02/04/2013 05:02 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Bring It On: Your Toughest Fashion Question

I love, love, love my job! After all, as an arbiter of fashion, I work in an area of the industry where almost every day someone says -- in no uncertain terms -- "I want to do what you do." "I want to work with you." "I want to be you." That's truly flattering to me.

On the contrary, the more frustrating job-related banter I get quite often comes in the form of a question. Actually, I wish I had a dollar for every well-intentioned, fashion-loving soul that has asked it. The question may sound simple, and certainly not mean-spirited, but I promise, it's frustrating nonetheless. "Arlene, what's new this season?"

This query is tossed inconsequentially my way as if the entire season could be expressed in one single word, one elegant thought or one short paragraph! I doubt it. And every time this question is posed, even as seasoned (code word for "old") as I am, I struggle to compose my thoughts, hoping to deliver a definitive yet concise answer. It is usually my off-duty mind that begins to scramble as the assertive tap on the shoulder deters my reach for a gallon of milk or my search for the perfect greeting card. I smile but silently ask myself, "What is the new next?" and "Can I express it in a nutshell?" OMG. My mind goes blank.

Well, forget all of that, and make note that this season, I am ready! Bring it on, sister. I am all set, super prepped and primed to take on even the most aggressive inquirer. I am ready to commit to one big, beautiful idea -- prints.

From extra bold stripes and updated tropicals to pumped-up paisleys and power flowers, it is an awesome array of prints that have captured my attention. Collaged, creatively clashed, digitized or blurred -- the options are endless.

So, I am happy to report that last night when stopping for a quick refill at the gas station, I was willing and able to share this abbreviated, but poignant fashion message (prints) with a lady at the next pump. Come to find out afterward that her gracious attempt to make eye contact with me was simply an effort to ask if I had the correct time. Oh, well. I'm still ready.