By Summer Stanley

With most traces of winter weather behind us, we can finally pack away some of the bulkier pieces in our wardrobes to make way for the fresh picks we’ve been longing to try on this spring. Ladies, this season we’re lighter and brighter.

We’re out with the old and in with the new. We’re ready to take a break and take a breath. The Virginia Spring Races, U.S. Open Polo Championship and Virginia Gold Cup are upon us, and if you’re wondering what to wear, here are some ideas to help you find the match to your spring style.

Dressing on Point (To-Point) It almost seems too easy to suggest floral prints as a starting point. Like every spring before this one, our tops and dresses have been garden party worthy, but one could say they’re in full bloom right now, even popping up on shoes and embroidered on jackets and accessories. So, gather your bouquet because marigold, sunflower and daffodil yellows are having a moment in the sun — soak it up. Leafy greens really stand out against a backdrop of inky blues, navy and clean, classic white. Corals and pinks pack a punch in any saturation, any print and any style.

DESIGNER SPOTLIGHT: Loudoun County photographer and artist Rebekah Murray decided the perfect dress shouldn’t be so hard to find. Virginia Dare Dress Co. was born when Murray designed a line of graceful and versatile dresses to bring simplistic beauty into our everyday lives and adventures. The signature collection has a feminine and romantic appeal that works especially well this time of year.

Where to hunt:

“The Camilla, Emma and Samantha Dress” $135-$175; virginiadaredresses.com.

“Sweet Simplicity Flowered Mini Handbag” best-selling 2-in-1 bag, $49; Lou Lou Boutiques; Open Monday-Saturday 10 a.m.- 5:30 p.m. and Sunday 11 a.m.- 5:30 p.m.; 9 E. Washington St., Middleburg, VA 20117; 540-687-8702; loulouboutiques.com.

“Greenhill Blossom Jacquard Dress” $235; draperjames.com. Friends of Middleburg’s Greenhill Winery & Vineyards will note the name of this lovely dress by Draper James, Reese Witherspoon’s clothing brand.

“Marigold Mod Shift Dress” $35; Victoria Beckham for Target, available April 9; target.com.

“Off the Shoulder Floral Maxi Dress” $170; whitehouseblackmarket.com.

“Coral Oasis Dress” $159 and “Wild Flower Culotte Jumpsuit” $139; anntaylor.com.

Ann Taylor Coral Oasis Dress (left) and Wild Flower Culotte Jumpsuit in navy (right). Photo credit Summer Stanley

Ann Taylor Coral Oasis Dress (left) and Wild Flower Culotte Jumpsuit in navy (right). Photo credit Summer Stanley.

Jet-Setting Style

The botanical print trend has me ready to pack my bags for a tropical escape. You’re not that far from Palm Beach with these vibes on everything including skirts, shorts, blouses and dresses.

Tassels complete these looks on your bag or jewelry. If Lilly Pulitzer is your thing — raise your glass of Veuve Clicquot and rejoice! Your season has arrived.

Not planning a trip south, but want the experience? Get your tickets for the 14th annual “Tickled Pink” mother-daughter fashion show and tea Sunday, May 21. Benefiting Make-A-Wish Mid-Atlantic, the event is hosted by The Fairmont in Washington, D.C.’s Georgetown and partnered with Pink Palm at Bethesda Row, a Lilly Pulitzer Signature Store.

DESIGNER SPOTLIGHT: SigAshop co-owners and local designers Jennifer Gray Calcagno and Brittany Hartz have been hard at work to bring us more of their equestrian-bohemian styles just in time for warm weather.

Model Rebekah Pizana, wearing SigAshop maxi skirt and with polo pony Nutella in Juno Beach, Florida. Photo courtesy of Angie Myers, hair and makeup by Bridgette Leah.

Model Rebekah Pizana, wearing SigAshop maxi skirt and with polo pony Nutella in Juno Beach, Florida. Photo courtesy of Angie Myers, hair and makeup by Bridgette Leah.

“Leaving on a Jet Plane,” designed by Gray Calcagno, is the newest resort wear dress collection in which each piece is named after a place that inspired her. Just a sneak peek of the Santorini Pegasus printed styles, which are reminiscent of the island’s cliff-clinging blue and white facades, and I can’t wait to see more. We can look for a new tunic collection, designed by Hartz, also set to land this spring.

