9 Spring Fashion Trends (Will You Wear Them?)

Last year was all about normcore — aka wearing stonewashed jeans, fleeces and sneakers like Seinfeld — but this spring, fashion is getting fun again! Here are 9 big trends this spring (what do you think of them?)…

1. Flared jeans. Think: 70’s style icons Jane Birkin and Farrah Fawcett. Flared jeans are sultry, flattering and make your legs look miles long. Pair them with a striped shirt and a braid and you’re good to go. Picks: These and these.

2. Maxi dresses. This year, they go ALL the way to your feet (no ankles allowed!), but have slits or bare backs that feel irresistibly sexy. Picks: This, this and this.

3. Swing tops. These effortlessly cool shirts cover up any belly and draw attention to your pretty shoulders. Plus, they look great with flared jeans. Picks: This and this.

4. Jumpsuits. One-piece wonders are gorgeous, current and as comfy as wearing pajamas. They’re pretty fashion-forward but easier to pull off than you’d think (I tried one on a lark and was surprised). Thoughts? Would you wear one? Picks: This and this.

5. Shirt dresses. Not in a buttoned-up news-anchor-y kind of way, but instead relaxed and bedhead-dy, as if you pulled on his shirt that morning and forgot to wear pants. Picks: This and this.

6. Anoraks. These hooded jackets make you feel like you’re walking on an English heath or through a small town in Maine. You can wear them almost year round—layered with jeans and sweaters, or pulled over dresses as spring rolls around. Picks: This and this.

7. Lace-up sandals. I’m not 100% sold on every shoe in this style (they can get crazy!), but the subtler styles can look really sexy. What do you guys think? Picks: These and these.

8. Flatforms. Walking in elevated sandals takes practice, but they make you look tall and lanky, and they’re so pretty with jeans or dresses. Picks: These and these.

9. Slides. When my friend Gemma bought these last summer, they reminded me of those sandals you wear into college communal showers so you don’t get a foot fungus. But she looked so cute wearing them with slouchy pants, ripped jeans and even summer dresses. Then Jenna Lyons put them in the J.Crew catalog and Gemma’s argument was forever won. Picks: These and of course these.

Thoughts? What do you like? Love? Loathe? I would love to hear!

(Photo by Angi Welsch for Madewell)

  1. Wishing I could wear the backless things. With DD’s all the fun things like that are no go’s. Do you ever showcase things for mamas who never “got their body back” after the baby? I used to be a size 8 in a C cup, and now I’m a 12 with DD’s. I want my fashion back!

  2. Look so nice I want one for me. I love flared jeans and maxi dresses.

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  4. Looks amazing. It’s like a return to the years 90 ‘….

  5. Prudence says...

    I am very petite but absolutely in love with maxi dresses and jumpsuit! I usually matched these pieces with platforms and the effect somehow makes me look taller! Love the lace-up sandals trend too but the more subtle ankle strap style is more suitable for me! Thanks for sharing all these hot trends, very interesting read!


  6. Mrs. Montgomery says...

    Wishing I could wear the backless things. With DD’s all the fun things like that are no go’s. Do you ever showcase things for mamas who never “got their body back” after the baby? I used to be a size 8 in a C cup, and now I’m a 12 with DD’s. I want my fashion back!

  7. Nicole says...

    Is it wrong that I actually never stopped wearing flared jeans?! Well, at least something in my closet is trendy! :)

  8. Jumpsuits have always been a favourite of mine, they are so elegant yet effortless. Not to mention super comfy! Slides aren’t for me but I’ve seen some people pull them off perfectly.

  9. Thank goodness these were all originally stylish when I was young and slim! So, been there, love them all.

  10. I love the skirt dress.Look so nice I want one of those.

  11. I am not a fan of flared jeans at all and they will never belong in my closet. V x

  12. Okay, I always love your links, but if I can make an off-topic comment, I LOVE that you consistently have them pop-up in a new window. It drives me mad when bloggers forget to do that and suddenly your article has vanished. Also, those maxi dress choices are spot-on. Thank you!

