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Saturday, July 17, 2010


Summer Fashion Trends

By Suzanne Libfraind

Okay, ladies …With summer here, there is no better time to ramp up your wardrobe with some of the hottest trends and accessories this season – from popular patterns to sexy silhouettes to magnificent metallics – that are sure to get you noticed.


Returning this year are some of my favorite trends. First are animal prints. From cheetah, snake, and zebra, these vivid, loud prints make excellent accessories as belts, clutches, pumps, or even scarves. They are great pieces to highlight a solid or small print patterned outfit.

When dressing with animal prints, avoid making them a main focal piece, such as your blouse, pant, or skirt. These prints are so big already, that they need to be worn in smaller doses. To avoid a tacky mess, do not mix your animal prints (avoid wearing cheetahs with snake skin, for example).

Also still popular this summer are beaded necklaces, which are wonderful when worn layered long or varied in size, or as a bold statement around the upper neckline. Chunky sandals are here to stay as well. These sandals tend to have large, wide straps and either wedge or chunky heels, and are best complementing fitted pants. When pairing sandals with a flowing summer dress, opt for a sleek, simple version.

One of my summer favorites is floral prints. When wearing floral tops, opt for a neutral or opposing print on the bottom, either in skirt or pant. You can also add a light sweater in a dominant color over the floral top to tone down the print and complete an outfit.


While jumpers, also known as rompers, aren’t necessarily new, they are revamped and newly stylized for making a chic statement this summer. Jumpers can be worn in daytime with a flat sandal or at night with a high heel.

Be aware of the jumper’s length when planning your footwear. Wider ankle pants are best accessorized with a wedge or open-toe heel. Pants that are narrow and fitted should hit right above the ankle (if they fit awkwardly, have the elastic waist adjusted). Shorter jumpers look great with gladiator style sandals. You don’t need a belt over the elastic waist, no matter the length of the jumper.

Piggy-backing off the jumper’s pant style are billowy harem pants, which are popular with a fitted ankle (which should hit just above the ankle) matched with a fitted top and cropped jacket.

Again, not a new trend, but ripped jeans paired with a fitted top and fitted jacket are making a statement this summer. I personally feel that this trend is not intended for the mature woman, nor is it necessarily appropriate for work. When picking top pieces, keep them simple. Tops that are not busy or that lack ornate textures or belts are best. Avoid stilettos and pumps with ripped jeans.

One of my favorite jacket types, the military jacket, is a big hit this season. These jackets look best when fitted on top and it isn’t necessary to wear them buttoned. Make sure the jacket does fit when buttoned for a sleek look, and that its closure allows you to get in and out with ease (I say this from personal experience).

Another of my favorite style trends this summer is cutout silhouettes in dresses and blouses. These peek-a-boo styles of blouses offer great looks for daytime at the office and can easily become fun outfits for an evening out. Cutout dresses are best left for dressing up outside of work.

You might have noticed that metallics are sticking around. This summer, and going into the fall and winter, sequin tops with jeans will be making a huge statement. From small to large sequins, to gold, bronze, and silver, when paired with jeans, these tops give an instant flirty, chic look to any outfit. They can also be topped with a blazer for a work-appropriate look.


This summer is all about hair accessories. Instead of a particular hair style dominating, ladies will be dazzling up their ’dos with various accessories.

Among my favorites are messy buns with a floral hair clip on the side of the bun. Another great look is floral headbands. These should be worn toward the front of your head and are less about holding your hair back and more about making a visual addition to your outfit. Floral headbands tend to be an accessory for the younger generation, but embellished hairclips are appropriate for any age.

Embellished hairclips dress up any outfit and can be worn with an updo for more formal occasions. I have seen people pull their bangs back with clips, creating an easy style. When wearing hair accessories, remember to tone down the rest of your accessories and jewelry.

Scarves were a big trend last fall, worn with boyfriend sweaters and wrapped neatly around the neck. This summer, lightweight scarves continue the trend, but are worn with cap sleeve solid tees, jeans, and skirts. They create a casual and flirty look that’s not necessarily dressy. Choose light woven and cotton scarves and avoid silk fabrics.

Avoid spending too much money on headbands, floral clips, and scarves. To me, hairclips transcend fading trends, so feel free to spend a few extra dollars on a hairclip you can wear time and time again.

This season’s shoe color is nude, which when paired with any solid color, elongates the leg and draws focus to your best assets. Avoid a totally neutral-toned outfit from head to toe. The nude shoe is a great addition to an outfit that already makes a statement and needs an understated shoe.

No matter which trends you follow this summer, be sure to stay true to what you like and what looks good on you.

Suzanne Libfraind is owner and stylist of Wardrobe Consulting, where she provides personalized image enhancement services for individuals and groups. She has more than 24 years of experience in the fashion industry and has currently appears as the weekly fashion contributor for “My Carolina Today,” a local, lifestyle show airing Monday through Friday on Media General’s WNCN-TV/NBC 17. For more information, visit www.wardrobeconsulting.biz.

Special thanks to SoHo Fashion at The Streets of Southpoint and A&B Store Fixtures.

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