How to Wear One of Spring's Trickiest Trends: Unexpected Cutouts

Topshop
Photo: Courtesy

Cutouts have ripped through the fashion industry and are as popular as ever—so much so that the sliced detail is nearing "classic" territory. But we can always count on designers to deliver refreshing takes on trends.

Stella McCartney cut into a navy sweater set with geometric shapes (above, left), Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez of Proenza Schouler spliced oversize sweaters that showed just a hint of skin (above, center), and Phoebe Philo of Céline cut symmetrical spheres into the sides of a tunic, giving way to the waist (above, left).

The takeaway here is that even though these looks are sliced and slashed, they aren't too revealing. They maintain a cool, ladylike vibe that can't compete with belly button–baring pieces and side boob–showing silhouettes. To translate the look into your own wardrobe, be sure to create a balanced look by covering up elsewhere—the term "less is more" really applies here. If you're trying out the look with a dress, make sure it's a style that hits no higher than the knee; if you're trying the trend with a crop top, pair it with a voluminous pant, like a dramatic culotte.

Shop the trend (from left): French Connection dress, $148; frenchconnection.com. Elizabeth and James crop top, $265; intermixonline.com. River Island dress, $90; riverisland.com for similar style.

PHOTOS: Learn How to Wear More of Spring's Trickiest Trends

01 of 40

Unexpected Cutouts

Unexpected Cutouts
indigitalimages

Cutouts have been in demand season after season, but this time around, fabrics have been slashed and spliced to create an unexpected peek-a-boo effect. When giving the trend a go, be sure to balance out your look with slouchy silhouettes and cover up elsewhere.

Runway inspiration (L-R): Stella McCartney, Proenza Schouler, Céline

02 of 40

French Connection

French Connection
Courtesy

$148; frenchconnection.com

03 of 40

Elizabeth and James

Elizabeth and James
Courtesy

$265; intermixonline.com

04 of 40

River Island

River Island
Courtesy

$90; riverisland.com for similar style

05 of 40

Lightweight Ponchos

Lightweight Ponchos
indigitalimages

Ponchos popped up everywhere this fall. For spring, the cozy-cool silhouette has been crafted in light-as-air fabrics, making the trusty style a year-round staple—and not to mention, ideal for those transitional months.

Runway inspiration (L-R): Isabel Marant, Salvatore Ferragamo, Chloé

06 of 40

Witchery

Witchery
Courtesy

$170; witchery.com

07 of 40

Tory Burch

Tory Burch
Courtesy

$350; toryburch.com

08 of 40

Oasis

Oasis
Courtesy

$49; oasis.andotherbrands.com

09 of 40

Military-Inspired

Military-Inspired
indigitalimages (2), Imaxtree

Sacai, Chloé, and Marc Jacobs delivered badass renditions of military-inspired looks. To work the style into your wardrobe, shop for pieces that scream "military" in color and detail (read: army green and oversize pockets) but have a feminine fit, like the matching pencil skirt and crop top set you'll find ahead.

Runway inspiration (L-R): Sacai, Chloe, Marc Jacobs

10 of 40

H&M

H&M
Courtesy

$29 (top), hm.com; $25 (skirt), hm.com

11 of 40

Gap

Gap
Courtesy

$80; gap.com

12 of 40

Zara

Zara
Courtesy

$100; zara.com

13 of 40

Lattice Work Detail

Lattice Work Detail
Getty Images (2), indigitalimages

Even though the looks at Altuzarra, Balenciaga, and Balmain are rather racy, the offerings at retail level are much more wearable. Sheer-backed lattice work and strategically placed cutouts on tailored tops and fitted dresses brings this look down to earth.

