Put away your dark sweaters, black blazers and pinstriped pants: color is back in full force this season.

Spring 2007 fashion trends include the minidress, metallics, vintage prints with a modern spin and colors so bright they’ll make your eyes water.

Classic spring fashion means light colors and lightweight fabrics: white, pastels, khaki, linen and cotton are common threads year round

But in lieu of airy pastels and subtle stripes, Sara Gallagher, manager of Lucky Lulu’s on Higuera Street, said the ticket this season is “right in-your-face prints and colors.”

Yellow and teal tops pop out from the racks at the downtown boutique next to loose-fitting, sheer shirts, which are also a big trend this year. The tops are loud, bold, psychadelic prints, but still manage to look feminine with their curvy patterns and transparent fabrics.

“What does really well is a sheer shirt with a tank top underneath,” Gallagher said. The shirts can be worn with shorts or jeans.

For the short shorts wearers, the cropped, cuffed and buttoned short will carry over from the winter season. This chic and streamlined style morphs a piece of clothing you would normally wear to the beach into something you can easily dress up. Or women who like a longer style or want to show a little less leg, Bermuda shorts are back this season. The mid-length shorts in denim, linen or cotton are a great basic in any girl’s closet.

This season, the shorts will “keep the tight look but go a little higher,” said English senior Rachel Vinatieri, who works at Dizzi boutique on Marsh Street. The newer boutique carries a slightly smaller and slightly more formal selection than its sister store, Lucky Lulu’s.

Denim never goes out of season in California, and this spring is no exception. The classic blue jean is a staple in almost everyone’s daily wardrobe on the Central Coast and is always acceptable during the day or out at night.

Gallagher said the skinny jean is here to stay, but she expected the more traditional bootcut to equally popular.

“The novelty of the trend has worn off,” she said, adding that the new trend is for people to wear the style of jean that fits them best.

“We sell more bootcut than skinny jeans anyway,” she said.

Tiamo on Higuera has a similar, colorful spring display. Sara Legrady, an art and design junior, who has worked at the boutique for about a year said that because of the already hot weather this year, the boutique is bringing spring in early and will receive another large shipment of seasonal wear soon.

This year, Tiamo is focusing on dresses, dresses, dresses. The popular cotton jersey dress is this season’s must-have. The dresses are comfortable and feminine, and work for all body types. They are also more versatile than you might think.

“You can wear jeans under our dresses,” Legrady said, which makes them wearable during the evening or on those not-so-sunny days.

Legrady said the tube dress is done, and that Tiamo only had a couple in that style this year. Spaghetti straps and racerbacks are the new cuts. Although yellow and pink are very popular colors this year, printed garments dominate most of the stores downtown.

As far as accessories go, jewelry this season is funky, colorful and chunky. Gone are the semi-gothic long chain necklaces and the knotted and mixed metal look.

Gallagher said gemstones are also in this season. The bright and fun earrings at Lucky Lulu’s will compliment any of the dresses or retro tops.

Legrady said bags for spring will probably still be on the larger side. She said the “oversized look is still in” and hopes for some canvas bags in the store’s next shipment.

“Everyone’s kind of been doing the artsy look lately,” she said.

Banana Republic, playing it a little safer and hoping to appeal to a more mainstream audience, combines a classic, chic look with a modern punch that will work for everyone.

The chain retailer offers an endless array of basic bottoms, in khaki and light colors, mostly in a slim style. Their striped navy and white tops and espadrilles make for a nautical look, accessorized with thick woven leather belts.

Any combination of these simple pieces will make it easy to create an ultimately clean and classic, yet stylish look.

So, this season, trade your cardigans for cropped jackets, swap your heels for wedges, and substitute your pastels for shockingly bright color. The downtown boutiques offer enough variety for any San Luis Obispo woman to stand out.

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