A Look Back: Spring Fashion Trends 2012-2018

spring fashion collage

Saying goodbye to the cold may feel pretty satisfying, but it’s not nearly as much fun as welcoming spring with a smile and some fresh, on-trend garments.

Spring is most liberating shopping season of the year, too. It’s a time when we go bolder with color and pattern choices. We can expand or even contradict our “go-to” looks. We can go a little crazy, and simply chalk it up to spring fever.

Here’s a look back at old spring fashion trends from years past. If you’re looking for current spring style trends, find them here.

Hello Spring 2018 Trends

As in years past, the spring summer ’18 runways predicted a fun line-up of fashion trends. Read on for some of our favorites, along with budget-friendly pieces you can work into your rotation now.

1. This Color Makes Me Blush

Big, bold primary colors will generally be a hit this spring, but fire engine red is one to watch. You can wear red on red, or easily pair red with grays, silvers, creams and blacks. Red and pink or red and orange are also successful combos, but not for the faint at heart.

Try adding a red trouser or red blazer to the mix this spring. Or, take a baby step with a bold red shoe.

2. It’s Dazzling, Really

The sequin trend will continue this season. To avoid blinding your coworkers, save the sequins for dates and girls night out. These days, you can find fully sequined tops and pants along with the usual suspects of sequined-adorned shoes and handbags.

3. Everyone’s Favorite Blue Times Two

’80s-inspired clothes are taking things to a new level as denim-on-denim outfits continue to trend high. The blue-times-two combo has long been a favorite street style look for celebrities — and thankfully, it’s pretty easy to copy.

The classic double-denim outfit is simply a chambray shirt, medium-tone jeans, a camel belt and camel boots. But I like to mix things up too. Once you’ve nailed the chambray top, go for a ruffle or wide-sleeved denim top for a little something different.

4. A Clear Winner

The see-through trend is a thing, and it’s happening at a mall near you. From clear plastic bags to dress and tops featuring sheer panels and sleeves, transparency is having a moment.

A plastic tote is your new weekend fun bag, and it comes with an added benefit. You won’t throw as much junk in there when you can see it all from the outside. Trust me on that one.

Or you can nod to the trend in a more subtle way with a sheer dress or top. This kaftan-style top is so feminine, you’ll love wearing it over a cami and your fav leggings.

5. Checks All the Boxes

We talked about the checked blazer in the fall, and now we’re talking about checked pants and vests in the spring. In these warmer months, get your checked fix in with sleeveless pieces or a crop pant. Be particular about checked minis though — too short and you might be dabbling with a trashy vibe.

Spring Fashion 2017 Essentials

spring fashion collage

These spring fashion pieces are perfect for dinner with the girls, to the workplace if you’re in a business casual situation or anytime you want to step up your casual look. If you need to stock up on the basics, see this advice from our friends at GreekU.com.

1. The Girly Top

Michael Kors, Chloe and others brought flirty flowers to their spring ’17 designs — along with baby doll tops, lace and ribbons. The takeaway is that feminine is in, and in a big way. Nod to this trend by adding a few florals to your collection for spring. And since the next item on your shopping list is leggings, we’d suggest you go for at least one floral tunic.

2. Leggings with Style

Hot pink leggings with integrated shoes made their way into the Balenciaga collection, but we’re breaking that look down into a more wearable combo: bright leggings and sleek, open-toe booties. This season, you can break out of the black leggings mold and experiment with new colors and fabrics. Corduroy or velvet, anyone?

3. Open-toe Booties

The open-toe bootie is a classic that can accompany nearly any trendy piece. They’ll look as great with your fancy new leggings as they will with the jeans you bought three years ago. For ultimate wearability, look for styles with minimal embellishments — no fringe, no big buckles — and a sturdy block heel.

4. Shirt Dress

While feminine styles were aplenty, the runways also featured a selection of menswear-inspired pieces, like mechanic-style jumpsuits from Hermes and Vanessa Seward and a pinstriped shirt-dress from Alexander Wang. That’s your signal to add a shirt dress or two to your wardrobe. We like options made of crisp fabrics that are long enough to pair with a belt. And you get bonus points for pinstripes!

5. Kimono Jacket

The kimono jacket is a timeless wardrobe pick and close cousin to the shirt-dress-and-belt combo. This style nods to the trench coats, cinched waists and belted robes (yes, that is a thing) that showed up in designer collections for the spring. Choose pieces with wide belts for the most impact.

