It doesn’t take a crystal ball to predict this spring’s trends in fashion and interior design—in fact, one only needs to pop into a downtown Traverse City boutique and start a conversation.  That’s exactly what MyNorth’s Evan Perry—a self-acknowledging nit-wit when it comes to all things style—did at three Front Street shops.  So what’s in store for menswear, women’s fashion and interior decorating this spring?  Read on to see what the folks at Ella’s, Captain’s Quarters, and Nest had to say.

Northern Michigan Spring FashionWomen’s Fashion with Wendy Buhr-Dorman from Ella’s

I’ve heard that color is back this spring.  What exactly does that mean?

Buhr-Dorman: This spring I’m seeing a lot more pastels, which I haven’t seen in some time; colors like mint green and lavender are very popular.  Earlier in the year we saw more vivid colors, but with spring arriving, those colors are really mellowing out.  By summertime, I expect the colors to become very bright, though.

What should I get my girlfriend for her birthday?  It’s on March 27th—I think…

Buhr-Dorman: A pair of Frye boots or a cashmere scarf.  The scarf is a great transition piece; it’s a good way to add color and stay warm during the early spring, and she could wear it during summer nights or as a sash.

Any other trends in women’s fashion this spring?

Buhr-Dorman: Transition pieces—items that will work in both cold and warm weather—things like scarfs and  vests.

There’s also a style of women’s pants that are a bit baggier and not at slim-fitting as other women’s pant styles.  With the pant cuff folded up, the style is perfect for early spring and into summer, and they’re very comfortable.


Northern Michigan Spring FashionMen’s Fashion with Lee Abbey and Michelle Edick from Captain’s Quarters

This store seems to have a very traditional sense of men’s fashion, yet there are items here that don’t strike me as very conservative.

Abbey: The colors are much brighter, especially with pants—greens and blues and yellows.  But the styles are still classic; one of the most popular brands we sell at the Captain’s Quarters is called Southern Tide, which is very popular in the South.  The colors are very bright, even tropical, but the cuts have a very collegiate feel to them; they even added a line of bow ties.

EdickWe actually had to increase our inventory this year because the demand was so high last year.  Preppy is definitely in.

So forward isn’t always the most fashionable…

Edick: Not necessarily.  One style of suit that’s very popular is called seersucker; which has very tight blue and white stripes.  It’s a perfect, easy-going summer look.

Abbey:  And that style has been around for 50 years.  It’s a great seasonal jacket—you pull it out of the closet in the spring, wear it until the fall, and it’ll last you ten years.  And its never been out of style.

Are there any other brands that are selling well?

Abbey: One brand that we like—and that’s selling well—is called Bugatchi; people have come up from Detroit to buy these shirts.  They have decorative flip cuffs, strong colors and patterns…they’re just very nice shirts.


Northern Michigan FashionInterior Design with Alicia Agruda, Trisha Shively, Danielle Holman from Nest

What’s the best way to make my place feel spring-y?

Agruda: People seem to be turn to neutral colors for certain things, and then will add pops of color to add a seasonal feel.  During the winter, the colors people like tend to be darker—more cozy—and by spring the people will bring out their colorful plates and decorations.

Holman: Making easy changes that you can update throughout the year is the best way to keep your house feeling fresh.

What do you guys make of “The Color of the Year?”

Holman (in a skeptical tone): Radiant orchid…

Shively: I think it’s kind of dark—it’s close to lilac.  People still seem to be leaning towards the teals and the blues, and not towards purple.

Agruda: It seems to take a year or two for the colors to catch on.  So probably in two summers, you’ll be wearing purple from head to toe.

For More On Northern Michigan Style, Visit Northern Home & Cottage

Photo(s) by Evan Perry