Summer Style Guide

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L’été is upon us! Perhaps not according to the calendar, but certainly with the toasty weather we’ve been enjoying lately. Seattle has been sunshine-y for more days in a row now than I can remember. A little distressing, honestly, as some are suffering slight rain withdrawals.

I don’t know if anyone else feels similarly, but I always find making a very sudden wardrobe shift (As I have since it went from 55 degrees with endless rain to the sweaty high seventies) sort of awkward if not down right frustrating. I didn’t spend a lot of time this spring thinking about what I’d wear this summer, and thus made a lot of impulsive decisions recently when I spied all the summer 2014 goodies out in stores. Summer wear can be tricky for some people, but an absolute delight for others. There’s a lot more variety in the colors, patterns, fabrics, etc of summer pieces, but the more complex the clothes- the bigger the challenge it is to put together a decent outfit.

Summer is the season where I see more disastrous yet highly- thought- out ensembles than any other time of year. You can tell people are stoked to get all dressed up in their summer finery, but managed to make a few mistakes amid all the excitement. Namely ignoring the age old saying “less is more.” Your crop top + high-low skirt + kimono + fedora + ray bans + gladiator sandals + body chain get up is a little excessive, my dear. Summer is the perfect opportunity to keep it simple and make one bold piece pop. You can get away with more colors, festive jewelry, and don’t have to hide behind a coat as you do on colder days. Just remember to pace yourself. One at a time. If you bought a giant sun hat, rock that sun hat- just not with an additional heap of accessories. You guys get it.

 

FOR SUMMER 2014, EVERYONE NEEDS:

1) Shorts. Duh. But I mean everyone needs a pair. There are a million options out there that suit a variety of body types and personal tastes. If you’re gam-shy, try some sateen bermudas, especially in white to show of a killer tan, then paired with a nautical striped top. Calves of steel? Strong legs actually look great in faux leather track shorts paired with an ankle strap heel. Again- theres an infinite number of options for every person. My personal pick are a classic black leather short that will go with everything and its mother.

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2) A big-ass hat. And I mean big. What I really want is Stockard Channing’s giant straw hat from Practical Magic. I searched the internet high and low for a dupe, but no luck *sigh*. I have a whole separate post on hats planned, after I went on a Brigitte Bardot internet- binge. I’ve seen a lot of “boater” hats around, which remind me of Mary Poppins, honestly. But the classic, wide brim sun hat is still my favorite.

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3) A denim jacket. Stay with me here. I know jean jackets are historically questionable garments. They’ve suffered some truly unfair criticism in the past due to poor styling. Yes, you can easily look like a rodeo princess or Marty McFly if thats what you wish. But denim jackets are actually staples in some of the most highly-respected wardrobes such as those of Kate Moss and Rachel Zoe. My take on the denim jacket would be to pair it with a white top and leather pencil skirt. 1, 2, 3 simple pieces. Bam. Done. Then you could do some converse or dress it up with a heel.

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4) A striped shirt. Because everyone wants to look like a retro, venetian, boating, mime- goddess. But really, a striped shirt is a classic staple that screams summertime. I’d go with a classic boatneck or a feminine scoop neck. And black or navy stripes on white. Y’all don’t wanna start looking like candy stripers.

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5) The perfect leather sandals. These can be SO hard to find. It took me all winter to find the Steve Madden ones I eventually settled on. Whether a true gladiator style, or a simple t-strap, the right leather sandal will stand the test of time, and go with pretty much everything you already own. I wear mine to the beach, to school, to work, and even to the bar because no one actually wears heels in Seattle. Even when they go out. Such a tragedy. I’d stick with black, but thats just me. wider straps have a more modern look and are perhaps more durable. The pair below are somewhat similar to mine.

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6) A floral dress. This can go so wrong so fast, I know. Here is where we use our amazing, discerning style skills to guide us towards the light of good taste. The type of “floral” pattern on said dress is the main factor. I find “tighter” patterns (smaller & closer together) that are non- traditional and in muted colors tend to be chicer. Think an oriental floral or faded english rose pattern as opposed to bright, in-your-face tropical messes (Lookin at you, Forever 21). I’m liking floral maxis, but obviously theres a million choices to be made in regards to the style of the dress itself. I’m loving the one in the photo below. A lot of the best prints I’ve seen are calling themselves “botanical” instead of floral, actually. And once you’ve found your perfect floral dress, you can top it off with your big-ass hat, naturally.

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There’s worlds more summer looks that I love, but aren’t quite as “universal” as these few. Each of these are relatively ageless & timeless. They can be mixed and matched even with some of your old fall pieces. Anyone else have their own take on summer staples? Let me know!

What I’m listening to:

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