Spring Fashion Advice from a Friend

With spring just a week away, most of us have the itch to ditch our tired winter clothes and fill our closets with some fresh, spring fashions.

Since I am no style expert, I turned to my lifelong friend and fashionista, Kathleen Shoemaker. She has been my better-dressed friend since the 60s and is the one many women turn to for styles, trends, and timeless fashion advice.

Kathleen and her big brother, Tommy Williams, own and operate Carl’s for Men and Women in my hometown of Mt. Vernon, Illinois. Carl’s has been in business for 47 years. Kathleen has been the fashion expert there for 35 years. Her husband, Ron, has worked alongside her in the men’s department for nearly as long.


Our spring fashion expert, Kathleen Shoemaker, at her beautiful specialty store, Carl’s for Men and Women in Mt. Vernon, Illinois

Kathleen’s Report on Spring Trends for Women ~ “These days, anything goes,” said Kathleen, “but there are some distinct spring trends.”

*Off-shoulder and cold-shoulder blouses with interesting sleeve details abound this spring. (These subtly sexy tops are perfect for women, like me, who feel they no longer have the right to bare arms.)

*Crop pants are still in style, but we’ll also see easy-breezy wide-leg crop pants. Remember gauchos?

*Lace is big, along with all kinds of romantic touches like butterflies, birds, and  florals.

*We’ll see lots of bold and bright hues in the stores, and clean-lined black and white is always in fashion.

*Other trends include organic textures, natural blues, coastal elements, and anything with a beachy boho vibe.

*Making the transition from winter to spring can be a challenge. “Layers are a good bet, and black is always the perfect transition color,” Kathleen said. “Remember you can pop a denim jacket over almost anything.”

Although Kathleen knows plenty about trends, she believes in creating a timeless, lasting wardrobe. She recalls our elegant high school French teacher, Madame Betty Wechsler, as an example.

“She had five quality pieces from Pendleton that she rotated, and she always looked so beautiful,” Kathleen said. I do remember how lovely Madame Wechsler was, but only Kathleen would retain that much fashion detail since the age of 15!

Kathleen’s Timeless Fashion Advice ~ 

1. “You only get one shot at a first impression.”

2. “It’s always better to be overdressed than underdressed.”

3. “Choose quality over quantity – my mom taught me that a long time ago.”

Carl’s for Men and Women is located at 3004 Broadway Street in Mt. Vernon, Illinois. Designers for women include Karen Kane, Joseph Ribhoff, Nic & Zoe, and a complete line of Brighton jewelry, purses, and accessories. If you’re nearby, stop in and tell Kathleen you appreciate her lessons in loveliness.

“Life stands before me like an eternal spring with new and brilliant clothes.” ~ Carl Friedrich Gauss 

Think On These Things ~ Alicia


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