With sping collections appearing on the high street, what do the experts suggest to buy?

view gallery VIEW GALLERY

The spring collections are arriving in stores. But what should the discerning shopper invest in? Carola Long asks three buyers to pick out this season's key pieces

Menswear and accessories By Ivan Donovan, Head of Menswear at Browns Boutique

There are definitely men who go just as crazy as women for the key items, and will search the world online to find what they want. There isn't usually a prevailing mood in menswear to the same extent as in womenswear, but soft tailoring and gentle structure is coming through - it's a slightly more relaxed way of dressing. There are quite a few lightweight technical fabrics around - Dries Van Noten has some really modern macs and windcheaters in olive, pink and burgundy. In fact, there are a lot of lovely colours around. Really wearable, flattering shades of blue and pink. You'd be surprised by how popular pink is with men. The softer tones in particular sell really well.

In terms of key buys, I would recommend a softly tailored jacket in navy blue, maybe in a washed cotton or a lightweight wool, and something pink, such as Balenciaga's washed cotton poplin shirt. Go for a nice pair of chinos - not with too much of an American-campus feel though, more like Balenciaga's slim khakis.

Accessories are a good way to update your look - Bottega Veneta did some great penny loafers (£350), to continue the preppy theme, and Martin Margiela always do effortlessly stylish bags - their washed leather postman bag in brown is so understated. Wayfarers and Aviators are still current shapes for sunglasses - Blinde do a great version of the latter (£240). For a slightly louche touch, Dries Van Noten has some silk-fringed scarves that you could wear loosely wrapped around the neck, over a T-shirt or a shirt.

Accessories by Sebastian Manes, Head of Accessories at Selfridges

For the past three years or so, we have had some classic bestsellers every season, but for spring/summer we opted for much riskier accessories, more variety and plenty of newness. If you make a statement this season it will probably be through colour, because accessories, and bags in particular, are really vibrant. This theme comes straight from womenswear - it's an important part of my buying approach to be aware of what's happening in fashion generally.

Purple, green, and yellow are really strong, and we saw an injection of neon. Alexander McQueen's Elvie bag (£990) in a bright colour such as purple or red would really add a fresh edge to an outfit - there was a lot of purple in womenswear. Michael Kors has produced some great bags in green, yellow, orange and gold that look like sweets - admittedly, expensive confectionery, not penny sweets! For something sophisticated, the Anya Hindmarch Cooper is very chic. Giant clutches have been declared a hot accessory, but I don't think they will take off with people who need practicality from their bag.

Bright colours and striking colour combinations are also a big trend in shoes, as are extreme statements and super high heels. The most dramatic style were the Balenciaga gladiator sandals - I think they are a good buy because they are so unique and people want something that stands out. We only bought one style of the Balenciaga sandals because they are extremely expensive and they will probably arrive around May because they are so complicated to make. Last season's Balenciaga Lego shoes arrived in December. Flat shoes aren't such a big trend, but they still continue - Miu Miu and Prada did some lovely flat styles, and Dries Van Noten did a gorgeous ballerina pump embroidered with bright flowers, tapping into the Seventies and flower-power influences.

When it comes to investing in jewellery this season, I love the YSL star cuffs (£345 from Selfridges) and necklaces (£1,795, available from YSL). The shiny surface keeps it really modern. Even sunglasses will be picking up on the colourful theme. Ray-Ban Wayfarers will still be popular next summer, but increasingly in colours such as white, pink and red.

Womenswear by Eleanor Robinson, Head of Womenswear at Liberty

The shows give us an idea of the styling and the general mood of the collection, and you can tell what the key pieces will be because they come out a couple of times in different colours. The buying is done in the showroom though; a lot of the headline-grabbing pictures of wildly impractical headpieces or suchlike won't be part of the actual collection. The buying process consists of combining analytical information about your sales history, feedback from shop staff and then instinct.

