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Summer 2013 Trends: How To Be In Style For The Hottest Days

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Your complete guide to a stylish and breezy summer

Silky hair, a baby pink dress, flowers in full bloom, and a morning wrapped up in a soft golden halo. Summers come with the prettiest of snapshots, don’t they?

But romantic though this picture maybe, for most of us summers are anything but. They are a sweaty, sticky, frizzy affair, with clothes that are often too unforgiving toward our love handles. And while the inspiration on international runways is endless, day-to-day fashion is constrained by practical and financial considerations (and a merciless sun, if you live somewhere very hot).

The key to having a great summer is to keep things simple. Stick to the right colors and fabrics for you. Wear more of shorts, harem pants, loose pants, skirts, loose and floating tops, and open sandals. Keep body hugging clothing to a minimum, and make light cotton your go-to fabric.

We have taken into account all the challenges posed by the hot weather, and come up with trendy outfit suggestions that will keep you cool, fresh, and fashionable this summer.

So, what’s in this season?

The spring/summer trends for 2013 are tremendously varied and versatile. Inspiration has been taken from the decades of 60’s, 70’s, and 90’s. The result? Wide-ranging collections that are high on summery colors, light fabrics, and ostentatious style. There’s something in it for everybody.

From the 60’s have been borrowed neon colors, mod prints, bouffant hairstyles, and a variety of accessories. From the 90’s, cropped tops and high-waist trousers that leave the midriff exposed. And from the 70’s – flower power!

The runways have been given a plethora of loose-fitting styles that offer ample room for your skin to breathe and for your body to move around. There’s plenty on offer to create a comfortable and stylish wardrobe from. Read on for suggestions on how to work these trends into your day-to-day fashion.

Fashion trend: Floral prints

The bohemian, care-free, hippie look of the 70’s has found favor with the fashion designers again. Flower power (but no bell bottoms!) and long flowing tresses – the characteristic features of that decade are now back in vogue.

How to work it

Look 1: Matching floral print clothes are a hit this season, with a lot of celebrities seen sporting the look. Combine floral shorts with a similar printed top, or turn to a floral jumpsuit for a more convenient dressing up experience. Put on a light blazer in a soft pastel to break the monotony of the floral design, and add an element of excitement to your outfit. Use this combination for an evening out; the blazer will serve you well should it turn chilly later on.

For day wear stick with open sandals to keep your feet cool. (This applies to all the looks mentioned here.) Block heels are comfortable and very in this season.

Finish with a bright-colored lipstick. Bring out the girly colors, and apply unapologetically!

Look 2: Bright floral high-waist pants or shorts paired with a subtle top. As opposed to the previous look, this one is all about creating a contrast.

Go sleeveless for a naughty look, or push long sleeves up for something sober but still light and breezy. Break the muted effect of the top with a neon bright necklace. Tie your hair up in a ponytail and opt for stud earrings. A crochet waistcoat will add a touch of elegance to this outfit.


Look 3: A short floral dress with a golden belt. A sleeveless dress is preferable, especially if it gets muggy around where you live. If your evenings are cool and breezy, you can pair this dress with a white lace shrug. In fact, you can opt for any color or length since lace shrugs are all beautiful! Keep your sandals flat and the accessories minimal.

Fashion trend: neon colors & graphic designs

Since both neon colors and graphic designs are very striking, you will need to balance the effect to avoid looking like a graffiti wall (if you dare to venture into this territory at all).

And however counterintuitive it may sound, you can create a sophisticated look out of these bold colors and designs, aided by coiffed hair and understated accessories. Betty Draper from Mad Men can be your go-to person for sun glasses and hair inspiration.

How to work it

Look 1: Combine a baby blue sheer top, full-sleeved, with a pencil skirt sporting graphic designs. Choose high-heeled sandals in white for a fresh and eye-catching look. A head band will further add to the girly charm of this outfit. Wear chunky wooden bracelets in one hand, and a leather watch on the other.

Look 2: Red high-waist trousers with a dull mustard shirt. Wear your hair in a loose braid gathered to a side. A fish braid will look elegant, if you have the time and patience to make one. Put on a blazer for a smart look about the town (choose a soft color though), and strut around in printed wedge sandals.

Look 3: An African design wraparound dress with minimal accessories and wedge heels will flatter any body type. Alternatively, a bold tunic worn on its own will work equally well. Accessorize with a belt, a long necklace, and coral gladiators. (In the following picture the model is wearing high leather sandals, which I feel are not ideal for summers. Love the tunic though, which is why I’ve included the snap here!)


Fashion trend: Stripes, big and small

There’s something about stripes that instantly reminds one of summer. They are refreshing and nautical. Smart and sporty. Comfortable and delightful. They are the ideal must-have (yes there is such a thing as that) for a summer wardrobe.

You need to be careful how you wear them though, since there’s a lot of potential here for things to go wrong.

How to work it

Look 1: Pair a horizontally-striped top with a plain but bright pencil skirt. Keep the length short. Tease your hair out for a puffed up pony tail and stick your feet into white ballerina pumps.

