Breezy Days and Steamy Nights: Summer’s Most Versatile Staples

May 16, 2010 • Magazine

Breezy Days and Steamy Nights: Summer's Most Versatile Staples

Breezy Days and Steamy Nights: Summer's Most Versatile Staples

Tue, 2000-05-16 09:00

Alia Rajput

Summer is almost upon us and while the weather starts to get warmer, our wardrobe gets smaller, lighter and more versatile. Summer is all about possibilities. You never know when a work meeting will turn into happy hour cocktails, a weekend shopping trip will include an impromptu concert, or a walk on the beach will evolve into a night out dancing. So to ready yourself for the dazzling days and shimmering nights that summer (finally!) will bring, make sure to stock up on pieces that will give you the most mileage.

Strut your stuff this season in some serious street chic. The most popular staple of the winter — the slouchy, embellished blazer — has kicked back and stripped down for the summer and transformed into a slouchy, embellished vest. As Charlotte Ronson illustrated, the vest can be thrown effortlessly over a casual ensemble like cargo shorts and a tank for an edgy touch of cool. The embellished, epaulet-like beading can be echoed in a gladiator sandal or flat to further dress up the outfit. For evening, channel your inner rock star and toss the vest on over a sexy dress or mini like Aiko does here. To anchor the sweetness of a more feminine look, pair the vest with a sundress, which works both day and night.

Coveted is the word for this season’s crop of jumpsuits. They have come out in droves, from high end to bargain basements, retailers are answering our call for jumpsuits. And while last year’s fetish with playful rompers may have set the trend in motion, this year’s polished pantsuits are proving that jumpsuits need to be taken more seriously. Roland Mouret showed the perfect way how by creating the piece with a luxe fabric, and then pairing it with a tailored shape in the blazer and adding no nonsense accessories. Flawless. Ali Ro got the memo and created a similar confection that can take you from the office to the rooftop with little more than shedding a few daytime layers. Best bets are confections in silk or linen and in a cool, breezy neutral like ice blue, taupe or this dove gray.

As soon as the temps begin to rise, we enter the land of the khaki. In cotton or twill, the khaki stands as a go-to cropped pant option, favored by many over the constricting feel of denim and the unbreathable nature of polyester. But before we get carried away with the vision of golfers, soccer moms and the other images commonly associated with khaki, the spring runways proved there were plenty of tragically hip options. One of which, takes its cue from the baggy, pleated boyfriend pant of seasons past. With a high waist and a looser fit, this cropped pant, like the cuffed option from Miu Miu, can be paired with a cute cardigan and shell for weekend shopping, brunch, or even a spontaneous boat ride. Flats or strappy wedges provide the extra panache of a Martha’s Vineyard-like getaway. Then, Stella McCartney wrote the book on pulled together polish so follow her example for evening and put those pleats to good use with an immaculately beaded cami. Add heels and a linen blazer (or just bare those shoulders for all to see) for the sultriest of statements.

Is there anything more decadent than enveloping yourself in a filmy animal print and heading out to the beach? Whether you’ve jetted off to a tropical paradise, or are lounging on the shore of your neighborhood swimming hole, a flirty cover up turns your swimwear into a stylish ensemble. Beyond fulfilling its function in covering up your suit, it also doubles as a come-hither sundress for shopping, strolling the boardwalk and even dancing the night away with the cabana boy. Blugirl‘s spring runway showed off frothy, printed layers topped off with chunky jewelry for a worldly and alluring look. Channel the same exotic flare with a wooden sandal or clog and a swingy, fringed bag. The queen of the feminine prints, Diane von Furstenberg, created her own sweet version complete with bright blossoms of color and plunging neckline. After a refreshing dip in the waves, do up your swim straps in an enticing halter, shake out your hair and get ready for whatever the night may bring.

Choosing a summer wardrobe shouldn’t be a chore. Many people believe they need to stock up on dozens of itty-bitty pieces, cramming their closets with a dizzying array of options for the myriad of warm weather events. But a carefully chosen assortment of just a few versatile items can take you from brunch to an outdoor concert, from meetings to a cookout or from vacation to staycation, allowing less time for you to stress over what you’ll wear in the beautiful weather and more time to get out and actually enjoy it.

1. Embellished Vest
Runway: Runway: Charlotte Ronson Spring 2010 RTW
Realway: AIKO Klaus Vest $198

2. Jumpsuit
Runway: Runway: Roland Mouret Spring 2010 RTW
Realway: Ali Ro Silk/Linen Jumpsuit $350

3. Jumpsuit
Runway: Runway: Stella McCartney Spring 2010 RTW
Realway: Mui Mui Cotton-Blend Twill Pants $435

4. Animal Print Maxi Dress
Runway: Runway: Blugirl Spring 2010 RTW
Realway: Diane Von Furstenberg Zahiab Printed Jersey Maxi Dress $345

Image Layout: Tiffany Carlin

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