by Nina Ashe, SexyPlus Clothing Blogger So as to best showcase the key looks of the season, Spring/Summer’s 2011 clothing trends are all about femininity, luxury, and playfulness. Here are the key items you should be looking for: Maxi dress: sheer is in The maxi dress is here to stay for at least a few more warm seasons. And who can blame us: it’s comfortable, feminine and works with pretty much all body types. Particularly keep an eye out for sheer dresses this season… it’s all about flowing, romantic, transparent fabrics… just don’t forget your slip! Lace clothing Nothing new here, granted… but lace takes a different spin this season. Lace is going classic: long or short lace dresses and lace skirts. It’s all romantic once again and rather steampunk (be sure to stay tuned for an upcoming post on this fabulous “techno Victorian” look)… and is already promising to stick around for Fall 2011. Crochet & Macramé Think of Brigitte Bardot on her wedding day! These two fabrics truly mark the re-rise of 70s fashion this season… so think intricacy (but not fussy), quality (good weaving and knotting), and luxury (or sexy hippy), whether in clothing or accessories. Because of its open weave, macramé is the perfect material for a beach dress or a crochet top to be paired with a modern pair of bell bottoms (yup, they are back too… keep reading). Woven shoes or intricate sandals are also in line with the ever-present nautical look this season. Bell bottoms We are finally pushing off from skinny jeans (though they aren’t going away just yet)… only to fall back on the ultimate 70s staple: the flared pants, aka bell bottoms! Simply look for pants with a hem that is at least as wide as your foot and loose at the knee to interpret the Spring 2011 look (and not the tight at the knee version of the 90s). Also keep an eye out for a high-waisted cut… everyone might have laughed at Jessica Simpson last year, but the girl was ahead of her fashion time! Wide-leg pants Yes my dear lovely readers, there is a difference between bell bottoms and wide-leg pants: the former flares loosely at the knees, the latter widens from the thigh down in a lean, shapely way (high-waisted or not)… much like its lounging cousin the palazzo pants. It should be noted that lest you go for a masculine-inspired garçonne look with flats (Katharine Hepburn anyone?), heels or platforms best complete the look of the wide-leg trouser. Try to balance out the volume of the bottom half with a more fitted top or a soft billowing blouse belted as the waist. A small sidebar: this style works best for taller frames. For those of us with shorter legs, a pair of skinny cropped pants or ones with a subtle flare paired with heels is your best bet. Capri pants I guess the motto “opposites attract” is true in fashion as well. Even though flares are back, capris are here to stay! From pants cropped just above the ankle (or your skinny jeans reused by rolling up the hem) to more traditional three-quarter cut capris (preferably just below the calf). Paired with ballet flats or kitten heels and a classic crisp shirt, you’ve got the perfect 60s housewife weekend look. Try a nautical striped top and a pair of espadrilles for more of a pin-up style. Also, a great pair of biker boots paired with cropped pants gives it you grungy, modern feel. Tail hems: short in front, longer in back A perfect alternative or mediator to miniskirt or maxi dresses, tail hems (aka shirttail, tapered, cutaway hems) are a major trends in 2011: the back affords the elegance and comfort of length, while the front offers revealing hints of just a tad more skin. Jumpsuits & Playsuits They are my biggest surprise of the season… especially after trying on a few myself. The one-piece is in… as corporate wear or alternatives to clubwear. Think block-color silky overalls (but not denim), glamorous evening jumpsuits (single-shouldered and/or sequin-covered), smart and elegant playsuits (crisp fabrics and cinched waists – great for curves or pear-shaped figures), and loose, flowing short rompers (in soft floral prints or hooded). Crop Tops Alright… it’s a big trend this season… and it’s not for everyone. There are just so many ways to rock a body-baring trend such as the crop top for a sexy plus-size woman. My best solution: sophisticated, transparent layers: a sheer fun crop top over a form-fitting t-shirt is one way to go. A slit on the side of your shirt or even a few strategic cutaways will keep you in line with this season’s trend, if you truly wish to go there. But it’s not all… keep coming back for more. Next post is all about accessories: Tassels, stripes, clogs and more… so much more! Spring is just around the corner, ladies… and I’ve got you covered!