Trade in Winter Fashion for Effortless Summer Styles

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    By Adriana Higuera

    After months of wearing winter knit sweaters, skinny jeans and chunky heeled boots, the sizzling summer months are bringing fun, casual fashions.

    Whether following the latest trends taken from designers” spring runway shows or trying to create a unique personal style, the key is comfort and confidence.

    “People talk a lot about trends and colors and things being in style; and more important is finding the proportion that suits you and suits your figure, but also suits your lifestyle,” said fashion stylist Kate Young, in a video interview on style.com.

    With the plethora of clothing options out there for the summer, some people may be left asking, “What”s ”in” for summer?”

    Summer Trends

    “This summer there are a lot of different directions you can take because there are a lot of different trends and not just one look,” said Shea Miller, 21, a public relations and modern dance major from Houston, Texas.

    Bold prints, black and white combinations, electric crayon-box bright colors – like lemon yellow and cobalt blue – knee length shorts, wide-legged pants, oversized sunglasses and big carryall bags are but a few of the lush offerings fashion has in store for those looking to update summer wardrobes.

    “The trends that I think are big for the summer are cute baby-doll dresses; bold prints; romantic – meaning ruffles and bows – all white outfits; space age – meaning lots of metallics, like gold and silver – all black and white outfits; rock”n”roll inspirations; and headgear like hats and scarves,” said Kristen Krueger, 21, an American studies major who will be attending the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising this fall.

    As shown on spring”s runways and fashion magazines, like Vogue and Harper”s Bazaar, this season is all about options. Whether its sporty chic, sweet romanticism, bold ”80s, futuristic metallics or geometric, swingy fashions, there is bound to be a style category that suits everyone”s fashion needs.

    Whatever the style is, most girls interviewed agreed dresses are going to be big wardrobe staple not only for the summer, but also for seasons to come. With more than one option in dress styles – from baby-dolls to shift dresses to halter dresses with slouchy cardigans-the style is becoming more and more versatile with each passing season.

    “I”ll definitely be wearing easy pieces, like dresses, that I can dress up or down,” said Ashley Jensen, 22, a communication studies major from Gilroy, Calif. “I like knowing I can throw on high heels and go out for the night or just my Vans slip-ons and run around campus.”

    Low Cost, High Style

    Although there are so many mouth-watering outfits available, financially strapped students may think it is impossible to be on point when it comes to what is hot in the fashion world.

    “It doesn”t have to cost a lot of money to keep up on the trends for each season,” Krueger said. “Stores like Target, Forever 21, Zara and H&M have some great items that won”t break the bank. With a little ingenuity anyone can have an ensemble that is summer ready and runway worthy.”

    Clearly, high fashion luxury is not something everyone can afford, especially when tuition and schoolbooks seem to suck up students” money. However, that does not mean that all hope is lost when it comes to dressing well. As Krueger said, and as many others agree, with a little creativity, one can make even something from the thrift store work as a stylish summer outfit.

    Fusing Trends with Personal Style

    Statement making pieces and direct off the runway outfits are fun to look at, but probably not the most realistic things to wear on an every day basis. It makes sense that fashion editors suggest that one of the important factors to being in the know is to pick key pieces from the season and incorporate them into the already existing treasure trove of clothes.

    “In a house, you want the rooms to flow one to the other, and I always think you need a palette that sort of runs through the house,” said Rita Konig, an interior designer and contributing editor at British Vogue and Domino, in a video interview on style.com. “And I think the same is for clothes, you don”t want a series of different outfits; it”s schizophrenic.”

    The point is to be a strategic shopper and pick items that will be current and fresh for the given season and that will also become a classic in the years to come, instead of ending up with a closet of only worn once outfits. The reality is, fashion from different decades is recyclable, as is being seen this summer with the revival of ”60s mod and ”80s edge. “I think pulling a [complete] outfit off the rack is never a good idea,” Miller said. “You see what the trends are and then pick what you like and leave what you don”t, and then make them your own. Clothes tell other people a lot about you, so make them reflect your personality. However, creating your own style with no direction can be very dangerous; you could end up looking haphazard. … It”s important to ground what you”re wearing with one classic piece, like simple earrings or a great white button-down shirt. All trends all the time can be a bit too much.”

    The best way to go about fashion, and knowing what to wear, is to fuse trends with personal quirks to craft an individualized and distinctive outfit.

    “People here need to mix up the trends, make them their own, wear them different. I hate when people see a poster or a mannequin and just imitate that. No! People need to try out different styles, mixing up outfits that they see; don”t let stores tell you how to dress!” said Hanalei Ho, 20, from Pasadena, Calif.

    Men”s Fashion

    Not to be forgotten in the fashion debate, guys also have many varied options when it comes to warm-weather wear, whether they are completely conscious that they are following a specific trend or not.

    “I think that in the summer it”s really important to be relaxed,” said Dane Mullinax, 24, a BYU biology graduate from Claremont Calif. “The clothes you wear in the summer should make you feel comfortable. One of the biggest trends I have noticed recently is stripes. I have a bunch of striped shirts myself in different colors. Besides stripes, I think that plain Tee”s in different colors are more in style. … As far as personal style goes, I think it”s important to be yourself and dress how you want to dress. You shouldn”t wear something because somebody else thinks it is ”cool.” Wear what you want to wear. It”s hard to be 100% original though. I think there will always be influences from the ”popular” trends, but as long as you”re wearing what you like you should be fine.”

    Most guys seem to go for a laid-back, easy-going casual style when it comes to their summer staples. Tanner Bennion, 21, a physiology and developmental biology major from Billings, Mont., cited plaid shorts and sandals or loafers as a big trend this summer.

    “Being from California, where the weather is often pretty hot, I try to wear as little clothes as possible,” said Jeff Ribeira, 22, an exercise science and Russian major from Castro Valley, Calif. “So pretty much it”s shorts, a t-shirt and sandals. I actually have more sandals than I do shoes. … Socks are like little cages for your feet. Go sandals!”

    Whatever the chosen trend, summer style should not only be about looking good but also about taking a more relaxed approach to how to dress.

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