Runway inspiration (L-R): Altuzarra, Balenciaga, Balmain

14 of 40

BCBG Max Azria

BCBG Max Azria
Courtesy

$98; bcbg.com

15 of 40

Karen Millen

Karen Millen
Courtesy

$399; karenmillen.com

16 of 40

Rebecca Minkoff

Rebecca Minkoff
Courtesy

$298; rebeccaminkoff.com

17 of 40

Colored Trenches

Colored Trenches 
indigitalimages.com

Ditch your traditional camel-colored trench for some color—but don't forgo the traditional route all together. You want to find a topper in a sweet hue with all the details for which a classic trench is known and loved.

Runway inspiration (L-R): Rebecca Taylor, Fausto Puglisi, Stella McCartney

18 of 40

Tibi

Tibi
Courtesy

$675; tibi.com

19 of 40

Pixie Market

Pixie Market
Courtesy

$209; pixiemarket.com

20 of 40

ModCloth

ModCloth
Courtesy

$125; modcloth.com

21 of 40

Extreme Sportswear

Extreme Sportswear
indigitalimages.com

As terms like athleisure take off, things are getting very sporty. To transition the look from the runway into your own wardrobe, choose one sporty piece and team it with something simple.

Runway inspiration (L-R): Alexander Wang, Carven, Lacoste

22 of 40

Topshop

Topshop
Courtesy

$160; topshop.com

23 of 40

H&M

H&M
Courtesy

$60; hm.com

24 of 40

Choies

Choies
Courtesy

$39; choies.com

25 of 40

Fringe Overload

Fringe Overload
indigitalimages

Fringe detailing got a makeover this season. Designers ditched the western vibe and delivered playful looks that feel incredibly modern. To ease into the trend, try a small fringed handbag. If you're more of a risk-taker, go for a sexy fringe skirt. Shop both ahead.

Runway inspiration (L-R): Giambattista Valli, Fendi, Alberta Ferretti

26 of 40

Zara

Zara 
Courtesy

$199; zara.com

27 of 40

Ash

Daring Spring Trends
Courtesy

$265; ash.com

28 of 40

BCBG Max Azria

BCBG Max Azria
Courtesy

$268; bcbg.com

29 of 40

Tiered

Tiered
indigitalimages

On the runway, it was go big or go home. But if the silhouette intimidates you, try the look in small doses by wearing a top with a tiered hem. When wearing a flouncy tiered dress, keep the rest of your look simple with minimal accessories (like a simple strappy sandal and streamlined jewelry).

Runway inspiration (L-R): Cédric Charlier, Lanvin, Honor

30 of 40

Thakoon

Thakoon
Courtesy

$525; farfetch.com

31 of 40

Rebecca Taylor

Rebecca Taylor
Courtesy

$395; rebeccataylor.com

32 of 40

IRO

IRO
Courtesy

$535; net-a-porter.com

33 of 40

Menswear-Inspired

Menswear-Inspired
indigitalimages (2), Getty Images

It's never been easier to master the borrowed-from-the-boys look, as designers continue to turn out expertly crafted separates. For a modern take, steer clear of shoulder pads and matchy-matchy pant suits. To add a touch of femininity, look for pieces with a ladylike edge. Don't be afraid to accessorize with killer heels and a structured handbag.

Runway inspiration (L-R): Vera Wang, Anthony Vacarello, Tibi

34 of 40

H&M

H&M
Courtesy

$50; hm.com

35 of 40

J.Crew

J.Crew
Courtesy

$108; jcrew.com

36 of 40

Reiss

Reiss
Courtesy

$252; reiss.com

37 of 40

Oversize Buttons

Oversize Buttons
indigitalimages.com

Larger-than-life buttons are easier to wear than you may think. The key is to avoid looking cutesy and kitschy. To nail the look, seek out pieces with streamlined silhouettes and modern details.

Runway inspiration (L-R): Derek Lam, Dior, Céline

38 of 40

Zara

Zara
Courtesy

$80; zara.com

39 of 40

Theory

Theory
Courtesy

$425; theory.com

40 of 40

Topshop

Topshop
Courtesy

$68; topshop.com

Was this page helpful?
Related Articles