If living with a diehard foodie (a fan of Spain’s school of foam cuisine and avant-garde chef extraordinaire Wiley Dufresne) has taught me anything, it’s that it takes trying new things and an adventurous spirit to develop your palette. The same holds true in fashion. And while I don’t believe in blindly following every trend that comes along, I do advocate for taking stock of the season’s new looks and gauging your gut reaction to them, paying particularly close attention to any secret crushes you may be harboring. Got it bad for bandage skirts? Does your heart leap a little when you see leather leggings? Long to violate your draconian no-prints-allowed rule with Helmut Lang’s celestial beauties? Try them. It’s likely they’ll introduce you to a previously unknown frontier of your personal style.
Which brings me to spring’s camouflage prints. I first felt the sway of their roughneck charm last October when Balmain showed them at Paris Fashion Week, an attraction quickly nixed by the practical Midwesterner in me: “Camouflage? No way.” But now I see they’re not so outré. A close kin to spring’s khaki story, camo prints add a tough-organic contrast to tailored pieces and lace-trimmed camisoles that says chic. You could go the casual-camo route with a Juicy Couture hoodie or feminine with a Tucker blouse, or do like me and take your styling cues from the Balmain spring 2010 runway: pair Bop Basics camo pants (pictured above) with a sharp-shouldered blazer and cutout booties.