  13. I love flared jeans, maxi dresses and jumpsuits, they are all the most difficult to find for my height of 5ft but I do own 1 of each and hope to get more, I think they are all very flattering on every figure. Shirt dresses and swing tops, not for me. I need something with a defined waist and floaty tops are not it while I hate the look of just wearing a shirt, I find it to be half dresses. Flatforms are a yes but sliders are a no

  14. So glad some of my favourites are making a comeback! I love flared jeans and maxi dresses, both are so flattering and I find maxi dresses so lovely and feminine. Love the laid-back bohemian look – my favourite style :)

  15. Your fashion posts might be my favorite!! They’re so helpful! Thank you :*

  16. I WISH maxi dresses went to my feet. I’m 5’9″ and it just doesn’t work that way.

  17. Love the Steve Madden slides! I’ve been looking for sandals like that for the past year and the pair you linked to absolutely fits the bill.

  18. hahaha so funny! i second what raupenblau said!
    in germany there is a stereotyp of the german holidaymaker who wears kaki shorts, white tennis socks and adiletten (adidas slides). and in the early mornings he is off to the pool reserving chairs by putting towls on them … :D

  19. looooooove the platform sneakers and the maxi dresses!

  20. Glad I kept my flares! Seems like for the last few years, they keep having their moments. I’ve got 2 beautiful pairs from Madewell and J Crew – so happy they are still in my closet! I’ve just got to get some great wedges to go with them now. I prefer the birks that are (ever so slightly) more feminine. I’ve had the Mayari for a few years and always get tons of compliments. I don’t think I’ll try them all, but great roundup.

  21. yes, so happy about flares being back! getting sick of skinny jeans. :)

  22. Love Birkenstocks!!! I really do :D

  23. unless you have boy hips (and i most definitely do not) flare jeans and jumpsuits aren’t happening. now a cool shirt dress? that’s another story. i’m all about those. those collars are so sexy, too.
    thanks for the read.

  24. Love this post and discussion. The flares look great; a few months ago NYMag had a pieces about the return of flares, with about 20 or so picks, with great price range. I still have to update my jeans. In Florida it is impossible to wear skinnies, except for a brief window. So anyone with advice for jeans in warm climates welcome! The maxi dress to the ground won’t work, and the backless, while lovely, just won’t work for me either, bra-wise. Love the trapeze tops. Agree with comments about the slides!

  25. I will definitely be doing the jumpsuits, maxi dress and shirt dresses! Love being comfortable but fashionable at the same time! Xo

  26. Can I say this? I’m going to: I HATE all these trends besides the anorak. These trends are terrible for short waisted, short-legged women. There, I said it. And please, please, can we not embrace the flare? I don’t care what you say, flares aka bell bottoms (thanks MZ Normann) are not going to make my 5″1″ self look tall. Whew, I feel better.

  27. Please no to the bell bottoms. Short girls–even the slim ones!–with hips + flare jeans= all the sudden the entire hourglass figure has shifted into my legs alone. May the Fashion Queens have mercy and put skinnies back in vogue.

  28. Flare jeans again? I really hate them.

  29. FYI – “flares” are just expensive bell bottoms. ;-)

  30. I am one of those who just wears what looks good on me, and flare jeans are one of those things. So now I’ll be fashionable again, haha!

    I hate to say tho, I can’t get into maxi dresses. I always get way too hot in them!

  31. I had the perfect pair of sky-blue laced sandals… when I was 15. I remember it because my then-boyfriend (now husband) bought it for me. Unfortunately I had judged it to be a trendy rather than classic item and disposed of it after a couple of years. Now I wish I had kept it.

  32. Definitely happy flares (and higher rises) are coming back! While I’m still devoted to my ankle skinnies for drawing attention away from my midsection, my legs are short and I love what flares and wide leg pants do for them. I’d have to try on a swing top, with my boobs it’s probably a tough one! :)

  33. Flares!!! Yes! An alternative to skinnies is SO refreshing and more flattering on a curvier frame. Also my friend rocked a strappy jumpsuit and big floppy hat for lunch this weekend and looked amazing!

  34. mn says...

    Well, I’ll be wearing an anorak anyway since in fact I DO live on an English heath! But jumpsuits are for babies. I’m just not able to embrace that at all. I don’t like flared jeans, so no. Swing tops are cool though.

