Mind, Body and Summer
By: SHARON MOSLEY
There’s no time like summer to make us sweat … sweat the small stuff, like what to wear when we’d rather just strip down and hibernate indoors for a few months. But the hottest months may be the best time to focus on what really matters — finding the clothes that fit and flatter our bodies no matter what time of the year. Here are a few tips for making the most of summer and the big reveal.
–First, make a list of your assets. Even if it’s a mental list that you have filed away over the years, most of us know what works and what doesn’t when we take a twirl in front of that dressing room mirror. In warmer months when the layers get peeled away, it’s even more important to play up the positives. Great legs? Take the short cut. Heavy arms? Try a blouson-sleeve tunic. Need an updated swimsuit cover-up? Wrap up in a silky kimono. Wanna wear a dress? An A-line silhouette is a good bet for a variety of shapes and sizes.
–Then get down to the essentials. That doesn’t necessarily mean that a tank top and capris needs to be your official uniform of the summer, but summer wardrobes do tend to give us much more freedom to make the most of slimming down ourselves and our closets. Instead of baggy, tent-like tops, choose more form-fitting designs with built-in stretch that gently define the waist; steer clear of billowing wide-leg pants that just make you look even wider. You can still keep your cool and loosen up in the summer, but choose clothes that fit and don’t swallow you whole.
–Lighten up. The fabrics we wear in summer are critical. Natural fabrics like cotton and linen have long been fashion favorites; but man-made blends are making strides. Jersey is one of my all-time summer favorites because it doesn’t wrinkle. Color is another way to keep cool, too. Ditch the all black routine for now, and experiment with brighter hues and eye-catching prints and patterns.
–Skip the frou-frou. Sticky weather is not the best time to just keep piling it on. All those excessive embellishments like sequins, embroidery, tassels and ruffles that might be the stars of a holiday party may not be at their best in the heat and humidity. They will just weigh you down more. Ditto for wooly scarves and heavy metal jewelry. Save these over-the-top extras for more festive occasions coming up this fall.
–Acknowledge the years. If you are still trying to squeeze into that bikini from high school and 10 years later you still find yourself stuffing it into your beach bag, you definitely need a reality check. Or if you’ve gone through a major life change like pregnancy or illness that affects your clothing size, then it’s the perfect time to reevaluate your wardrobe, period. Don’t be afraid to reinvent your whole outlook on style. After all, a vacation may be just the thing you and your closet deserve.