How to dress, and dress well, for Easter


Easter and fashionable attire have long been sibling staples of American fashion culture.

Granted, the looks have changed with the times.

For instance, fanciful Easter bonnets were once considered a must. They even inspired composer Irving Berlin to write about a girl’s eye-catching chapeau in “Easter Parade.” (“In your Easter bonnet, with all the frills upon it/ You’ll be the grandest lady in the Easter parade.”)

Gloves also were once considered a must for every woman’s fashion attire on Easter. Vogue magazine editorial spreads from the mid-20th century spotlighted dozens of ways to play up the charm of an elegant pair of elbow-length gloves.

No matter the decade, however, there has been a running theme for Easter. The fashions for the holiday necessitated a respect for the holiday and the church. And the outfits needed to be appropriate to wear in front of family members who may span across several generations.

“I always love to dress up on holidays,” said Wolcott’s Alyssa Anderson, who has worked as a stylist and is currently Miss Watertown. “On Easter Sunday, whether I am heading to church, or my aunt’s house for Easter dinner, I get glammed up, curl my hair and put on a trendy spring dress or jumpsuit.”

“Easter is such a great holiday to bring out your best spring outfits for family celebrations and church events,” said Jada Nicola from The Girl From Connecticut blog (

“The first two things that come to mind when I think about Easter dinner outfits are pastels and florals,” said Waterbury fashion stylist Hannah Vitarelli when asked about fashion tips for the holiday.

Caron Reilly, a MyStylist at Macy’s in the Westfarms Mall in West Hartford, said, for this year’s Easter trends, she has seen a “sea with hues of blue and white, (a) combination (that) creates a feeling of coastal cool, while an elevated palette of pastels and metallic add an air of sophistication.”

“Florals and pastels are perfect for Easter Day,” said Anderson, “and seem to be pretty popular.”

“Pastels are even showing up on our spring outerwear in trench coats and gorgeous pastel spring sweaters, which is great when you’re not sure what the weather has in store for this time of year,” said Macy’s Reilly.

Anderson also said, “Easter is the perfect time to play with color.”

In terms of silhouettes, Reilly said Macy’s “women’s ready-to-wear (at Macy’s) is bringing in long feminine flowy dresses. Maxi and midi length dresses are all the rage and can elevate an outfit from day to night by switching a jean to jacket to a leather jacket.”

Weather-wise, New England is known to be temperamental around spring. The mornings are chilly and the afternoons balmy.

“The temperature may be unpredictable, but that should not deter you from pulling out a dress or spring-like outfit,” said Anderson. “Since we’re in New England, I am a huge fan of layering, especially when the weather is not cooperative.

To anchor the layering and to prepare for rising temperatures, Vitarelli said “a sun dress would be perfect whether you will be attending church, going over your family’s, or out to dinner.”

“For those who prefer to wear pants,” said Vitarelli. “I have been seeing so many floral jumpsuits this season in all colors.”

“At the moment,” said Nicola. “I am loving jumpsuits. What makes them a great piece to wear for this holiday is their versatility for casual and formal events. You can easily add another layering piece such as a blazer or cardigan to make your outfit more respectful for church.”

“For the ultimate combination of power and femininity, try the pastel suit,” said Reilly. “Add a breezy top to layer for colder mornings that turn into warmer afternoons.”

To be on top of the trends for Easter, Vitarelli also said you shouldn’t hesitate at looking toward the trends of the past. “I am a lover of all things vintage.”

So, just maybe, those bonnets and gloves in great grandma’s steamer trunk just might come in handy after all.