Where to hunt:

“Santorini Pegasus Baby Doll Dress and Maxi Skirt” $118-$179; coming soon to shopsigashop.com You can also now find SigAshop carried in the retail shops of The International Polo Club Palm Beach; 3667 120th Ave. S, Wellington, FL 33414; 561-204-5687; ipc.coth.com.

“Tropical Equestrian Dress” by Rönner, $500; Tri-County Feeds, Fashions, Finds; Open Monday-Friday 9 a.m.- 6 p.m., Saturday 9 a.m.- 5 p.m. and Sunday Noon – 5 p.m.; 7408 John Marshall Highway, Marshall, VA 20115; 540-364-1891; tricountyfeeds.com.

“Leighton Dress” $52; sold by online boutique graciejamesclothing.com of Ashburn, Virginia. Look for the darling pink fashion truck, too! Save the date for their official grand opening event with shopping and giveaways planned for Saturday, June 10, 2 – 6 p.m. with details to come.

“Villa Fronds Pants” $118; tommybahama.com.

“Tiered Halter Maxi Dress” $80; nyandcompany.com.

Learning the Ropes

Stripes are another one of those tried and true closet staples heading into summer, but mix them with another element of visual interest for more wind in your sails. Try on-trend statement sleeves, such as peplum, ruffle or bell sleeves, for a spring forward look. Tory Burch’s spring/summer collection “The New Nautical” reminds us that American coastal prep style is all about an updated use of stripes and rope patterns, in a Jackie Kennedy and J.Crew kind of way.

DESIGNER SPOTLIGHT: Gainesville, Virginia, jewelry designer and former Army officer Tricia Driscoll owns Knotty Origami, a jewelry business grounded in knotting, folding and braiding arts. Her work incorporates her Korean heritage, as well as skills she learned in the military. Driscoll also provides small group instruction in knotting and several other jewelry techniques.

Knotty Origami "Abundance Knot" necklace. Photo courtesy of Knotty Origami Photo-courtesy of Knotty Origami and Tricia Driscoll.

Knotty Origami “Abundance Knot” necklace. Photo courtesy of Knotty Origami Photo-courtesy of Knotty Origami and Tricia Driscoll.

You can find Driscoll’s designs online, in Northern Virginia trunk shows or boutiques such as Scout & Molly’s of One Loudoun, and as far away as Northern Ireland. Some of her more exclusive pieces are on display at The Byrne Gallery in Middleburg, where she is showcased alongside other artists several times a year for commissioned work. Each year, Knotty Origami sponsors a different nonprofit to benefit at-risk youth by providing free jewelry-making workshops, supplies and donating 5 percent of that year’s profits.

Where to hunt:

“Abundance Knot” $90 and “Ellipse Knot” $90; knotty-origami.com. These best-selling necklaces are sure to make a statement with your t-shirts and dresses year-round!

“Quartz Tassel Chain Necklace” and “Beaded Tassel Long Necklace,” each with handmade tassels and ranging $78-$98; knotty-origami.com.

“Pier Dress” $375 and “Isle Rope Dress” $350; toryburch.com.

“Stafford Stripe Dress” $250; draperjames.com.

“Pop Stripe Dress” $158; jcrew.com and $185; draperjames.com.

Be sure to hunt and shop Tully Rector, now carrying a line from Ramy Brook, along with favorites like Veronica Beard, Milly and Alice + Olivia. Tully Rector, 13 E. Washington St, Middleburg, VA 20117; 540-687-5858. Don’t forget your hat, and see you at the races! ML

Pink Palm at Bethesda Row

Monday- Saturday 10a.m. – 6p.m. Sunday Noon – 6p.m.

4867 Bethesda Ave., Bethesda, MD 20814

303-913-9191 | bethesdarow.com/pink-palm

Scout & Molly’s of One Loudoun

Monday-Friday 11 a.m. – 8 p.m. Sunday Noon – 6 p.m.

20360 Exchange St., Ashburn, VA 20147

703-858-5600 | oneloudoun.scoutandmollys.com