Summertime Blues: Why summertime fashion and work don’t mix

Summertime fashion is fun, exciting and allows you to get creative as the clothes lessen, the functionality and flavor that is warmer temperatures breeds a sense of style that is welcoming to the masses, not just the fashion experts who comb the runways looking for what’s in and what’s out.

The latter sentiment is a unique one as it relates to summer, and less clothing. More specifically, how do you handle the office, work and summertime, when you don’t have the option of layering up or wearing something that is a little more conducive to professional in the colder months.

It’s not secret that winter lends itself more to a business professional look, mostly because of long pants, blazers and long sleeved attire that is more make than break when it comes to fashion at the office and not sticking out like a sore thumb.

That sticking out means quite simply that you’re not wearing fashionable clothing to work during the summer.

What exactly is stylish for summer this year that allows you to fit in?

To answer that question, you might want to think about what isn’t appropriate.

For instance, the summer is all about short shorts, particularly this year but those aren’t going to get the job done at work.

Also not working at work is anything strapless or too revealing (such as a tank top) or showing off too much skin as a whole. That includes mini skirts and dresses that are far too short. As silly as it sounds, the two inch finger tip rule is fashion personified and if your skirt isn’t at that length before you leave for the day, a change is in order.

And even if that skirt or shorts are long enough, make sure your shirt isn’t longer than your pants. Giving yourself the feel and look of not wearing pants (even though you are) makes for a situation that is going to get you all the wrong looks at work.

This year, summertime style sets itself apart from the pack and it has more to do than just the nicer weather and warmer temperatures, but rather a flare for the flirty and free, centering on comfort and not constrictive.

But as much as summer sends all the right messages by the pool and on the beach, for the weekend getaways, you have to remember that the office and summer sometimes butt heads.

East Coast vs. West Coast: Beachwear

There’s long been a coastal rivalry between the East and the West, which extends far beyond Biggie and Tupac. It dates back to those who wished to stay where our nation was founded and those who wanted to go on an adventure, trying their luck out West. For fashion purposes, it’s also extends to beachwear. We looked at the hottest swimwear earlier this summer, but now let’s break it down by region.

East Coast

If you’ve ever visited New York or Boston, you know people there take a very direct, no-nonsense approach to life. Beach combers like to look cool and chic, but looks there are very functional and more serious than their West coast counterparts. Overall, you’re also likely to find people more covered than in the West.

On the East coast, you’ll see lots of metallic shades in all swimwear and beachwear; they like a more severe look out there. More sporty influences are also the rage (try out a crop top the next time you’re headed to the beach). Classic, retro wear is another in option. Those on the East coast looking to show their sexy side a little more go with cutouts. These are one-piece suits that show skin without revealing everything.

West Coast

When those first pioneers started out West, they didn’t know what they were going to find and prepared themselves for adventure. This same sense of bold fearlessness is still alive on the West coast where people like to be casual, fun, flirty, and playful with all their clothes. Everything tends to be tighter and more form fitting while bohemian vibes abound.

Let your inner bohemian girl go wild with crochet accents at the beach this summer (just remember to water test first). Fringe and ruffles are also very big on the West coast this year, which is definitely something you would rarely see on the East coast. West coast style is a little louder, so you’re going to see a lot more graphics this year out there than on the East coast. Besides flower child prints, fashionistas are rocking all sorts of crazy prints and graphics.

Hot Summer Nail Styles

The nail polish industry has been booming the last few years. I like to think this is because a sleek smart phone has become a girl’s new favorite accessory. When you whip out your iPhone when you’re at a patio lunch with coworkers or out for happy hour cocktails, everyone is going to be looking at your fingers. The next time you’re getting a manicure, be sure to look into these hot summer nail styles.

Hot Manicures for Summer 2013

• Foil Manicure: We could easily see Katy Perry rocking these. With a foil manicure, you get a base coat and then tiny pieces of shiny, rainbow-glistening foil layered on top. It’s basically like a nightclub party happening right on your nails. You can do this yourself, but it might be a bit tricky.

• Holographic Nails: 80s influenced fashion has been back, and now we’ve got holographic nail polish. It’s offered by SuperBlack and comes in five different shades. If you stare hard enough, you might be able to see the future, but most people will think you’re just really trendy. A similar style to try is ultra-glittery nails.

