Finally, the Vernal Equinox! … Are You Ready?

As of yesterday, it is now officially spring. And as hard as I’m trying to believe it, I’m really struggling here; I mean, it was snowing on my way home from work yesterday — hello! Talk about ironic… But anyhow, if we can get past that, and the truth that it was 30 degrees out this morning, then maybe we can appreciate the fact that — according to the calendar — spring really is here. Certain things always come to mind when this happens: warm weather, freshness in the air that makes everyone happier and more cheerful, and spring fashion, of course. How fabulous is it getting dressed in the morning without having to pile on a whole gang of layers and wool sweaters? And then there are the bright, refreshing colors, airy lightweight clothing, and shoes that allow our feet to breathe — and show off our pedicures — that we finally get to indulge in.

Even though you can’t cruise around the Valley in warm weather duds just yet — or leave the house without a heavy coat, for that matter— it’s never too early to start shopping, right? Perhaps you are taking a cruise soon or, for all of you lucky college students, flying away to some tropical island for Spring Break; or maybe you’re just really excited about replacing your turtlenecks and sweatshirts with new, sundresses and short-sleeved shirts. Before you completely fill your closet with a heap of floral and white (which are looks you’ll definitely want lots of), why not throw in a few pieces of madras, and do the “preppy look” every once in a while?

Cape Madras, the Maine-based fashion house of the colorful, preppy patchwork clothing, has a beautiful spring/summer line out now. For men and women, they’ve got a whole range of fun styles — think mini skirts, dresses, cropped pants, and Bermuda shorts — in a dozen new colors and patterns (in sizes 0 to 16 for women and sizes 28 to 44 for men). Made from 100 percent cotton, the ’60s- and ’70s-inspired collection is hand-woven, -dyed, and -sewn in Madras, India. Designs like those featured below, are available on their Web site and at more than 400 retailers nation-wide.

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Hotchkiss Bermuda Shorts, $87


Crescent Mini Mini Skirt, $84


Lenox Short Shorts, $84


Crescent Pearl’s Dress, $121


Lenox Crop Pant, $88

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