Warm Weather Style Wisdom
By Krystle Wright
As I unpack my boxed-up summer clothes and put away my heavy sweaters, Iím thinking about the best fashion wisdom Iíve heard for the warmer days.
Style is a balancing act Ė especially in the summer.
I was probably about 13 when I first read this concept in a magazine aimed at preteens, but unlike a lot of fashion trends, this advice hasnít gone out of style. Itís a simple idea: when you choose an outfit, try to balance out features of one piece of the outfit by pairing it with a different but complimenting article of clothing. Say you want to wear a tiered skirt. Wearing a flowing, flaring skirt like this with a shirt that is equally flowing is a great idea Ė if the look youíre going for is that of a gypsy fortune-teller Halloween costume.
Instead, pair your skirt with a more form-fitting shirt Ė it doesnít have to be tight, but choose something that accents your figure. Or, if you like that flowing look on top, wear a ruffled or empire-waist shirt with bottoms that have a closer fit: a well-fitting pair of jeans or dress pants or a pencil skirt.
Balancing isnít all about the cut of your clothes, either.
Think about it in terms of colors and prints, too. Stripes worn the right way can look cute, play up the best parts of your figure and help hide the parts you like less, but wearing stripes head to toe just makes you look like a prisoner in an old movie or television show. Similarly, an addition of color Ė even if itís just something small, like a scarf or other accessory Ė livens up a black or white outfit, while pairing black with bright-colored clothing adds a level of sophistication.
This advice is especially relevant in the summertime.
On those 90-degree days, there may be nothing wrong with showing a little skin, but how do you keep it classy? Balance your outfit. If you want to wear a tank top or a camisole, donít wear it with a pair of daisy dukes. Longer shorts like Bermudas (a great choice for women who are a little more modest when it comes to showing off their legs) and capris are still in style and are a great way to balance an outfit. Or you can add a layer, like a light jacket, to break up the abundance of skin. If short-shorts or miniskirts are your thing (and presumably, you donít want to give off the trashy impression), wear a more modest shirt. Remember, the goal is to choose articles of clothing that compliment your overall outfit, instead of clashing with it or competing with it.
Know when to let go and how to move on.
I know, we donít want to do this, whether because weíre budget-conscious, weight-conscious or sentimental. But I like to think of the time I spend changing around my seasonal wardrobe as a chance to start fresh and make the next season a clean slate. I go through all of the clothes Iíve had packed away, and all of the clothes I wonít see until October or November, and decide what I need to let go of. That pair of pants that doesnít actually fit? Time to let it go. Your favorite shirt thatís got a hole here and a stain there, but as long as the imperfections are small, no one will notice? Time to retire it, or at least repurpose it (you can still wear it, but only inside your house, and you call it ďpajamasĒ now).
So what do you do after tossing, donating or repurposing those clothes? Figure out what items you need for the season, find a store near you with decent prices and selections, and find clothes that fit you, that you like, that you can afford, and that you will actually wear. That last part is important. So is the first.
The best thing you can do for your wardrobe is buy clothes that fit you comfortably. It can be harder than it sounds. If youíre torn between sizes, donít be tempted to go with the smaller size just because of the number. I like to try on my possibilities without looking at the size Ė choose the sizes most likely to fit you when youíre browsing the racks, but in the dressing room, donít pay attention to the size. Pay attention to what fits you best, instead.
Look for cuts and styles that fit your body type best. This is especially true for pants. If you find you have length issues, choose a brand that carries short or tall sizes. Find out what fit works best for your body. Some cuts are designed for thinner frames, while other companies make fits specifically for curvier women (my new favorite is by Kohlís Sonoma brand, but companies from Eddie Bauer to Levi to Gap are all jumping on the curvy fit bandwagon).
No matter how trends change, keep your outfit classy and only wear clothes that fit you well. Trust me, those two points never go out of style!
Krystle L. Wright graduated
from Rowan University in May 2011
with her M.A. in Writing
and her B.A. in Writing Arts.
Krystle just took on her first client as a freelance public relations writer. She loves all kinds of writing but especially fiction, and sheís working on her first novel. When sheís not writing (and even when she is), sheís probably listening to music or shopping.