Hop into Spring in Colorful Easter and Passover Styles

Filed under: Holidays, Fashion, Gear Guides: Babies, Gear Guides: Toddlers & Preschoolers, Gear Guides: Big Kids, Gear Guides: Tweens

A classic dress and blazer and tie, such as these styles from Bella Bliss, are always in style for spring formal occasions. Credit: Bella Bliss

After months of cold and gray, it's only natural that parents -- and kids -- are ready to celebrate the Easter and Passover holidays with some much-needed lightness and color.

We're talking turquoise. And fuchsia. Yellow. And pink. Oh, and butterflies, flowers and perfect little ruffles. You see, this season's spring special occasion styles are like a breath of fresh air that have us (bunny) hopping with fashion joy.

"Easter is the first opportunity for breaking out of the winter doldrums and lightening up our wardrobes," says Mary Beth Tirrell, co-founder of FashionPlaytes, a custom design studio aimed at tween girls. "Expect to see lace accents and trims that add texture, fun and flounce on formal, as well as casual, garments.She tells ParentDish that T-shirts trimmed with tulle and lace -- paired with a sweet skirt -- offer a new and modern spin on the traditional Easter or Passover frock.

"Embellishments like chains and charms will also add to the frou-frou, girlish look that will be very popular this season," Tirrell says.

Parents also are opting for bold colors and styles that stand out, says Yolanda Huang, owner of Pinkprincess.com, a site specializing in formal wear for children.

"The styles are less childlike and going for a tween look," she tells ParentDish. "They also like patterns on the dresses, such as butterflies, as long as it's not too busy."

Bella Bliss's bunny cardigan for Easter? Eggs-actly! Credit: Bella Bliss

Tirrell is seeing a pattern trend, as well.

"Prints this spring are bold and splashy -- a welcome sunny departure after a stormy winter," she says. "Ombre blends will continue forward, with surprisingly bright color spectrums like coral and passion fruit purple. Nudes and neutrals will also be pumped up and juxtaposed against splashy neons."

When it comes to infants and toddlers, however, parents are sticking with a traditional look, Huang says, with light pink being the most popular color choice.

For those who prefer a softer side to their formal wear, Lisa McLean, owner of Bella Bliss, a children's clothing line popular among celebrity moms including Gwyneth Paltrow and Brooke Shields, says simple smocking and soft palettes are great options for formal occasions.

"All-white dresses with a splash of color in a cardigan or hair bow is always a favorite," she tells ParentDish. "Our favorite ... the smocked daisy dress or white pique button back with either the cashmere blend cardi for a bigger girl or a bunny cardi for a younger girl."

For boys, McLean suggests a seersucker blazer paired with khaki pants.

"Wear with a tie for church, or put a polo shirt under it for brunch," she says.

And what about accessories, such as the traditional Easter bonnet?

"For Southern states, big hats are in," Huang says. "Ballet tutu shoe styles are also still very popular, and most are getting white or ivory still. Frilly socks are also in demand."

Tirrell agrees. "The girlie trend of ruffles, rosettes and shirring will be translated and picked up from garments onto bags and shoes this season," Tirrell says. "Handbags will become smaller and more structured for a proper, ladylike look."

Five trends for Easter/Passover fashions from FashionPlaytes co-founder Mary Beth Tirrell:

1. Feminine details: Ruffles, chiffon and lace are important trends for spring 2010, and perfect for a formal affair. Embrace her inner girliness, and go for an ensemble with all the frills.

2. Floral prints: Have a little Bohemian princess on your hands? Opt for a '70s chic frock with a floral pattern, or perhaps a solid color with a fun flower appliqué.

3. Denim: This fabric is everywhere this season, so why not top off her outfit with an adorable denim jacket? Not only will it add a casual edge, she can sport it to school all season too.

4. Affordable accessories: On a tight budget this year? Glam up a dress she's already got with a statement-making headband or a belt with bling.

5. Have fun! If you're not attending a formal church service or event, ditch the formal frills for leggings and a cotton top.

Pink dresses and bunnies? Spring is here. Credits: Pinkprincess.com, D. Portault

A pink and white dress, such as this style from pinkprincess.com, $63.99, remains a spring classic. And the perfect Easter accessory: Chocolate bunnies are nice, but one you can hug and love? That's worth an Easter basket full of goodies. D. Portault's bunny family is available as a set or individually, small, $95, medium, $145, large, $300. Visit dporthaultparis.com for shopping information.

Related: Fun and Easy Passover Crafts

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