  35. I love reading these comments and seeing what people will or will not wear and why. The foundations of individual style, all here!

    I object to backless boho dresses on the principle that looking so relaxed while secretly wearing a stick-on bra (ugh!) or backless corset (why?!) is cruel and invites misunderstandings. As in, if someone says, “I love your dress; you look so relaxed,” I will have to bite my tongue to keep from irritably saying, “Yeah, well, it’s all a lie because I’m wearing a tape-bra.” :)

    I’m not big on flares, but I do love high-waisted jeans (those button-fly ones in the picture! Do want!). I have long legs, but very curvy thighs; adding curves below just looks weird. Like Marimekko legs. Also, they are awful for biking in. I once got a bit caught in the chain and the entire bottom hem ripped right off!

    There is something very retro about this list– or maybe it’s just that we are of an age that we’ve seen it all before! I remember my high school best friend breaking her ankle because of a pair of cheap flatform flip-flops at J.Crew outlet. Now I am irrationally afraid of flatforms!

    I will definitely give the swing top a try. There is something innocently sexy about them.

  36. I am SO happy about flare jeans again, even though I seriously JUST got rid of mine a few weeks ago.

    However, I highly recommend the skinny kick boot jeans from American Eagle (even though i suggest ordering online so you don’t look like a grandma by going in the store). They’re my faves AND cheap.

  37. Hm…

    Big dislike: Adidas sandals (I didn’t use them for showering but do associate them with high school soccer), flatforms (just, no)

    Meh: Flared jeans, jumpsuits, slides, lace up sandals

    Sign me up: Swing tops, maxis (and I was never on board with the shorter trend last year), shirt dresses, anoraks (perfect for San Francisco summer!)

    Thanks for the roundup, Jo!

  38. Found that exact chambray shirtdress at TJ Maxx here in nyc for 1/4 of the price (so comb through those racks ladies!). I couldn’t commit to it though, felt like a nightshirt.

  39. Love this post! More fashion trend round-ups like this, please!! It’s one thing to read about trends on a high fashion blog or a blog that’s a little out there, but I love hearing your perspective on fashion, Joanna, since your style is so classic and refined but still trendy!

  40. Swing tops hands down are my favorite. I am dating myself but held onto two favorite normal kamali swing tops form the early 80s for liek 25 years…so flatteriugn and well made and paired with fun skirt and sandals and you were good to go.
    I think the wide leg jean trend might work with low rise jeans and fun belt…otherwise they look too mom jeans too me when high waised like in the photo.

  41. Jo, I love your blog! I challenge you to have a photoshoot where you make those Adidas sandals look stylish. It really cannot be done, in my opinion.

  42. Maxi dresses and flares have been on rotation in my closet for awhile now, but the rest I’m not too crazy about. I find things I like and stick with those things forEVER! :)

  43. Not wearing any of these!!

  44. No. I did not like 70-ies fashion in the seventies and still do not like it.

  45. So I’m going to be the outlier here on jeans and say that while I’m relieved that the baggy mom jeans/norm core micro-trend is finished, I’m still not sold on flares because I’m really short. PureWow has a great little slideshow up right now about how to wear this spring’s trends if you’re tall or short. So as a short-legged lady, I’m sticking with my love of straight, cropped and slightly high-waisted jeans. Rolled a bit at the ankle. But yeah, if you have legs for miles, rock those flares, ladies!

  46. I completely agree with what Meadow said, above. I think the “norm core” trend is awful. It’s like the real-life version of “derelicte” from Zoolander and it mocks people whose lives are simpler and who don’t obsessively follow trends– which is actually probably a MUCH more fulfilling lifestyle than those who do. That said, Birkenstocks are incredibly comfortable, and I would totally wear them again of course– except I’m sure I wouldn’t be wearing them “right” because I wouldn’t be acting smug/ironic or something. Yes to flared jeans and swing tops and maxi dresses and all the other things that aren’t jokes though.

