The Great Summer Kiss Off: Keep It Simple Style
By: Sharon Mosley
When summer heats up, it’s time to pare down our wardrobes to the bare essentials. Simple is best when it comes to beating the heat in style. Whether you’re cruising around the Greek isles or answering the phones in a high-rise office, it’s time to lose the fanny packs, the white tennis shoes and the concert T-shirts.
Instead, opt for these versatile summer basics that can be dressed up or down depending on the occasion:
— The little black dress. Yes, even in summer, this classic can prove to be a winner. Dress it up for a gallery opening at the art museum with a chunky cuff bracelet and artsy earrings. Or dress it down for a casual movie date with a funky belt and jeweled wedge sandals. For one of the best new twists on the little black dress, check out designer Eliza Starbuck’s newest “universal, yet one-of-a-kind” version at www.youbrightyoungthings.com.
— The linen shirt. Another winner when it comes to simple summer style. This shirt can go to the office all ruffled down the front and layered over a slim pencil skirt. Or in a longer version, it can be worn over short black leggings with flip-flops for a Saturday morning at the farmers’ market. In tunic styles, these shirts make great swimsuit cover-ups, too. J.Jill has dozens of choices of linen shirts (www.jjill.com).
— White denim jeans. Dark denim may be your go-to item most of the year, but for summer, you can’t miss with these neutral must-have jeans. Whether they’re cropped cargo capris or long and lean trousers, white lightens everything up and goes with everything, too. You can banish those black pants for now. Stock up on Faded Glory white jeans at Wal-Mart for only $12. At these prices, you can buy several pairs.
— The tropical punch. Everyone needs something to brighten up their wardrobe for summer. You may not wear loud prints any other time of the year, but summer is one season when you do not need to be a shrinking violet. Instead, think colorful, huge hibiscus flowers in larger-than-life vibrant prints. Choose one statement piece and see your fashion life blossom. My favorite: Lily Pulitzer’s new vintage “ocean” prints in her Originals collection. (www.lillypulitzer.com)
— The bohemian dress. Summer is the time to let your inner free spirit loose, and the bohemian look is one way to channel that flower child inside with flowing chiffon dresses, skirts and tunics. Cool is the name of the game with this look. But do remember: When wearing clothes on the sheer side, just because it’s hot and humid and 100 degrees in the shade, does not mean you can literally show it ALL off. Critical coverage is still a must. Find some of the best boho looks at www.target.com.
— The long broomstick skirt. There’s just something about these “swishy” skirts that speak summer’s easy, breezy language. They’re perfect for those days or nights when you want a little more coverage and it’s too hot for pants. I have a black silk one that I have worn dozens of times with my favorite “off-the-shoulder” tops, flat, metallic gladiator sandals and long, dangly earrings. It’s one of those “go-to” outfits I love — and a great look for the Moody Blues concert I recently attended! (www.softsurroundings.com).
— A cardigan sweater. The matching “twinset” may be passe, but you can’t beat a lightweight version of this sweater for layering over sleeveless dresses or tank tops on summer evenings at the beach or chilly offices when the air conditioning is turned down low. This year, there are lots of updated variations on the classic cardigan theme from cocoon sweaters to shrugs. Browse the many selections at J.Crew (www.jcrew.com). Or check out the “cozy” cardigans at DKNY (www.dkny.com) for locations.
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