According to the calendar, spring is here! So fashion lovers, what trends can we expect on the fashion forecast? It’s time to ditch the sweaters and salt-stained boots, and make way for the new season.

InStyle Magazine’s Fashion Editor Subira Shaw and Beauty Director Amy Synnott-D’Annibale point out that leather is all over this season. Designers are now treating leather as if it were a fabric. They are dyeing it into punchy colors and cutting it in feminine shapes, and it is really becoming very versatile. We are seeing leather t-shirts, mini-skirts, dresses and even shorts.

People Stylewatch’s fashion director, Kate Dimmock, shared her insight on the latest fashion trends for the coming season.

Trend: Cropped Top with skirt
The cropped top has been making an appearance since the end of last year. Now it is being paired with skirts in matching sets so it is like a dress, but with the midriff bared. It is a fun trend, and a new take on the dress. This geometric silhouette can easily work for day or night. Pair it with unfussy pieces like this great top, and stand out accessories.

Pleats are back in a big way this season. Look for skinny pleats – a finer, more delicate line that is feminine, yet flirty with its movement. We are loving pleats on everything from dresses to tops.

Bright florals stand out and look great on pants this spring. It’s a fresh point to take you out of the cold and into spring. We’ve paired it with a great white perforated moto jacket that adds a bit of chic to this sweet print. This is one of our favorite combos!

Trend: Pop of Color
What is spring without a big hit of color? Embrace the color flame. It’s literally a hot trend right now. Go with bluer reds if you are fair and orange-reds if you have darker skin. Of course, you can always incorporate just a POP of this color, but when you wear a long line of color head-to-toe, it creates a visually slimming effect.

Orange is the New Black didn’t realize they were predicting a major New York Fashion Week color moment when they dreamed up the show’s title. But they sure did – as the fiery hue has been spotted all over the spring 2014 ready-to-wear shows, making its way from to its clothes, bags, and shoes.

Black and white is probably THE hottest trend this season. There is something so appealing about clean, black-and-white, especially when it is organized into figure flattering planes. This look is modern cool, and assertive. It also hits on the tuxedo/suiting trend that is happening right now as well. Stick to only black-and-white, no need to introduce another color – that will only lessen the impact. Shoes can be black, white or metallic.

Revamp your closet
Here are the 10 items you need to get your closet warm-weather ready. Consider these necessary for your spring wardrobe.

1. The Tiny Lady Bag
Brahmin Ophelia Shoulder Bag, $345;
Marc Jacobs Grand Waxed Calf Mini Metropolitan, $1,595;
Coach Mini Borough Bag, $398;

2. The Trench Coat
A.P.C. New Classic Trench Coat, $635;
Smythe Water Resistant Trench, $695;
Seal Trench Coat, $750;

3. The High-Waisted Jean
Topshop Moto Raw Hem High Waisted Jeans, $80;
Mango High Waist London Jeans, $69.99;
ASOS Ridley High Waist Ultra Skinny Jean, $56.46;

4. The White Shirt Dress
Mulberry Cotton Shirt Dress, $950;
Rosie Assoulin Exposed-Back Midi Shirt Dress, $1,795;
Tory Burch Carolina Dress, $350;

5. The Striped Something
Harvey Faircloth Striped Mini Wrap Skirt, $375;
Saint James Naval II, $130;
Chloé Striped Cotton-Jersey Dress , $1,295;

6. The Ballet Flat
Anniel Ballerinas, $200;
YOOX Pretty Ballerinas, $109;
Salvatore Ferragamo Iconic Ballerina Flat, $450;

7. The Moto Jacket
Coach Slim Leather Moto Jacket, $898;
Papin Leather Biker Jacket, $650;

8. The Lightweight Sweater
Chinti & Parker New Mosaic Sweater, $545;
Vanessa Bruno Long Sleeve Sweater, $353;
Equipment Roland Crew with Contrast Buffalo Check, $248;

9. The Sundress
Carven Printed Cotton Dress, $890;
Joie Carlissa Dress, $298;
Moschino Floral-print Embroidered Organza Drop-Waist Dress, $1,695;

10. The Baseball Hat
J. Crew Jacquard Baseball Cap, $34.50;
Fresh Floral Baseball Cap, $8.80;
Fendi Hat, $135;

Ashley D. Diggs

Special to the AFRO