Virginia Beach fashion plays tricks on the season – Virginian-Pilot

Stiletto heels and skirts aren’t just for city streets anymore.

Summer clothes aren’t just for languid summer afternoons, either. Local women are finding ways to show off their flowing, summery fashions even on chilly spring days by combining them with cardigans, tights and boots.

It’s fun to observe what people wear, and I’ve always found Virginia Beach particularly interesting because this area sets its own fashion trends. So, I recently set out to observe what people are wearing in parks and on the Boardwalk this spring.

What I learned is that the feminine look is definitely in style. Dresses and skirts of all styles and lengths, ranging from above-the-knee pencil skirts to romantic long skirts and whimsical sundresses, are apparent even in outdoor venues such as parks. I also noticed that, while jeans are still in fashion, they’re often combined with flowery, mid-thigh-length tops and decorative shoulder bags.

For years, locals have shown off their summer clothes on the Boardwalk, the beaches, and the parks, but this year I’ve noticed an ongoing Easter Parade of fashion that’s more eclectic than ever. Sundresses are being worn with knee-length sweaters or quilted jackets, and flannel shirts are worn over lacy camisoles for a kind of rustic chic appearance.

Flip flops and sneakers are still being worn, but outdoor footwear for women also includes cowboy boots or high heels. I even observed some women walking across grassy areas of Red Wing Park in stilettos, which must be a good balancing exercise on uneven terrain.

For some, clothes are all about fun and creativity. April Matienzo of Virginia Beach and Cat Reed of Portsmouth wore colorful kimonos to the Cherry Blossom Festival, held April 1 at Red Wing Park, although they were not participating in the performances.

“We just thought that it would be cool to dress up,” said Reed, who added that a friend had bought the dresses back in Japan.

The spring colors range from bright red-and-yellow prints and patterns to all shades of pastel. Yellow seems to be particularly popular this year, but all shades of pink, plum and purple are also apparent.

Sun umbrellas and wide-brimmed hats, which I first noticed locally a couple of summers ago, seem back in style this year, and women seem to have adopted them as a fashion accessory as well as a sun-protection device.

Little girls, in particular, seem determined to dress up. So far, I haven’t noticed quite as many princess costumes or tutus this year as in previous years, but even when they’re dressed in their everyday street clothes, little girls want to be pretty.

“This is just what she wants,” said Stella Musgrove of her daughter, Sarah, who was daintily dressed in a pastel-colored dress on one recent day. “Right now, she’s super-girlie.”


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