• Japanese Nail Art: Spa Nail is an influential Japanese nail salon chain, and they just opened up their first salon in New York City. Spa Nail is known for turning your nails into artwork. Their basic style is very multi-dimensional and layered adding colors, beads, and crystals. It’s partially inspired by a water painting technique called Tarashikomi. Fashionistas will want to learn where they can get a manicure like this right away, as everyone is going to be rocking these kinds of nails in the next few years.

• Chalkboard Polish: This new style is one of the numerous trends spawned from Pinterest, where making everything look like an old-school chalkboard is in. Now you can do this to your nails. First, a black matte polish is put down and then you or your favorite salon technician use a colored chalk pen to write and doodle on your nails. Finally, it all gets sealed with a topcoat. You can either style your nails to be more childlike or get more provocative.

Back to School Trends for Teens

It feels like summer just began, but school is right around the corner. Time to put away those high-waisted denim cutoffs and head back to the mall for some back to school shopping! We’ve got some insights into back to school trends for teens.

Cute and Casual

I never understood when I went to high school why it had to begin at 7:00 a.m. If you’re feeling like a zombie, we’ve got some ideas to be cute, casual, and a little sporty:

• White Pants: Sure, there’s that no white after Labor Day rule, but white is very in this year. White pants also look clean and fresh even if you don’t do anything else.

• Tote Bags: If your school allows it, tote bags are excellent alternatives to purses and backpacks. Fine one with a cute print to pull together that casual look. One of the benefits of a tote is when it gets dirty, you can hand it to mom to throw in the washer.

• Classic Sneakers: Stay away from clunky tennis shoes and grab a pair of vintage sneakers. Roll up your jeans and show off some fun socks.

• Chunky watches: Borrow a big watch from your dad or brother. You can use this as a solid base for layering or wear it on its own.

Bohemian Chic

This look means wild patterns and lots of floral. My best advice is to keep this look a little modern; don’t go grab your parents’ bellbottoms. You’re looking for loose and flowy tops paired with distressed skinny jeans—faded or ripped—to get a look that has a retro edge, but won’t make you look like you just got out of Woodstock (Google it).

Ankle boots really go well with this look, and you can either go with a flat boot or something with a heel. Another strategy is to get an outfit that’ boyish with a feminine edge. For example, rock a pair of jean shorts built with some lace down the side. For accessories, go to a thrift store looking for some chunky turquoise jewelry and sunglasses with round frames.

Summer Purse Trends

Summer is the best time to buy a new purse. In winter, no one can see your bag in the mess of snow and puffy coats. With everyone showing more skin, people are going to really be looking at you and what’s on your arm. Here’s our guide to summer purse trends for the accessory fashionista.

Mini-Bags

Small always works best in the summer and mini-bags are very in this year. They’re cute and adorable, especially if you have one that’s nicely detailed. While they are small, you want one that can strike a pose with some attitude.

Totes

Totes don’t ever really go out of style because they’re so practical. They’re perfect for going to the beach or taking papers back and forth from the office. Take note that stylish summer totes are smaller and a little classier than those monsters that people lug around in the winter.

Clutches

Clutches really are the perfect summer purse because they’re adorable and come in such a wide variety. You can find all sorts of clutches in different materials, colors, and sizes. This is especially important because one clutch does not rule them all. For each occasion, you’ll want to pair your outfit with the right clutch. A sleek and small clutch will work wonders at a dinner party, but something more fun and flirty works better on a summer adventure.

Prints and Patterns

Prints are very in this year, but snakeskin has become a big summer 2013 purse trend. It doesn’t get much bolder than this, so only the most daring should try. If you’ve always loved snakeskin, then get one now because these won’t be in style for long.

If snakeskin isn’t your thing, try a less bold print or pattern. Floral prints are very big this year. Make a floral handbag the centerpiece of your outfit by wearing something neutral.

Transparent Bags

Only a daring fashionista would show off what’s in her bag to everyone. Obviously, a transparent bag won’t work all the time, but, for the right occasion, people will be envious of your bold bag. It will also be a lot of fun planning on what you’ll be showcasing.

Where to Get Cool Island Wear Online

This month, I’ve spend a lot of time highlighting summer 2013 trends from shoes to bikinis. There’s nothing more definitively summer than picking up some cool island wear to wear to the beach or on a tropical getaway. Here are a few places to pickup island wear online.

Island Company

Headquartered in West Palm Beach, Island Company is one of the fastest growing clothing retailers in the country. Designer Spencer Antle began the company in 2002 when his girlfriend at the time couldn’t find a bikini she liked. While he started with swimwear, it’s now a lifestyle brand with plenty of cool island wear for men and women. I really adore their shirt dresses, which take inspiration from every woman who has ever borrowed a man’s collared shirt. They’re fun, flirty, and very versatile.

