molly and colleen hurford return to talk about starting off your stylish summer with a bang …
Summer is almost here, so to celebrate Memorial Day weekend in style without breaking the bank or revamping your summer wardrobe entirely, we’ve decided to showcase our favorite aspect of fashion: accessories!
Accessories are awesomely practical — they can take a basic wardrobe (stay tuned for a Trends on Trial piece on building a basic wardrobe with the most classic trends of the past 50 years), and turn it into something current, stylish, and different — without the commitment of new clothes! As an added bonus, accessories often are simple to revamp, restyle, or if you’re a bit crafty, make on your own. Additionally, unlike wardrobe staples, the cheap versions of accessories are often good choices, since they can be bought for one-season-wear only.
Some of our favorite options for this summer include:
Straw fedoras: The fedora is staple outwear in the winter, in our opinion. The fedora is flattering on most everyone, man, woman, long hair, short hair — it just adds personality to a bland outfit. However, a felt hat is a little warm in the summer, so you can update by wearing a straw fedora. We personally love them, since they add a charming boyish touch to any outfit without going too overboard.
Cowboy hats: OK, so maybe not everyone can get on board with cowboy hats, but we think they add a really fun touch to an outfit. We’ve highlighted the Southwestern style before, and this is an easy way of adding that flair to our outfit without looking like a caricature of a Wild West movie. Not only are they an unexpected accessory, they actually highly functional in protecting your face from the sun, because sunburn — or skin cancer — is not a good accessory.
Flowers: Whether they are real or fake, a flower adds a splash of color and whimsy. If you’re in an office environment, a flower pin on a suit or bag can add some lively color, or if you’re just spending the day lounging around, headbands with flowers on them that make any outfit look really cute and girly. A caveat: too much floral, or floral mixed with a girly sundress may make you look a touch too preppy, or give you that “five-year-old at church on Easter” look. Avoid that.
Leather and feather jewelry: (Not just for the rhyming qualities!) We think that for the summer, leather jewelry is a really cool accent. Charms on leather necklaces make a really nice contrast with a pretty, floral summer dress, and the same holds true for chunky leather bracelets. There is nothing cooler than a kind of masculine accessory with a girly outfit. (Practice leather and a fedora with care though!) Feather jewelry, particularly earrings, is a great way to stand out in a crowd — and in the summer, it’s often too hot to wear necklaces or bracelets, so this is the time to rock some fun earrings!
Funky shoes: It’s summer, it’s hot, and you are going to be wearing shorts and dresses all the time, so wear some cool footwear since it won’t be covered by your long pants! Gladiator sandals always add a nice touch, as do wedge sandals. High heels are fun for the summer because they easily elongate your legs when you are wearing something short. That being said, boat shoes are also seriously in style this season, so consider adding a nautical twist to an outfit. (A captain’s hat might be pushing it, though.)
Fringe purses: Bohemian seems like it’s perpetually in style, and US Weekly just did a feature on fringe bags as the new big thing. Excuse us, but we’re pretty sure that they were also the new big thing this time last year. And again in December. The point is, a big bag laden down with fringe is clearly one accessory that is in style year round, so it’s certainly worth a look!
Canvas totes: The canvas tote is a classic summer staple, especially when you are heading out for the beach. While they might seem a bit on the preppy side, haven’t you ever heard the phrase “it’s hip to be square”? So be a square and rock an LL Bean initialed tote this summer- just make sure you do it somewhat ironically.
Shades: You can’t go anywhere in the summer without your shades. The giant sunglasses are still in and provide great protection the sun, while aviators are another classic look that will always be in. But … if you want to try something a little funkier, John Lennon-style glasses with the small circle frames are also very in right now, thanks to celebs like Lady Gaga. We have to add a caveat though: if you’re going to take the plunge into the Lennon-esque shades, do everyone a favor and get a second opinion on how they look, because that is one style that is without a doubt not for everyone.
Bikes: Built for two, just for you, whatever! Bikes are fun in the summer! You can have a good time, work up a sweat, get some exercise, plus biking can be a great cheap summer date too! Just take a ride and have a picnic.
Big/long earrings: We mentioned it before but it bears repeating: It’s hot out, your hair is always up, you’re not hiding under a hat and scarf, so what better way to draw attention to your face than with a big pair of earrings? They also show off how fun your style can be.
Summer scarves: Scarves are not just for winter anymore! A lightweight scarf can add a touch of color to your work clothes and give them a pretty summery touch. Not in the office? Try a nice scarf with a simple tank top. It adds class, and when it cools off at night you always have something to warm you up without having to carry around cardigan.
Camera: It’s summer, don’t be caught without your camera! This is the season when you’re most often out with your friends having a good time and doing awesome stuff like having barbeques, hanging out on the beach or at the lake, camping, et cetera, so make sure you can capture the moment!
Coming up next:
Runway Reality Check was only the beginning! We’re going to run a summer series on thrifty habits of the truly stylish, from how to get the most out of a trip to a thrift store, how to make money off of your old clothes, and how to build a basic wardrobe that’s functional in almost any situation.