NEW YORK – "Here comes the bride, all dressed in white …"
Actually, scratch that. It's not a bride you see strolling down the street — just a hip gal wearing what's trendy this spring.
You don't have to tie the knot to don all white this season. Strange as it may sound, dressing like a snow queen from head to toe is, by many accounts, the look for the warmer months this year. Think Nicole Kidman at the Oscars (whose gown would have been perfect had she been attending her own wedding) or Michelle Williams at the SAG Awards.
"White really is just everywhere, and everyone is going to wear it," said Katie Meyer, fashion market editor at Glamour magazine. "There's a way to wear it for every person, regardless of how much money you want to spend, your body type and your style. There are so many ways to incorporate it into your wardrobe."
So whether it's a white eyelet sundress with white patent leather platform shoes, an all-white suit with a white belt or a pair of white pants and a white button-down, pale garments are all the rage.
"A lot of people really shy away from white," Meyer said. "It's kind of debunking that whole rule, so to speak. It's not scary anymore. It's chic and fresh. It looks great on everybody."
And it's not just pure, bright white that's making a splash. White's cousins, including cream, off-white and ivory, are having a heyday, too.
Sound a little too frosty, blinding or just plain boring to you? No worries. You can spruce up the white with a little something-something from the opposite end of the spectrum — as in black. Call it Oreo chic. But one thing's for sure: Cows and Dalmatians definitely have it going on this season.
"Whether it's a detailed shirt in black-and-white or a white top and black skirt, there's still a little bit of that 'mod' influence going on," said Elycia Rubin, author of "Frumpy to Foxy in 15 Minutes Flat."
Both Sandra Oh and Reese Witherspoon wore black-and-white dresses to the SAG Awards in January. Mischa Barton was decked out in summery white dresses with wide, black sash belts and black shoes for at least two different celebrity events early this year, also held before spring had even sprung.
"We've already seen it tons on the red carpet. It's such a classic combination, but it's really having a moment right now, and I think that will continue into fall a little bit," Meyer said.
But fashion isn't all black-and-white now that the weather is getting warmer. There are some actual colors that are in for spring, like sunset orange, mint, light blue and pink, to name a few.
And ship's ahoy, Matey, because nautical themes — navy-and-white-striped shirts with boat necks, ropey wedge sandals and sailor pants with buttons down the sides — are en vogue again, as well as floral prints and polka dots.
Dresses of all shapes and fabrics to fit all occasions are bigger than ever. Delicate, silky button-down blouses paired with pencil skirts are also a hot look, according to Rubin, the former style director at E! Networks.
"It's definitely a very feminine season," she said. "It's really the feminine lovely lady that we're seeing this spring."
As always, so much style can be found right in the jeans.
Denims dubbed "skinny jeans" that hug the legs and ankles rather than flaring out at the bottom are everywhere, often paired with another popular fashion: the trapeze-shaped top (which is fitted and narrower at the top, flowy and wider at the bottom).
"Sienna is the poster child for skinny jeans," Meyer declared.
But on those sultry days, leave the skinny jeans on the hanger. Instead, ask yourself not who wears short shorts, but who doesn't.
"Short shorts are very in with high heels," Rubin said. "Obviously you have to have the right figure to pull it off."
There's a bit of news this spring in the shoe department, too. Wedges of all flavors (many with straw or ropey elements) are huge — and not just their stacked heels. So are platforms, wooden and otherwise. Rounded-toe ballet-slipper flats are still popular, fitting in perfectly with the ladylike theme of the season. And espadrilles are having yet another revival.
Two other foot fads to keep you on your toes: lime green shoes — yes, lime green — and braided leather sandals and mules.
"It feels like a fresh, modern season," said Rubin.