Sizzling into Summer Style
Styling for Sunny Days
May 2020 Issue
Fashion By Sharon Mosley
You’ve checked out the straw handbags, the floral midiskirts, the cropped culottes and the flatform shoes—just a few of the latest fashion trends that you can’t wait to wear. But where do you start? And how do you pull it all together? Here are some tips for styling your wardrobe the sunny days ahead.
Start with a trendy pattern. Polka dots are running circles around the fashion crowd. Buy a polka-dot bow blouse, a polka-dot dress or a polka-dot blazer. Dress them up or down with what you already have in your closet. Instant update!
Address the dress, and add to it. Wear your dress like a tunic top over skinny pants. The best dresses this season are soft slip lingerie-like dresses that easily slide over T-shirts and leggings or jeans. The satin dress layered over pants, or worn solo is one of the season’s biggest trends. Add some sleek sandals and you’ve got summer at its best. Throw on a denim jacket for breezy nights.
And if skinny pants aren’t your thing, you can always get comfortable in a pair of flowing wide-leg pants or athletic-inspired track pants. Pants that are a little on the slouchy side can even be worn to the office. Just dress them up with a classic white shirt. Slip into a pair of platform sneakers to give them a hip street-chic look, or a pair of heels for work.
The high-low mix can also be a fun way to put some unique personality into your wardrobe. Team lightweight cardigans with playful pleated midiskirts, or toss on a leather motorcycle jacket instead of a blazer over a tube top (yes, tube tops are making a comeback!) paired with your favorite jeans.
Mix your prints and patterns. This may be one of the hardest styling tricks to master. The eclectic look is, however, one of the best ways to freshen up. There are a few things to keep in mind, however, when you are experimenting with this trend—bigger prints do make you look bigger. It’s just a fashion fact of life. Smaller patterns are much more flattering, especially if you are combining several of them in one outfit. Stick to colors that are low contrast.
The soft floral pastels and wallpaper prints of this season are perfect for mixing and matching summer’s more relaxed separates. Animal prints always look great and make solid pieces pop. This summer, animal prints in vivid colors are prowling the streets.
Another way to add some newness to your spring wardrobe is to wear leather and suede. As technology in fabric production advances, so does innovative clothing in featherweight designs. A lightweight material in a sherbet pastel color is perfect for warmer days. A tangerine leather jacket or a cool suede raspberry tank will give your wardrobe a breath of fresh air.
The all-white pantsuit is another way to put some serious style into your summer wardrobe. The white jean has become a staple in warm weather, so why not the pantsuit? And if you’re really daring, check out the new “shorts suits” heading into the season ahead. Team them with white boots for even more white-hot style.
And don’t forget about accessories. They can transform an outfit you’ve worn for years. This is where you can instantly update your closet for a new season. It can be a trendy new lace-up gladiator sandal, a tie-dyed tote, a chunky chain necklace or a pair of dangling geometric earrings.
Belts are probably the biggest trending accessory, however, cinching in waists on everything from dresses to jackets to jeans. Scarves are also good bets. Whether you wear a colorful printed scarf wrapped around a ponytail, tied around your forehead or just hanging around your neck, a new scarf or belt will wrap up any outfit with a pop of polished style.
Sharon Mosley is a former fashion editor of the Arkansas Gazette in Little Rock and executive director of the Fashion Editors and Reporters Association.