Shift into Summer

Lighten Up Your Wardrobe

By Sharon Mosley

It’s time to make the shift into summer and lighten up your wardrobe. Take some time off from those serious statement clothes and brighten up your fashion outlook on life. We all need a little vacation break...even if we’re not lounging on a cruise ship...but just grilling and chilling in the backyard. Here are 10 must-haves to put on your summer shopping list.

Find Your Rainbow. Rainbow stripes will definitely put you in a good mood—and fast. Bold Crayola colors are popping up in breezy dresses, kimono robes and swimwear everywhere. Even accessories get the rainbow treatment in shoes and handbags.

Check It Out. From ginghams to plaid tartans, checkered patterns are squaring off to be one of summer’s biggest fashion hits. In vivid primary colors or pale pastels, checks are even more updated when mixed together head-to-toe. Just remember to keep the colors all related.
Move To High Ground. High-waisted pants and high-water (cropped) pants are the way to tread through the summer season. If you’ve worn skinny pants for years, then switch it up and go with the flow of a pair of wide-leg palazzo pants. They’re the perfect party pants for cocktails around the pool or a wedding day brunch.

Become More Transparent. Plastic is the way to go this see-through vinyl raincoats, anoraks, trench coats, handbags and sandals. And if you really aren’t interested in covering up at the beach, then a plastic cover-up may be one of the most fun ways to show off those abs you’ve worked on all winter long. Just be sure to slather on plenty of sunscreen.

Go Long And Lean. Of course, summer is the season for shorts and this year, if you’re not into Daisy Dukes cutoffs, then you’ll be happy to know that longer knee-length shorts are showing up on the trend radar.

Do The Asymmetrical Thing. The shoulder is still the erogenous zone of summer, and off-the-shoulder tops are bigger than ever. In one-shoulder versions, they’re even more interesting. Look for a blousy peasant top with full sleeves to team with palazzo pants or skinny jeans.

Get Smocked. The embroidery technique that gathers fabric into stretchy designs is making a comeback. In cropped tops, tube tops, tunic tops and even dresses, smocking has a grown-up look that adds a little bohemian flair to warm weather wardrobes.

Sneak In Some Comfort. Ditch the stilettos and slip into some comfort shoes. The white sneaker is a summer favorite—the clunkier, the better. Espadrilles are having a moment, and the pool slide is another winner, whether or not you’re near any water at all.

Eat Your Fruit. Tropical prints are always blooming on summer fashion staples, but this summer, refresh your wardrobe with a tangy twist. Fruity prints in juicy lemons, pineapples and cherries are sweetening the style scene. Take your pick.

Listen To Your Ears—and put some earrings on them. Statement earrings are the way to go with jewelry this summer...the bigger, the better. And due to the recent Met Ball gala where ecclesiastical fashion was spotlighted, expect to see more inspirational jewelry for summer, right on into fall.

Sharon Mosley is a former fashion editor of the Arkansas Gazette in Little Rock and executive director of the Fashion Editors and Reporters Association.

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