  47. Thumbs up for maxi dresses and flared jeans. But flared jeans don’t fit me well- I don’t have very long legs.

  48. Number 5’s description was cute, but totally made me laugh. Maybe I’m in the minority, but I NEVER want to look like I “forgot to wear pants!” ;)

  49. Totally picked up a pair of the Madewell flea market flares and love them. Love this post btw!

  50. So happy about the wide-legged jeans. I invested in a pricey Genetic Denim pair a few years ago and can’t wait to dust them off.

    And living in San Francisco I bring an anorak with me everywhere!

  51. I wasn’t going to comment but then I read through the first handful of comments and noticed how many people hate Birkenstocks! I ADORE them and have been wearing them since high school. In my opinion they go with everything short of a cocktail dress.

    Speaking of dresses, I love the shirtdress trend but it’s got to be with leggings or skinny jeans. Or at the least belted. Otherwise it totally looks like you just forgot to put pants on and that’s not a good look for anyone.

  52. Love the flare botton jean, and most of the trends.
    The jump suit, easy or not, in a public restroom they are a nightmare. Have a good buzz on when and/or a must go now happens is a double nightmare.
    Lace up sandals are sexy if and when you aren’t retaining water. If are, then your legs can look like a tufted sofa, not so sexy.

  53. I loved this post! I am so glad that jumpsuits stuck around for this year, I wanted to try them last year but it was pretty late in the season and I didn’t want to buy one if it was just going to be a flash trend. But now that they are still here I’ll probably go for it!

  54. Ooh, love this! One of my favorite features that you do is “what everyone is wearing in New York right now”. I will be there for a girls’ weekend in April and would looove an evening version with some ideas for what to wear out to dinner, drinks, etc!

  55. I love your picks! Thanks for not posting a bunch of things that are like $400 each. And I feel like a majority of these looks are classics and never really go out of style.. (with the exception of those addidas slides :)

  56. I got those Madewell jeans and I’m obsessed! The key (and very flattering) difference between these and the flares from a few years back is the high waist. Love it!

  57. Thank you for reminding me I need to buy shower shoes! I’ll always love platforms and maxi’s, but the rest here I’m not loving for my frame.

  58. I never stopped wearing flare jeans! They look so much better on me than skinny jeans! I have very athletic calves and thighs, and skinny jeans looked silly on me.

  59. Ha… I am so NOT fashion forward! Almost everything on this list strikes me as intentionally ugly. :) I do love maxi dresses, anoraks, and shirtdresses (but the shapeless shirtdresses linked to here would look terrible on me… I’m no model and I need tailoring and a defined waist!).

  60. I kept all of my flare jeans w/ wedges are a nice staple to make you look taller. I def wear my maxi’s in the summer. Loving the swing tops. Those slip on Adidas… never got into them not in the 90’s not now. There’s no thought into that fashion statement.

  61. This may be more of last year’s phenomenon, but I’ve finally given in to the clog.. I splurged (for me) on a classic style from No. 6 Store.

  62. Hmmm, I was going to say swingy top…maybe longer ones than your picks…I think I’m pretty happy with my wardrobe, all of this feels like throwback I’ve already worn, and I don’t care for maxis (better for the 5’3″ gal).

  63. Last weekend I went to a super packed bar and some guy said to me, “HEY I didn’t know bell bottoms were back in style.” So I said, “Well then you obviously don’t read fashion magazines!” :)

  64. I HATE flatforms! So sad to see these coming back! I love the Franco Sarto lace-up sandals you posted and will be looking for a similar pair. Love swing tops and shirtdresses, and I bought an anorak in the fall and can’t wait to wear it again this spring.

  65. I love the majority of these. I will never wear flared jeans again though. As a short woman, I am still haunted by all of the times my flared jeans ended up wet by the time I got home. The maxi dresses you posted are beautiful! I’m wondering if I could get away with the floral one for my brother’s wedding reception.

  66. I would love to try a jumpsuit for sure with a cute jean jacket overtop. And maxi dresses are just always a good choice. The lace up sandal tend may not last long but Birkenstocks are here forever I’m sure!

  67. That second (white) maxi dress would be a beautiful wedding dress for a beachy/boho wedding, wouldn’t it? Not sure if I could pull it off, but I love it anyway!

  68. Joanna, did you read the article in last week’s New Yorker about why the Birkenstock is back in style? I haven’t yet but my plane is about to take off and I’m planning to read it now!

