Thought it might be fun – as we start to hear about Spring 2020 style trends – to take a glance back at a post about the looks that were getting big press about this time in 2018.  How many of them are still around today?  I think about it this way:  If a look is so “IN” today that everyone seems to have it, it is going to look totally “OUT” pretty quickly.  More classic, basic, long-lived styles are a much better use of your wardrobe dollars.  So how did these trends fare?

Trends are a device designers and retailers use to make women feel pressure to buy something new, whether they need it or not, whether it flatters or doesn’t.  Let’s take a critical look at retail offerings for Spring ’18 and how they work for women with various color patterns and figure types.

We continue to see open-shoulder styles heavily featured. If you have fabulous wide straight shoulders you can WEAR this style with no worries.  But the rest of us need to BEWARE.  Consider exactly how the cut-out shape directs the viewer’s eye over our body.  If the cut-out follows a curve is almost certain to make shoulders appear narrower and the rest of the body seem broader by comparison.  This diagram shows your that effect in the abstract – less shoulder (Fig. A) equals more of everything else:

And here are some garment examples.


Then there is the trend toward full, long, over-embellished sleeves. BEWARE.  Every variation I’ve seen of this trend adds fullness to the middle body and draws all eyes downward, far away from your face.  My advice: stick with classic sleeve styles.

Gingham checks are a big spring trend that can easily become too much of a good thing.  Many gingham garments harken back to high school home economics projects.  If you are young enough to ask “What’s home ec?” you can probably WEAR this look any way you choose.  If you recall it vividly, BEWARE and limit your gingham to accent items, ideally in unexpected colors  or in non-traditional fabrics like these from Talbots.

What Spring trends will you decide to WEAR?  And why?



About Nancy Nix Rice

I help other women feel confident about how they look every day - regardless of their age, budget, lifestyle or the size tag in their pants - so they put wardrobe concerns on the back burner and go share their gifts with the world.


  1. Margy Terpstra on April 8, 2018 at 3:01 pm

    Nancy, I recently bought a navy dress with a triple bell sleeve that was a 3/4 length. It’s going back! Not really the best for me and now I can see why. I was looking at your book and I am still hoping to find something in navy to wear to a September wedding. Do you know of any A-line or empire styles out there that I could mix and match with a linen or silk shrug?
    Thanks so much!

    • Nancy Nix Rice on April 8, 2018 at 5:14 pm

      I just saw a lovely navy eyelet sheath dress at Talbots. Its Item # P598886. You can search it on their web site and if it looks interesting to you you can obviously see it for real and try it on at the store.

  2. Margy Terpstra on April 9, 2018 at 4:10 pm

    Thanks, Nancy. I will take a look at that one! Also have a simple Alex Evenings black skirt on hold that I can layer with a shell and color pop shrug. I am grateful every day that I met you, know my color strengths and can figure out most of these things. Many thanks!

    • Nancy Nix Rice on April 9, 2018 at 7:32 pm

      What a lovely compliment; thanks Margy. It’s good to hear from you and I hope you have a fabulous time at the event, whichever outfit you choose.

  3. Paula Jarvis on April 20, 2018 at 7:09 am

    Nancy, thanks for the comments on the sleeves. I haven’t bought anything yet with “statement sleeves” and was thinking I should make something before the trend passes. But I sure don’t need to look any bigger, so likely will let the big flounces and ruffles go by. I am considering a more tailored sleeve with a slit and tie at the cuff – something that looks new but is not overwhelming. Thanks for bringing up the topic.

  4. Janet Evans on April 22, 2018 at 4:59 pm

    Hi Nancy, I want to offer encouragement toward your development of a pattern for the waterfall jacket you wore at Sewing Expo this spring. I adore the clean line silhouette and certain lack of fullness (slop to my mind!) in contrast to others I have seen. A winner in my book!

    • Nancy Nix Rice on April 22, 2018 at 8:28 pm

      Glad you like that jacket so much – so do I. I actually developed it for a made-to-order clothing line I’m working on. That’s the same reason I started carrying fabric yardage. Hopefully it will eventually be a pattern for you too.

  5. Arlene on May 17, 2018 at 8:26 am

    yea for me! before i saw this post i just had my hair cut in that style – and my hair is very white – i will be wearing black and red and white and grey with some pastels in pink – a touch of light blue in there too.

    • Nancy Nix Rice on May 17, 2018 at 9:00 pm

      I’m so envious of your gorgeous white hair. Michelle just recently let hers grow out to the natural color. It was auburn before – and she looked lovely – but the new look is just knock-out isn’t it?

  6. LC on May 17, 2018 at 10:15 am

    Thank you for teaching us so well, Nancy! You offer excellent examples so we understand. I am seeing things now that I could not see before, but I still need new ideas and guidelines like this one.
    I should probably pull out your book again and watch your Craftsy class again!

  7. Jan McMinn on May 17, 2018 at 11:04 am

    So wonderful to have had a seminar with you at Denver ASG several years ago. I still remember things you taught that day and love your site and tips. Thanks for all you do to help us determine what makes us look better!

    • Nancy Nix Rice on May 17, 2018 at 8:50 pm

      Gosh thanks, Jan. I’m so lucky to make a living doing something that is so much fun and so gratifying.

  8. Hlen Klotz on May 17, 2018 at 3:22 pm

    I am really glad to read YOU ARE CARRYING SOME FABRIC. Please indicated what season it is best for. It is hard to tell on a computer if the color is right for you, especially prints. Made a few mistakes with this.

    I have read your book twice and am still trying to get it right. I don’t require a lot of clothes at 82 but I still want to look my best, Also shop resale shops. I have found name brand stuff with price tag still on them. Sometimes it turns out to be the good price I liked and the color was yuk, but it didn’t cost much for the lesson.

    • Nancy Nix Rice on May 17, 2018 at 8:49 pm

      So glad you’re still enjoying fashion, Helen. There isn’t an expiration date on style, is there? We are having fun with the fabric, for sure. It’s hard to classify prints by season because our color system isn’t season-based.

  9. Sue in MN on May 21, 2018 at 6:49 am

    Hi Nancy –
    I was out with my 30-something daughter yesterday at a huge urban art festival, and we were remarking on the emergence of the wide-legged trousers/pants that are making their return, especially those with shaped waistbands, knee pleats, ankle bands and other features. We were also observing the wide variety of fabrics featured. Is there anything out there for those of us who are petite but fit and generally classic-oriented, and would like a fun pair of these pants for the summer? The knit styles especially look like they would be great for chasing toddlers while looking a bit more stylish…

    • Nancy Nix Rice on May 21, 2018 at 8:14 am

      What could be more fun than a day out with an adult daughter! As for the pants, I have a pretty strong preference for keeping those lower-body garments less eye-catching, so if you want to play with that look I’d stick with solids or smaller, not-too-contrast patterns, minimal horizontal detailing and keep the fabrics very fluid so they fall in close to the body (but not cling-y) rather than standing away and adding visual bulk. But even with all those cautionary comments, I also think summer is the ideal time to experiment with a more “out-there” look if the spirit moves you. Let me know what you decide on; I’d love to see pictures.

  10. Jean Cannon on May 24, 2018 at 10:11 am

    Totally off topic, but could you tell me how to get on your email list? I’d love to get them!

    • Nancy Nix Rice on May 25, 2018 at 8:22 am

      I’ll add you to that list, but the “real” way is to request the “101 Style Shortcuts” booklet from the hoe page of our web site. You’re not the only person who didn’t figure that out. I’m having my web person make the newsletter signup more obvious in th big re-do of the site. Stay tuned for a load of updates.

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