The Deals and the Dish on Where You Need to Shop
May 6, 2010
02:50 PM
Window Shopping

Summer Style Guide

Summer Style Guide

Charlotte Ronson "Inkblot" dress, $275, Atticus

Have you ever gone to a store in February and eyed up the filmy sundresses, up-to-there shorts and silky, lightweight tops, longing for the days of summer? Well, I have. That’s why I’m posting this blog this week—because goodness knows we might see this stuff in February, but we can’t actually wear it until May! And who knows—since those shorts and tops have been in stores a few months now, you might be able to snag some good deals now! So check out your local retailers to see what they’ve got up their stylish sleeves. For where to buy any of these trends, see the bottom of the blog post.

Anything Denim
Naming denim as an essential wardrobe piece is about as obvious as saying cheese curds are delicious. In other words it’s a bit cliché—however—I’ve never before seen so many different incarnations of denim this season: denim rompers (which are pretty much strictly for those serious about fashion and/or the younger set), minis, jean jackets, shorts of all lengths, dresses, “jeggings” (the jean-legging hybrid) and just a plain ol’ jean—in all sorts of styles: ripped, faded, bleached, gray, dark, light, boyfriend, bootcut, white, et cetera.

In other words having fun with denim this season is the idea. For twenty- to forty-somethings, matching a pair of rolled-up boyfriend jeans with a tank, blazer and fierce platforms is still where it’s at. A basic dark trouser or bootcut jean work for any age or look. (Interesting side note: when I write these blogs, I actually DO take every age and consideration in mind; and in fact, my mom and I have the same pair of jeans from the Gap—the Always Skinny jean. Which just proves that a skinny jean really can be worn by anyone of any age with the right outfit!).

A fun (yet classic) summertime twist is white denim: put together a jaunty nautical look with a striped top and beachy tote; go sexy for nighttime with a fitted top and vertiginous stiletto; dress comfy with a flat sandal and colorful tunic. Or throw on an easy chambray dress (a variation on denim) and belt it, or pair a jean jacket with your favorite print sundress.

Lightweight Jackets
I’m a little biased on this one as I covet jackets of all types for the summer weather—day or night, they’re the perfect addition to any little getup. Plus nighttime temps typically require a lighter cover-up of some sort. So scout out shops for fun toppers that can be paired with anything and everything. They really are imperative to a well-dressed woman’s wardrobe. This season look for military-inspired jackets, dressed-up sweatshirt versions, fitted leather, soft boyfriend blazers and slim-fit, ¾-sleeve jackets.

A friend once told me she’s never seen me wear the same thing twice. Not so—clever dressing is sleight of hand, anVince's Asymmetrical leather jacket, $945, shopbop.comd in fact, I’ve worn the same thing two weeks in a row, just paired differently. Last week I wore my favorite white blazer with a gray V-neck T-shirt and faded pink capris; next week I think I’ll wear it with a chic new giraffe-print tank and black skirt. Being fashionable doesn’t mean having anything and everything—it’s using what you have and pairing it up in clever ways!

PS: If you like the whole concept of using a wardrobe piece for several (very) different looks, you’ll want to check out the June issue, out on May 20, for ways to do just that …

Accessories: The Hobo Handbag, Wedge Sandal, Gladiator Platforms and Flats
There is a common theme to all of the accessories listed above: they’ve all got a comfort factor associated with them. A hobo allows you to wear a handbag cross-body, and therefore, hands-free! Perfect for browsing at the Farmers’ Market, taking a stroll or biking!

Wedge sandals might look precariously high (and some are—no doubt!) but they are far more comfy than a four-inch stiletto. Reason being they distribute the weight evenly on your foot—it’s not all being pressed down on a tiny (less than one-inch wide) heel.

A slight variation on that is the gladiator platform that, yes, is still popular. Platforms are also more comfortable than a stiletto because a thicker platform is underneath the foot, which lessens the heel height as well as adds cushioning on the ball.

Or, just make it simple and go for a flat sandal. This season I’ve seen lots of feminine looks on sandals: ruffles, flowers and embellishments.

Graphic Prints
Since I highlighted this in the April magazine’s “Get Graphic” spread, I won’t touch on this one too much. But prints are the hottest way to add some interest to your closet. And it doesn’t have to be an all-out graphic inkblot dress like the gorgeous Charlotte Ronson number above. Try a fitted tie-dye V-neck T-shirt worn under a blazer, a flirty print skirt with solid-colored top or, for those adventurous enough, a print legging under a long tunic or T-shirt dress!

Neutrals and Pastels
InStyle recommends picking up a khaki dress for this spring. I wholeheartedly agree with that idea. But, there are other ways to see the “softer side” of the season with pastels and natural-hued pieces. Try a nude pump. Or, pick up a khaki trench—so chic and classic. Recently the art director and I were chatting during a photo shoot and we touched on the topic of pastels. He mused that he thought it was funny that pastels were in style now, because of his memories of Miami Vice and candy-colored alligator polos in the ’80s. While it’s true that literal interpretations of pastels from the ’80s are a no-no (for guys that would be a pastel T-shirt with a white suit—Miami Vice-style—and for women, say a mint-colored power suit—eek!) softer hues in most anything are actually quite pretty. Try a slouchy V-nCharlotte Ronson Acid Wash leather vest, $350, Atticuseck cardigan in sky-blue over a favorite sundress, dusty pink sandals, lemon-yellow belt or a peachy dress for a fancy nighttime function—you’ll stand out in a sea of black!









The Soft Pant
Full disclosure: I don’t own a pair of soft pants. However, this trend is slowly winning me over. The soft-pant trend bloomed slowly from the interesting harem pants of this fall and winter and has morphed into a much moElie Tahari's "Whitney" pant, $198, shopbop.comre wearable version. I’ve never liked harem pants because I don’t think they look good on really, anybody—besides size-2 models, and even then, it’s questionable. I think the dropped crotch looks bizarre. Anyway, where was I? Soft pants. Typically with a looser fit, I like these because a) They’re comfy-looking. b) The fabrication of many is interesting—silks and cottons can be worn for dressy or casual looks. c) It’s a look that can span generations.
They’re great for a durable work look or evening out—and really can be a wardrobe workhouse if you pick up a pair.
(Note: I haven’t seen soft pants sold at any local retailers, so your best bet would be to check out West Towne Mall or online retailers).

Where to find these trends: Anthropologie, Atticus, bop, Context (for men), Fair Indigo, Jan Byce, J LaMore, Jazzman (for men), Karen & Co., Patricia Shoppe, The Purple Goose, Terese Zache and Woldenberg’s.

Read on for shopping updates and tidbits and style events happening this weekend!

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About This Blog

As Madison Magazine's style editor, Shayna Mace writes the monthly "Window Shopping" column about Madison's coolest store owners, products and shops. She also reports on Madison's most stylish people, chic items she loves, store events and sales, and additional dish in her weekly blog. Her favorite places to check out around town are local boutiques, consignment and vintage shops for one-of-a-kind treasures, new restaurants and bars, and anywhere that affords her the opportunity to meet and talk to Madison's most inspirational (and many times, fashionable!) people.

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