    Personally, I cannot get on board with Birkenstocks. love comfy shoes but every time I see the Birkenstock I cringe. Haha


  69. i have an obsession with shirt dresses.. they can be dressed up for work or dressed down for happy hour. and i just broke it to my husband that i have to invest in a pair of birks.

  70. LOVE the Loft Anorak. I bought my daughter a similar jacket a couple of weeks ago, and have loved it so much on her that I have been looking for a grown up version for myself (never good to be jealous of your two-year old’s style!!). This one would be perfect!

  71. I think I already own one of each on this list except for the laced sandals (which I am looking into a version of maybe from Everlane) and the flare bottoms. This girl is 5’2 and a little curvy. I’m pretty sure I will wear skinny jeans till the day I die or I prefer drape pants from Uniqlo.

  72. I LOVE the three maxi dresses you linked! Perfect for summer travel.

  73. My first time posting here though I read on a daily basis (Hi Joanna), I think it’s because I feel so strongly about Birkenstocks – I LOATHE them.
    And yeah, the Adidas slides should stay on post soccer game feet.
    I will rock a jumpsuit though.

  74. I just ordered those lace up sandals but in denim blue, which should go with nothing I own, but I need them. The Birkenstocks are hideous in my opinion, and I do love the swingy tops and maxi dresses and YES! so happy the flare is back. I was pushing the ticket with boot cuts.

  75. i agree with you guys, i LOVE swing tops. they’re so pretty and flattering. i have the striped madewell one and it’s so cute in person.

  76. Oh I am so happy flare jeans are back! I’ll pass on the slides though, I just can’t get over the shower shoe resemblance!

  77. As a momma with with hips, I’m not gonna lie, I appreciate the return of the flare jean. They were very “in” while I was in late high school and college. I even have a great pair from FCUK I can break out from 2004. I think I’m aging myself. Ha!

    I want to try the jumpsuit, as I have seen some super cute ones and they seem playground friendly.

    I tried on a maxi-dress that had a few inches on the ground. Not a good look!

    I like some swing tops, but because I’m broad-shouldered and small-waisted it’s not my favorite look.

    Shirt dresses, I love though, with a cute pair of sperry’s, it does look like you just threw his shirt on!

  78. Thumbs up to maxi dresses, flared jeans, and swing tops.

    But a big HELL NO to those Adidas sandals.

  79. Amanda, with backless stuff you can wear bras that stick on, or bras that have a low back on them.

  80. I was secretly hoping flared jeans would come back into fashion. They’re so flattering for girls with bigger calves (like me!). Totally not convinced about those Adidas slip-ons though, but I’ll be sure to let my uncle know they’re back in fashion… he’s been wearing them for the last 20 years!

  81. Just bought the Madewell Flea Flare yesterday!! And that trapeze top is lovely!

  82. Haha, too funny that Americans always seem to love shoes that are considered deeply out of fashion in Germany: first Birkenstock and now the Adilette. Both are German brands and noone here would ever wear an Adilette in public. However, Birkenstocks are now back on the feet of fashion-people ;)

  83. I own the same sandals as Gemma LITERALLY because they were my college shower shoes. More power to anyone who can rock them but I will forever associate them with coed bathrooms.

  84. I love the look of big flare jeans! For a shortie like me they make me look model tall and thin. I had a pair of jbrand a few years ago and I’m kicking myself now that I didn’t keep them!

  85. I’m so excited for swing tops this spring! I think they are so easy, casual and sexy. Same goes for shirt dresses. I’m not totally sold on flare jeans yet, but I’m warming up to them. I’m very into a 70s vibe at the moment, so I know in a few short weeks I’ll be obsessing over a flared cut!
    Thank you for sharing, I feel like spring is finally here :)

  86. I will always like maxi dresses – I think they are pretty classic. I have to say I don’t like Birkenstocks – they are just so frumpy to me – and my wardrobe isn’t exactly the height of fashion! The “normcore” trend rubbed me the wrong way. It felt like “cool” people were making fun of the way most people dress, and paying ridiculous prices for items of clothing that if they truly liked, they could get for better prices at less trendy stores.