; it’s been on trend for a couple of seasons now but it’s really exploded this season. You would have also noticed flared and slit sleeves, and that’s also something the over the shoulder tops often have as well.

Off the shoulder top from Cue.

Off the shoulder top, Cue.

White jeans 

I don’t want to scare you, but you’re going to need a pair of white jeans or a light coloured jean going into spring and summer to wear with floaty tops. Why? They’re great for the in-between weather without being too dark or “heavy.”

Nude sandals 

Everybody needs a nude sandal or pump that you can pair with anything.

Maxi dress 

A maxi dress is a must for spring and summer with all the parties and barbeques ahead. You can either pair with a flat sandal and wear to an afternoon barbeque or a heel and wear it into the night.

Maxi dress, Forcast

Maxi dress, Forcast

A killer dress 

It’s good to have at least one good “special occasion” dress – so something that fits you very well and is more body flattering rather than on-trend. If you get that last minute party invitation, it’s good to know you’re going to look killer in that dress.

What are your top three fashion traps to avoid? 

Really short denim shorts 

Let’s be honest, unless you’re 12 or you’re a model who is off duty; I really don’t think the majority of normal people can wear them.

Active wear 

I’m going to cause controversy when I say this, but active wear is not casual wear. I don’t care how much your workout tights cost or where they are from, it’s a poor excuse for casual wear unless you’re going to or coming home from the gym. Wearing tights and joggers is not acceptable attire to meet your friends for coffee. Jeans and a t-shirt is one step harder but far more acceptable.

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Must have: Peggy crop jean in white and nude strap heel, Portmans

Poorly made ballet flats and rubber thongs 

While I’m all about not having to spend very much, I’m a bit baffled as to why people keep buying poorly made rubber flats that after two or three wears are annihilated and have lost all shape – it’s really a waste of money than if you spend a bit more and get more wear out of them. Similarly, I often see girls who are dressed beautifully head to ankle and then they put on rubber thongs. It’s as if they’ve just stopped the outfit at the ankle. It’s perfectly acceptable for the beach and at home, but not for an everyday outfit.

Need some extra help?

Canberra Outlet Centre run personal styling sessions with style consultant Tracey Davis. Tracey offers one-on-one and group styling sessions full of style tips that are practical for your lifestyle and affordable. You can book a style consult and two hour personal styling session including $20 Centre gift card for $150. For more information, visit canberraoutletcentre.com.au/news/personal-styling.

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Amanda Smith

Amanda is a lunch enthusiast and Canberra local with a love of all things curious. With a background in photography and current studies in journalism, she hopes to produce work on the human condition and what makes us so intricate. In her spare time she enjoys spending time with her eccentric family and buying bread, dip and olives from the Old Bus Depot Markets for lunch on a Sunday. More about the Author