Jean genie. A look from Banana Republic's spring collection that is in stores now. Photo: Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images

Spring has sprung! Yesterday marked the release of two exciting new collections from mass retailers Banana Republic and Uniqlo. Read a first hand shopping report!

First up at B.R., the seasonal offerings included a new selection of jeans dubbed "The New Blues." The washes were inspired by everything from faded summer skies to Jasper John's iconic paintings. I loved the fact that there were not only so many jeans to choose from - seven total including three different types of skinnies! - but also a great assortment of items to pull the looks together. Chambray and military shirts, striped drape vests, colorful silk scarves, great belts and shoes were arranged in the same area to give the section a true Americana feel and provide lots of stylish options.

As for the jeans themselves, I tried on a couple pairs. The boyfriend didn't work on my petite frame (I think that generally you have to be tall for the slouchiness factor to look good instead of, er, dumpy). The regular skinny was nice, but -quelle surprise!- this fashion editor couldn't resist the allure of the trendy ultimate skinny - in a dark wash. They are stretchy and lightweight and will serve me well come summertime.

At nearby Uniqlo, the new +J spring collection was also on display. For those of you who are unaware, this is fashion demi-god (and notoriously guarded designer) Jil Sander's brainchild. Last season, there were men and women lining up around the block for hours to get their hands on the minimalist goods.

Once again Sander has delivered serious staples for the masses. Outerwear in the form of trench coats came in a variety of cuts and colors, while anoraks and Japanese denim jackets also lined the racks. There was a surplus of button down shirts - striped, white, or in soft palettes such as lilac, yellow, or mint. Cardigans abounded too, some in cotton, others in cashmere.

Unlike the previous collection, I'm not sure that I would wait in a long line to shop this, but anyone with minimalist leanings and/or a need to spruce up their office attire should do well here.

Have you seen the new collections yet? What do you think? Let us know and then check out which actress is adding some extra spice to a major designer's current denim campaign.