Look 2: A strapless striped top with loose-fit black trousers. Put on a loose blazer for a smart look. Accessorize with a short necklace and dangled hoop earrings. Put the hair up in a bandana and slip on a pair of high heels for a killer runway style.

Tip: Bandanas are excellent for bad hair days or for when you are feeling too lazy to get anything done. Invest in a good range of patterns and practice different styles in front of the mirror. That will have more “bail out” properties than an EU loan.

Look 3: Dresses are the ultimate summer weapon. Striped dresses are perfect for a fun outing, or an evening coffee with your date. They are usually so cheerful and sun-kissed that they look complete on their own. Tone down on the accessories and let the natural freshness of a striped dress work its wonders.


Fashion trend: Lace

Lace is the ultimate in feminine style. A touch of it can soften and prettify any look. Using it in summers though is a bit of a challenge. The material is flimsy and prone to damage. It’s not good at absorbing sweat and needs to be hand washed for best results. If you don’t have an absorbent material underneath it, it’s a good idea to avoid lace in the top half of your outfit. It may make for a pretty picture but would be too uncomfortable to be in when the camera is not pointing at you. Fortunately for us though, most lace dresses and tops come with a good padding underneath which makes it easier for us to wear the delicate fabric in hot weather.

How to work it

Look 1: Lace dresses are timeless. Enchantingly beautiful and seductive, it feels great to be alive simply being in one! For this look, wear a lace dress on its own or with a loose-fitting blazer in a contrasting color. Accessorize with a long necklace and beaded bracelets. Keep the hair loose, and your feet snug in bright yellow peep-toes.

Look 2: Lace and jeans make for a striking effect. Perhaps it’s the blending of two totally different types of materials that does that. One utterly feminine, the other prized for its ruggedness. Wear a loose lace top with skinny jeans or a pair of shorts for a casual but sexy look.


Look 3: Jumpsuits with lace work are both comfortable as well as a thing of beauty. Pair them with a soft pastel blazer and red peep-toes. Pearl earrings and bracelet will lend a touch of pure class to this look.

Lace shrugs are another easy way to add lace to your wardrobe. Lace lingerie, however, is best avoided in summers for comfort and hygiene-related reasons.

Fashion trend: Grays

God, grays are dull! That’s what I’ve always thought and still think. Except that the big labels have treated us to a lot of gray creativity this season, which makes me somewhat want to revise my opinion on the color. Only somewhat, though.

I still feel it’s a color best suited for work, and has little use outside on a sunny, breezy day. But to each their own.

How to work it

Look 1: A soft gray-and-white sleeveless dress with a red belt. Wear it with open white sandals and keep the accessories minimal – small hoop earrings and a strap watch. If you don’t work in an ultraconservative place, this will be an excellent addition to your work wardrobe.

Look 2: A body-hugging gray top paired with a short brown leather skirt. A red bead necklace and a gold-finished bracelet will complement this outfit really well. If leather is not your thing, a short pencil skirt in graphic designs, as mentioned previously, will work equally well. Just don’t use anything floral. Gray and floral rarely make a happy couple. Complete the look with animal print wedge sandals.

Look 3: A full-sleeved gray top, fitting loosely, with wine pants. Skin-tight pants look great if you have the body for them. If, however, you are conscious of bits of fat in inconvenient places, do the opposite.

Wear a snug gray top with burgundy harem pants. Harem pants are an excellent option for summers. They are very comfortable, and are light and breezy enough to keep you fresh for long hours.

Style your hair with a bandana. Go with brown strapped sandals.

Tip: Sun glasses and a bright lipstick are the most powerful accessories to bring on an instant transformation. It’s ok if you don’t have the time to put on the eyeliner or pile on the mascara. Just don’t skip the lipstick. Keep it bright and glossy for maximum impact!

Pretty evening wear

Floral dresses, polka dot dresses, striped dresses, gray dresses, neon dresses, lace dresses – your choice is endless for a fun night, or day, about town.

For formal occasions, cocktail dresses are summer favorites. They will make you look like a Disney princess and turn others green with envy. Choose the highest heels you’d be comfortable in, bring on the blusher, and apply a bright lipstick for an unforgettable look. (And no, that pretty dress does not have to break your bank, or your heart.)


Conclusion: There are no short-cuts to looking great but we hope the above ideas help you make the most of the fashion trends this season. Looking beautiful, however, requires more than donning a great outfit. Be mindful of summer challenges and extend toward yourself all the patience and tender loving care in the world. That’s the first step toward real beauty.

Remain hydrated, include lots of greens in your diet (no matter how much you hate them, or how clichéd it may sound), and do yoga breathing exercises for a clear and glowing complexion.

For frizz-free and smooth hair, apply a strong hair mask at least once a week, and be generous with smoothening serum during the day if your hair is dry and thick. Avoid brushing the hair if it’s particularly frizzy, instead comb through with your fingers. If you have been thinking of getting a haircut, this maybe the best time to go for it. Short, feminine cuts are all the rage at the moment.

Whatever you do, rock your style with total confidence. Here’s wishing you a great summer!

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