Tommy Bahama

When it comes to island wear, most people think of Tommy Bahama. They offer clothing options and a variety of island-living accessories like chairs, umbrellas, and even glassware. While a section on their website is dedicated to all-white options, very big this summer, Tommy Bahama tends to skew to a more conservative, older crowd. They’re also pretty expensive.

Bikinis

I’ve highlighted a few places to get light, tropical day and night wear, but what about when you’re ready to hit the beach? Here are a few tropical online bikini retailers:

  • San Lorenzo: This bikini company started in Lima, Peru, but now has a base of operations in Oahu, Hawaii. They offer a few different styles in a variety of colors. Their suits will have you looking like you’re a native Island dweller.
  • Mila Bikinis: Also based on Oahu, designer Camilia Pires brings inspiration from her native Brazil. They don’t have as many styles as San Lorenzo, but the suits are about half the price. Mila Bikinis also has a few clothing options.
  • Teeny B Bikini Couture: Manufactured in Florida, Teeny B was started by a woman in 2007 who was tired of never finding a bikini that could fit her figure. With the motto “Less fabric, more looks,” the company started making bikinis that could make women feel confident and sexy on the beach. Their smaller suits have made it to the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition, but they offer plenty of full-coverage bikinis.

Hottest Clothing Colors for Summer

Looking through my summer wardrobe is always a challenge for me. In addition to getting rid of articles that are now completely embarrassing—where did I think I was going to wear this gold lame bodysuit?—considering color is about as crucial as the style of clothes. When you’re deciding what to pack away or what to buy for summer, keep these colors in mind.

All White is Very in This Summer

There are so many silly rules about wearing white, but this year it’s totally in for clothes, shoes, purses, swimsuits, you name it. Stick with solid white or accessorize with a little gold. Wearing all white will make you look like a ghost if you still have a winter complexion, so a trip to the beach is a must before attempting an all-white look.

Stay Classy With Mint Green

Pastels were very big on the runaway earlier this year, especially mint green. This shade is quite versatile and very sophisticated. A summery mint green dress could work both at the office and cocktail parties. Accessorize with more neutral pastel colors.

Go Bold With Neon and Hot Pink

A throwback to the 90s and 80s, bold neons are very in this year. Daring fashionistas should try for clashing tones and accessories. If you’re on the more timid side, then neon yellow will let you still try out this fashion trend without much discomfort.

Hot pink is another bold color choice this year, as this fantastic color works no matter your skin tone. If dressing from head to toe is too feminine for you, work in a bit of pink makeup this summer.

Blue Always Works

If you’re looking through your closet or want to buy something that will stay in style, blue always works well. You can wear blue pretty much anywhere and look fabulous. Blue looks best when paired with yellow, red, or something off-white.

Prints and Floral Patterns

Don’t be afraid to go beyond just bold colors. Floral prints are very in this year. You can stick with just one print for your outfit or even contrast garden prints if you’re bold. So-called “ugly cute” clashing prints have also stayed around from last summer. Prints are even wilder this year with awesome color combinations, geometric zig-zags, and animal patterns.

2013 Summer Swimsuits

Summer weather is here, and it’s time to hit the beach! Before getting a tan, it’s important to take a look at your swimsuits. Many have likely fallen out of fashion since you bought them; I finally had to say goodbye to my denim tankini from 2005. Others likely have worn out from pool chlorine and repeated washing. Wearing a swimsuit can be nerve wracking for many ladies, and it doesn’t help when your bottoms look like a saggy diaper. Don’t worry, though. We’ve assembled a list of hot 2013 summer swimsuit trends.