Spring is much more colourful than recent seasons and the overall feel is very playful and youthful. There are a lot of clashing prints, layering up of beautiful, muted tones and patterns such as dip-dye and tie-dye. Jean Paul Gaultier has used some really gorgeous colour in this collection, which was inspired by swashbuckling pirates. His crochet dress (£800) has a very flattering cut and despite being very on-trend, the myriad colours are so beautiful that it will be in your wardrobe for years to come. The See by Chloe range also really capitalises on the colour trend with vibrant psychedelic prints on T-shirts, skirts and dresses; their short, flirty skirt looks perfect worn with a loose white tee. Dries Van Noten has also picked up on the eclectic theme - the inspiration for this season was walking into a textile factory and randomly picking these really incredible fabrics from different decades of the 20th century.

Last autumn/winter was a bit of a funny season as it was the transition away from smock dresses towards a more structured look, but now tailoring is an important, established trend. Dries Van Noten's blue, one-button blazer with pink spots is a great shape to wear over dresses and with jeans. The dye treatment is a subtle take on this season's tie-dye theme.

There are a lot of short full skirts around, and there is a trouser shape that has been everywhere, with a dropped crotch. On first look it's hard to get your head around, but the more you see it, the cooler it looks, especially with ankle boots or platform sandals and a blazer. In terms of jeans, high-waisted flares are still a fresh silhouette, and Lips jeans (£150), from New York, are a fantastic fit.

Suggested Topics
Voices
Homeless Veterans charity auction: Cook with Angela Hartnett and Neil Borthwick at Merchants Tavern
charity appealTime is running out to secure your favourite lot as our auction closes at 2pm tomorrow
Arts and Entertainment
J Jefferson Farjeon at home in 1953
booksBooksellers say readers are turning away from modern thrillers and back to golden age of crime writing
Sport
Amir Khan is engaged in a broader battle than attempting to win a fight with Floyd Mayweather
boxing Exclusive: Amir Khan reveals plans to travel to Pakistan
News
Stacey Dooley was the only woman to be nominated in last month’s Grierson awards
mediaClare Balding and Davina McCall among those overlooked for Grierson awards
PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
Life and Style
ebooksA superb mix of recipes serving up the freshest of local produce in a delicious range of styles
Voices
Joseph Kynaston Reeves arguing with Russell Brand outside the RBS’s London offices on Friday
voicesDJ Taylor: The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a worker's rant to Russell Brand
News
Twitchers see things differently, depending on their gender
scienceNew study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Caroline Flack became the tenth winner of Strictly Come Dancing
tvReview: 'Absolutely phenomenal' Xtra Factor presenter wins Strictly Come Dancing final
Life and Style
A still from the 1939 film version of Margaret Mitchell's 'Gone with the Wind'
life
News
Xander van der Burgt, at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
scienceA Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
Arts and Entertainment
British actor Idris Elba is also a DJ and rapper who played Ibiza last summer
film
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Fashion

    Recruitment Genius: Finance Director

    £65000 - £80000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Finance Director required to jo...

    Recruitment Genius: Medico-Legal Assistant

    £15000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a unique opportunity fo...

    Ashdown Group: (PHP / Python) - Global Media firm

    £50000 per annum + 26 days holiday,pension: Ashdown Group: A highly successful...

    The Jenrick Group: Quality Inspector

    £27000 per annum + pension + holidays: The Jenrick Group: A Quality Technician...

    Day In a Page

    The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

    The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

    Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
    From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

    Panto dames: before and after

    From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
    Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

    Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

    Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
    Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

    Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

    Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
    The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

    The man who hunts giants

    A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
    The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

    The 12 ways of Christmas

    We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
    Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

    The male exhibits strange behaviour

    A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
    Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

    Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

    Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
    From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

    From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

    The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
    A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

    A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

    The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'
    Marian Keyes: The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment

    Marian Keyes

    The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment
    Bill Granger recipes: Our chef creates an Italian-inspired fish feast for Christmas Eve

    Bill Granger's Christmas Eve fish feast

    Bill's Italian friends introduced him to the Roman Catholic custom of a lavish fish supper on Christmas Eve. Here, he gives the tradition his own spin…
    Liverpool vs Arsenal: Brendan Rodgers is fighting for his reputation

    Rodgers fights for his reputation

    Liverpool manager tries to stay on his feet despite waves of criticism
    Amir Khan: 'The Taliban can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'

    Amir Khan attacks the Taliban

    'They can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'
    Michael Calvin: Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick

    Michael Calvin's Last Word

    Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick