How to update your wardrobe and wear the spring 2012 trends: Graphical

by Sylvia

Graphical trend ideas

For more information on where to get all the above items, please visit this set at Polyvore.

I have previously highlighted the trends for Spring and Summer 2012 in my style report using the collections from the top designers. Now that Spring is almost here it will be interesting to see how other brands have translated the top trends into their collections. This week, let’s have a look at one of my favorite trends this season: the graphical trend.

How to incorporate trends into your wardrobe?

But first a litte bit more about how you can update your wardrobe with some of these trends. It is certainly not necessary to buy a whole new wardrobe incorporating all the latest trends. But picking something from the trends that you like is a great way to update your wardrobe. If you have a good wardrobe base with all the essential pieces, then usually just a few pieces each season is all you need. Here are few steps to keep in mind:

  1. Choose the trend that fits best with your style persona if you know that. Reading the style statement may help with that or you can just jot down some words that come to mind when you are thinking about your style
  2. Take some notes about all the pieces you already have. Do you still have a good black dress, black trousers, good pair of jeans, crisp white blouse etc.
  3. Have a look at the trends and see which pieces would suit your current wardrobe, but would also give it a bit of a boost. If we look at the graphical trend here, all you may have to buy is a great tunic (to wear solo or over your pants) and perhaps some funky shoes in a brighter colour to highlight the effect of different colour patterns.
  4. Go shopping with a clear purpose in mind. If you know what you need and want, it will be easier to sport the items that you are looking for. It’s a good idea to wear or bring some of the items that you wanted to combine with your new trendy items.
  5. If the items you are longing to have are very trendy, you may opt to shop in lower budget stores. It’s best to save your highest budget for the quality base garments of your closet and spend less on the really trendy items, as sometimes they may only last you one season.
  6. Try any bought items again at home and mix and match with your existing wardrobe. Be critical on fit, if it suits your body shape, if the colours match etc. If it is not perfect, return to the store.

Adding a graphical flavour to your wardrobe

With those guidelines in mind, let’s have a look what’s in store at the moment for the graphical trend. To me the graphical trend means playing with different colours and shapes. I especially like stripes or color blocks to play with. In the image at the top of this article, I’m playing with stripes and different colours and patterns. Adding a pop of colour or a stripe on your hat adds to the graphical element of the outfit.

Below are a few more fun elements that will make your outfits pop or give it a graphical feel. These are all available online right now.

Graphical trend ideas

Are you going to incorporate the graphical trend into your wardrobe? What are some of the favorite items you have found?



This is an excellent article Sylvia. You have given us a lot of good information and I really enjoyed looking at your “obsessions”. 🙂 I bought a pair of color-blocked sunglasses (tangerine and leopard) and yesterday I bought a pair of multi-colored sandals (orange, nude, and tan). I hope to find a color-blocked purse now. I usually do not wear a lot of prints but I want to find a dress or top in navy and white stripes and I love that dotted skirt in your polyvore. Thanks for all of the inspiration!


Thanks Suzanne. I so really want a new pair of sunglasses, but they are always such a big expense as I want them at strength. I also really don’t like sunglass shopping! Your purchases sound lovely!


I totally agree with Suzanne, this article is great! I love the Polyvore you put together, particularly the first two outfits! And I’m finding myself being drawn to the yellow/beige colour combination more and more, like the bag and the shoes in the collage. Funny you should mention the style statement, I’m currently reading the book! I haven’t started on the exercises yet, though, but I’m exited to see if I’m able to find my statement. Have a nice day!


Thanks Nanne. Me too. I love that yellow beige and really like to have something in that color. I actually have a a light green / yellow bag that I wore with an outfit the other day. I’m working on my style statement as well. Lost the book in Siem Reap but now have it back and completing the exercizes. Once I’m done I will of course write about it!


The Kate Spade necklace was interesting. I like these excersizes so thank you. I am not too bad with black and white and adding colour so I can master this. Saw on your obsession page that you really go for nice bright colours. I fully agree. Cannot wait till the weather is warm enough and wear my bright green jacket: Kermit meet your sister!


Why wait until Spring? I feel bright colors (especially a jacket) can be worn year round. Far too much black and brown in winter in Holland!


Because the material of the green jacket is too cold! It is made from very fine, thin cotton.

Angel Collins

I like those ballet flats, fits for my style and looks very gentle to walk with it.


They are gorgeous. Aren’t they. I want them all!

Katie Martin

I think this “graphical” theme is going to be really fun for Spring. I can really tired of the monotone looks, and I also think being too overwhelmed by floral is a common Spring misconception. I love those Rebecca Minkoff flats! Although I personally am not so into the yellow and beige trend going on; I’d prefer them in beige and turquise or navy and yellow or something like that.
How do you find out what the latest trends are? Do you get to go to the fashion shows yourself, or do you just research them and find the common threads?


Hi Katie. I agree I love this graphical trend! I’ve also been more drawn to graphical prints like stripes rather than flowers.. You learn about the latest trends through looking at the designer collections. Right now all the designers present their collections for Fall 2012 and you can clearly see that some themes keep returning. For next Fall expect to see a lot of leather! This report was a combination of looking at the designer collections, all the coverage online and in magazines and brands’ lookbooks.


Your article was very helpful. I’m looking for a pair of shoes and a scarf to incorporate graphical.


That sounds great Angie. Look forward to seeing what you have found!


Great post, I really appreciate the practical tips about working fashion trends into your existing wardrobe. Most times I avoid trends, I wear what I like regardless of how now it is. I have recently been adding accessories and small trendy items to keep my wardrobe fun and current.


Thanks Jennifer. Yes, accessories is often all you need!

Emanuel I.

Great article, very inspiring!


Great post. I’m glad to see you featured some maxi dresses. I love them, but have been wondering if they’re just too young for me…


Great post…I’m loving the graphics look!


I love your blog, I will put you on my blog roll. This is exactly what I want to feature and help women over 40 with…appropriate fashions! Glad I found your blog!


Thank you Whitney and welcome to 40+Style!

Trina Grandinetti

Great post Sylvia, it’s just what I needed to get me motivated during this cold, dreary January we have here in Utah. A fun new graphic item definitely put a smile on my face.


Yes, it’s a great way to add some spark to basic clothes and the trend remains strong for the coming season!

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