Fashion Trends Spring 2015

Denim Watch

side by side of women wearing bell bottoms

Tailored bell bottom jeans kicked skinnies to the curb. A good flare or a relaxed wide leg (bonus points for sailor buttons!) will get you far. Buy now, wear through fall.

Where to Budget Buy: Zara

To the Max

side by side of runway model and forever 21 model

Chloe’s free-flowing, floor-sweeping dress silhouettes have officially caught on with the rest of the design world. Ethereal goddess vibes commence.

Where to Budget Buy: Forever21

Rock your Body

side by side of models wearing bodysuits

Sleeved or not bodysuits have  taken over the top game. Leave the crop tops to the kids and show a little skin in this more sophisticated manner.

Where to Budget Buy: Reformation

Go-Go Moto

side by side runway model and leather boot

They don’t have to be neon or latex, but your leather boots do need to be boxy and at least knee-high to nab the nostalgic nod.

Where to Budget Buy: Nordstrom

Spring 2013 Plus Size Trends

Colorblocking

Color block plus size
ASOS CURVE Pencil Skirt in Colorblock Stripe, ASOS Curve

Accentuate your curves with bright and eye-focusing colors such as orange, pink, and blue. My friend loves this dress ($29.09) because it draws the eyes to your knees, which makes the entire outfit look lean and classy.

Key-hole Blouse

Key-hole blouses show a bit of skin while keeping “everything in place.” I love the solids and patterns available at Old Navy for just $29. The cut, fabric, and look paired with shorts or trousers are a win for any size.

Forever21

Forever 21 floral plus size
Floral Print High-Low Dress, Forever 21

With an entire section devoted to plus-sized fashionistas, anything and everything here is always in-style and of-the-season. LOVE this floral dress for $27.70.

GAP

Usually offers plus-sized versions of the regular and petite apparels, for spring (and summer) a GAP shirt-dress is a win. Tying at your slimmest part (your waist!) this classy silhouette works for day or night!

2012 Plus Size Spring Fashion Trends

Peplum Skirt
Photo Credit: NY Mag

Ok, we’ll be honest, spring fashion is the furthest thing away from our minds right now (we are so into fall, hello orange!). But….. we did some spot some MAJOR trends during New York’s Spring 2012 Fashion Week that got us crazy excited for the fashion outlook for plus size fashionistas. Check out our picks for best Spring 2012 trends for plus size women.

Peplum

We think peplum is so underrated. It was popular in the 80’s and we just love how womanly the style is, so we’re glad to see it as a trend for next spring. Designers like Jason Wu, Rodarte, and Thakoon embraced the peplum trend on their spring runways. Peplum is perfect for highlighting the curves of plus size women as well as creating curves for plus size women who have more of a square or round shape.

Get The Peplum Look

Bubblegum Peplum Blazer
Jibri plus size bubblegum peplum blazer, $120

Crop Tops

Crop Top
Photo Credit: Fab Sugar

We see you giving us the side eye. Yes, plus size women can wear crop tops and look fabulous in them. Layer the top over a long tank or pair it with a pair of high-waisted pants.

Get The Cropped Look

Black Cropped Top
Alloy Zoey Top, $14.99

Depending on your fashion courage level, plus size women don’t have to expose their stomachs when wearing crop tops You can wear a crop top over a tank or a sleek dress. Even better, try one with a pair of high-waisted jeans.

Bold Color Blocked Stripes

Colorblock Dress

Stripes continue to be a major trend for spring 2012, with designers like Richard Chai and Tadashi Shoji showcasing the trend in their Spring Fashion Week Shows. However, for Spring 2012, the stripes show up on more feminine silhouettes, like on full skirts.

How to Get The Stripped Trend

Faith21 plus which is Forever 21’s plus size collection offers a super chic striped black and teal dress. It’s perfect for fall and will work for spring 2012.

Mesh

Mesh Dress

Cynthia Rowley, Alexander Wing, and Donna Karan added mesh pieces to their spring 2012 collections in the form of dresses.

Where to Get The Mesh Trend

Mesh Panel Dress
ASOS, mesh panel dress $54.89

ASOS Curve offers a super sexy mesh panel body skimming dress in black up to size 22.

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Catherine Brock

Style Editor at The Budget Fashionista
Catherine Brock is a writer, editor and marketer who's been sharing wisdom online since 2002. She's been featured on DrLaura.com, Wellness.com and ABC7 Chicago, FOX2News St. Louis and KCAL9 Los Angeles. Connect with Catherine on LinkedIn, Instagram, or Twitter.
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