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Who's got the look?

As temperatures rise, students yearn to shed their heavy winter pea coats and North Face jackets in favor of lighter, more vivid clothing. But don't worry, it's only natural to sweat a little over the thought of a complete wardrobe overhaul. Just relax. All it takes is a few cool new items and a bit of your own personal flare for style to wake up your wardrobe.

For young women, there are two pervading themes that permeate the fashion industry this spring. One can choose between the free-spirited hippie look with global issues on the mind, or the Audrey Hepburn-esque look of casual elegance, which is already prevalent around Grounds.

Going natural

If you take a minute to peruse fashion magazines or mill through a typical mall, you will also notice that the ethnic look is emerging full force. Indian prints, natural materials, Asian designs and beaded sandals are popping up everywhere.

Even accessories have taken a turn toward this up-and-coming au natural outbreak. Feather necklaces are a prime example of the ethnic look.

And has anyone noticed "doo-rags" atop the heads of otherwise conservative students? These kerchiefs come in an array of colors, with bold prints making a vibrant showing this season.

Natural materials, such as hemp and raffia, are making a comeback in sandals and bags. Eco-friendly jute bags that coincide with the back-to-nature look are a must-have for any fashion-conscious guru.

Asian-inspired apparel and accessories are becoming more and more popular, as tops, skirts and notebooks have been emblazoned with dragons and Chinese characters.

Animal prints, skimpy back-less shirts and barely-there handkerchief tops reveal the wilder side of this trend - particularly at fraternity parties.

But first-year College student Ann Kim said it is important to remember that these skimpy little numbers "are not for everyone."

A trip to the gym might be in order to pull off this hot look.

As for makeup: skip the heavy foundation. The healthy "I-just-communed-with-nature" glow, along with glossy lips and simple mascara for the eyes, supports this "less is more" look.

This trend encourages experimentation from those bored with typical styles.

Can we say 'Audrey Hepburn'?

Not ready to trade in your sleek Kenneth Cole mules for a pair of beaded raffia sandals?

A world apart from the ethnically fashionable look, the glamorous style is more prevalent on Grounds, with its characteristics drawing upon the classic chic look of the 1920s and 40s.

Elegant black, mixed with subtly neutral pieces as well as the occasional drape-neck tank top are particularly representative of this style, and DKNY is a major contributor.

Knee-length skirts, cropped black pants, mock turtleneck shirts and dainty, Barbie-esque sandals are a staple to achieve this look of sleek femininity.

Instead of suede, opt for soft buttery leather - and it isn't limited to jackets. Kate Spade purses, spotlighted during sorority rush this year, are a pricey but sophisticated addition to complement the outfit.

Chunky platform shoes are far less prominent this year. Instead, shorter, more delicate Sabrina heels and ankle straps tastefully embody the look of 1940s screen siren.

Red lips and heavily lined eyes add a sultry twist to this otherwise simple style. Guard those flirty eyes with a pair of wide black-rimmed sunglasses.

The best way to describe this look is tasteful elegance, so students like first-year College student Meghan Hays, who admited she still "likes that classic preppy look," should be thrilled this season.

It's raining men

For the guys, there are also tons of new ideas for spring. Interestingly enough, cropped pants are becoming trendy for young men as well. The look of casual sophistication seems to be predominant among many of Hollywood's most fashion-conscious men. There also seems to be a move away from the former University man staple, Abercrombie & Fitch, to more sophisticated brands such as Polo and Ralph Lauren.

On Grounds, New Balance shoes, Arnette sunglasses and camouflage hats will make their way back into the fashion scene, first-year College student Andrew Kelley said.

Although this season's Polos seem to be going pastel, and there will be the occasional Oxford plaid, for the most part, not much seems to have changed. This means guys may as well head back out to Abercombie and American Eagle to stock up.

"Guys are going to be wearing the same old thing," first-year College student Derrick Preuss said.

While much of the female population agreed that, for the most part, guys can't dress, it seemed to be more of an issue of simply not following the trends rather than being oblivious to them.

Cropped or not?

So, with all the buzz about what will be hot this spring, what is it that the sexes like to see on each other?

As usual, guys seem to overwhelmingly agree that skirts and dresses are always particularly nice. Second-year College student Rob Parker suggested that "tube tops are especially sexy."

However, males seem to have joined force in a distinct "hope that Capri pants are not in for girls this season," first-year College student James Kelley said.

Camden said along with Capri pants, he "does not want to see platform shoes" again this season.

And guys with similar opinions should breathe a sigh of relief, because it looks like flatter, more strappy sandals are the way to go this spring.

Women, on the other hand, exhibit a more varied preference for what they find attractive on the opposite sex.

Hays said she "likes pastels on guys, especially if they have a tan."

First-year College student Jessica Ivey said she has seen lots of guys sporting the cropped pants trend in Miami, and said she thought "it looked pretty good."

When it truly comes down to it though, males and females alike said they seem to prefer a more natural laid back style of dress as opposed to the ultra trendy.

For this years hottest spring trends "forget fashion magazines, just head out to Derby Days and Hoo Dang to check out J. Crew Polos atop Banana [Republic] khakis, with Kenneth Cole slides," Murray said.

But in reality, whether you consider yourself preppy, hippie, alternative or chic, this season there seems to be something for everyone. The most important thing is to make fashion work for you and choose the trends that exemplify your personal style. As always, wear the trends that look best on you, rather than allowing trends to wear you.

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