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7. Long, Loose Braids
Bet you were wondering where the whole "farm girl" thing was going to come into play, weren't you? Well, here goes. It's rare that a single look in a runway show can set off a thousand imitators anymore, but it does happen—take Isabel Marant's sold-out-instantly studded ankle boots, for example. It's even more rare, however, that a hairstyle can so take a community by storm, and yet that's exactly what the loosely-knotted side braids that all the models wore in Alexander Wang's Spring 2010 runway show did. It's a little bit sexy-milkmaid-meets-girl-next-door, and a little bit I-can't-afford-to-get-my-hair-done-anymore. Either way, it's dead sexy, and the look has since spread everywhere from Hollywood red carpets (Rachel McAdams rocked a braid at the premiere of Sherlock Holmes) to commercial campaigns (Zara's Spring 2010 advertisements feature a model with just such a messy, side-swept 'do). If you've got the locks to play with, by all means give it a try—especially on the aforementioned "dirty hair" days. If you don't, we'd recommend some cheap clip-in hair—it sounds cheesy but more and more gals use them for just these sorts of playful occasions.
8. Hats, Hair-Pieces, Bows, and Ties
We're not sure if we love this trend because we secretly fantasize about some of the outfits we wore in elementary school (velvet bows and plaid skirts, so dope!) or if we're more Team Blair than Team Serena in Gossip Girl, but we're ecstatic to find hairpieces making a comeback. It really started with the oversize bows at the Marc by Marc Jacobs runway show (So cheery! How could you not feel good about life with a big ol' pink bow on your head?) and evolved into all manner of artistic headwear—from fan-like feathers to origami-like sculptures. Anthropologie and Urban Outfitters are great resources for headgear both flouncy and architectural (and at reasonable prices, to boot). For the truly devoted, Lower East Side-based Yestadt Millinery is the real deal: custom-designed pieces from ostrich-bedecked headbands to ruffled turbans to straw-and-ribbon cocktail toppers.
9. Flats and Low Heels
Lovers of height, have no fear: There will be platform sandals aplenty this spring (some even worn with socks for the cooler days, if you've got the gumption to try the look), but it seems the pendulum is finally starting its journey back to slightly more modest footwear. And if you've heard the one about high heels in a recession, you know economic recovery can't be far behind. Whether it's the end result of two years of aching feet or the desire to showcase eye-catching spring fashion paired with something less, well, distracting... who cares. We're just relieved flats are back, and look forward to snapping up some studded ballet slippers or low-heeled sandals we can pair with our cut-off jean shorts and full-skirted vintage floral dresses. Sigerson Morrison and Loeffler Randall have consistently brilliant rosters of simple, wearable flats and low wedge heels on offer, or take a peek at Opening Ceremony's in-house label for colorful sandals and lace-up styles.