(Photo Credit: FashionBar Chicago’s Facebook)

(Photo Credit: FashionBar Chicago’s Facebook)

When the temperatures just nip at 50 degrees, more than a few Chicagoans become positively Scandanavian, donning sun block, tee-shirts and shorts sans shivers and a obstinate attitude as if to say, “Yeah, it’s almost summer, dude.” Ease into spring with class via sure-bet fashion advice from an expert who has both eyes and a finger on the pulse of the latest trends.

Tony Long
FashionBar Chicago, LLC

Founder and owner of FashionBar Chicago, a fashion strategy and consulting firm, Tony Long has not only styled men and women for decades, but he has collaborated with fashion designers on seasonal collections on color, form, fit, textiles and cut. Long says that fashion is the core of social interaction, so get to know your body as well as how various techniques and tricks can improve your look and entire attitude through fashion and style.

White Sneakers 

OK, so native Chicagoans call them “gym shoes,” but you know what were talking about. The trend born in the early 1960s – white canvas Keds – is back in a big way spring 2015 with brands such as K-Swiss and Bally. Long says, “White sneakers add a new freshness to spring. They can be worn with bright color, neutrals or pastels.” Your gnarled, stiletto-tortured toes will say “Yay!” to the comfy, cool footwear trend.


Dennis Hopper in “Easy Rider” was the essence of cool in the 1960s with his suede fringed jacket. Like all fashion, it was purely derivative of the garb that Plains Native Americans created and 1920s flappers claimed for themselves. Fringe was all over Ralph Lauren Polo and Mara Hoffman 2015 runway shows in New York City. Long advises,”Fringe may seem difficult to wear, but it’s slimming and adds movement that’s ready for spring! Fringe skirts, dresses (hemline) are the best way to wear fringe. Scarfs, bags jackets are other ways to add fringe to your wardrobe.”


“Sheer is all over the runways for spring,” the fashion expert reminds us. “From evening wear to swimsuits,  sheer fabrics can be incorporated into any look.” Take a cue from Kris Jenner, who showed up at Chanel’s spring 2015 haute couture show in sheer pants. Whatever body part you rock the most – torso, arms, legs, belly – cover it in a sheer fabric. Don’t be shy – it’s easy to let your shoulders peek out from under sheer fabric without a hint of being tacky for trends’ sake.

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Bohemian Chic

Yes, the 1960s are being riffed upon yet again, but this time it’s in terms of light, long dresses or maxis that are made out of cotton, linen or rayon. Long prompts that the look “can be cool, breezy and add elegance to any evening or day.” Your legs can go an extra day without a shave! Even hair at New York Fashion Week featured natural Bohemian waves on models wearing interestingly patterned frocks that recalled the Summer of Love.

Midriff and crop tops

Get back into plank position because belly-baring shirts are tops as winter thaws into spring and are yet another way to add spring style to your wardrobe. Some are structured and other stretchy and the sleeves are all lengths. The CEO of FashionBar Chicago says, “It allows for the breeze to cool the skin with a little sex appeal.”

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Jacky Runice has been a columnist with the Daily Herald Chicago since grunge music and flannel was the new black. Her fingers and gray matter have been busy as travel editor of Reunions Magazine; penning a column that was syndicated around the nation via Tribune Media Services. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.