Your Guide to Beach Season

  • Color Blocking: A runway trend for years, color-blocked suits are big this summer. These are sportier and great for women who need more support than those skimpy triangle tops. Don’t be afraid to be bold and embrace color-blocked prints.
  • Crochet Accents: These are loved by bohemian girls like Vanessa Hudgens. Fight the urge to go full-on hippie with minimal accessories. Be sure to water test these, too; it’s probably best to avoid any crocheted bikini tops you see on Etsy.
  • Cutouts: one-piece cutouts have been a trend for a few years now, and they’re still hot. These are perfect for anyone who wants to strike a sexy beach pose, but maybe isn’t comfortable with showing everything off in a tiny bikini. You may not want to wear these all the time, though, as you can wind up with some strange tan lines.
  • Graphic One-Piece: One-pieces with photorealistic designs are super big this year. Vendors like Black Milk Clothing have bikinis with galaxies, Gameboys, and even Darth Vader. Don’t be afraid to get crazy!
  • Vintage Look: Retro-inspired swimsuits continue to be in this summer. Going with one-pieces, a swimsuit with boyish leg holes and a pushup top can actually be very sexy as long as you have a good cut and a fun print. Another option that’s popular this summer is a high-waisted bikini. These are perfect for people who want stomach coverage, but feel dowdy wearing a one piece.
  • All White: Wearing all white is incredibly in this year in all levels of fashion. Going all white or accenting with a bit of gold will turn you into an alluring beach goddess. This can be bad if you’re pale as a ghost, so catch some sun before trying it out. Like the crochet bikinis, you also want to test out a white swimsuit, unless see-through is what you’re going for.

The Hottest Shoes for Summer 2013

We’re officially at the start of summer now; showing some leg is becoming a necessity for style and comfort, drawing plenty of attention to shoes. If you’re looking in your closet and don’t see anything you like or don’t know what’s stylish this summer, we’re here to help. Here are a few styles that are going to be very hot this season.

Popular Summer Styles This Year

  • Black and White: A post-Memorial Day style, shoes that are both black and white are very in this year. You can find a more pump, but black and white shoes will be available in pretty much any style this year. Just be sure to put them back in the closet when Labor Day comes.
  • Bold Colors and Prints: A bold red or orange will be good for the office, but consider going wild with a floral print when you’re out on the town; floral heels and other shoes were everywhere in spring 2013 runway shows. They can be worn with a neutral outfit or even with a contrasting floral print.
  • Neutral Nudes: Kate Middleton popularized the nude pump; you can expect them in leather and even suede this summer.
  • Booties: Short booties were incredibly popular this spring, and you don’t have to pack them away this summer. Just don’t wear them to the office.
  • Aggressive, Strappy Shoes: It could because of Fifty Shades of Grey, but shoes with a bit of bondage in them are popping up everywhere. You’ll see shoes with lots of straps and even ones covered in spikes in. Some of the more extreme looks won’t be for everyone, but even the less daring should try to get a little adventurous.
  • Platforms: Platforms usually get most of their use in the winter months, but they’re coming out in a lot of summer styles this year. Remember when shopping for platform shoes that your toes should remain inside the shoes at all times. If they hang out, then you don’t have the right size.
  • Oxfords: Women’s shoe styles tend to get more masculine in winter, but Oxfords are taking hold this summer. Take a break from floral heels and rock a pair of Oxfords with a summery colored sole.

Hats: A Modern Look at a Classic Trend

For nearly as long as human beings have fashioned clothes to protect themselves from the elements, we have also designed hats. And as the centuries and millennia have passed, various cultures have transformed this accouterment of necessity into a fashionable accessory. Of course, many of our modern hats still do an exceptional job of fulfilling their original purpose, shielding us from the sun, protecting us from inclement weather, and keeping us warm in winter. And while the popularity of hats like the bowler, fedora, and sun hat have been eclipsed by the ubiquitous baseball cap, these classic headwear styles make the perfect addition to any stylish outfit.

Finding the Right Hat for Your Look

With most accessories or items of clothing, you can get away with mixing and matching between styles and colors as long as the elements cohere – and the same holds true when you add a hat into the equation.

The most crucial aspect of a coherent outfit is, arguably, the seasonality of the various elements. In the same way that you probably wouldn’t want to combine a summery dress with a heavy winter coat, choosing the right hat for the season is of utmost importance. Classy hats don’t get a whole lot of wear these days, so when you wear one, people are going to notice. If the hat is right for the season (and for your outfit), that’s a good thing. But this increased attention also means that a poorly chosen hat can be detrimental to your overall look. A moderate amount of common sense will help you know what hats work for which season – just like clothes, lighter colors and fabrics work best for spring and summer, while darker, thicker hats are preferable for fall and winter.

If you’re trying to integrate hats into your wardrobe, it’s good to have an idea of when you should and should not don your hat. You can come up with your own rules, but remember that the sophisticated air that a hat lends to an outfit is most effective if you also exercise a degree of sophistication when it comes to when and where you wear your hat. Aside from that, however, the potential of a hat is limited only by your ambition!