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Look Good Without Spending A Bundle

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Vintage and Mismatched Prints Are In

Story and photos by Emily Smith

ffw-emily-1-4-15-10Most people can sum up their summer wardrobe with a few simple words: bikini and flip-flops. And for a select handful of sun-seekers, an actual outfit can somehow be made using those two minimal summer staples.

But for the rest of us who believe that a little bit of modesty is the best policy, here are some trendy hot weather fashion guidance for summer 2010.

Some of us look to high fashion, haute couture fashion magazines (think Vogue, Mademoiselle, W and the like) to bring much needed inspiration to our summer wardrobes. Unfortunately, too often many of those publications are geared specifically toward wealthy, elitist, city dwellers who don’t mind looking as if they jumped straight off the end of a catwalk and into the line behind you at Target.

Considering that we all do not rent an overpriced, Cracker Jack box-of-an-apartment in the Meat Packing district of NYC, or relish the idea of recreating the costumey, impractical show pieces from fashion week’s most sought after designers, I have compiled a fabulously accessible, easy to follow, and ridiculously practical, loose set of guidelines for summer’s trendiest trends. So grab a pen and paper, take a couple of notes and whip your summer wardrobe into shape.

First and foremost, white will ALWAYS be a summer staple. It’s fresh, functional and clean and signifies youth and purity, even if we are not lucky enough to possess either.

When worn correctly, white can even be extremely slimming and create the illusion of a longer, leaner line … and who isn’t a fan of the tall and thin combo?

This summer, beige shades are equally as popular as the trusty summer staple and come in hues of barely there nudes, dusty peaches and the palest grays. Try your hand at these timeless, wispy colors with lightweight chiffons for an of-the-moment, spot-on trend.

Remember, all shades of beige and white create the ultimate blank slate for keeping it ultra simple this summer.

Speaking of warm weather hues, pops of bright color thrown into the mix by way of flashy heels, handbags or headgear can revamp your neutral ensemble into a major head turner.

Many big designers are utilizing reds, oranges and yellows to catch the buyer’s eye and they have not been afraid to try them on the runway’s most successful and reoccurring trends for 2010: ruffles, pleats and lots and lots of fringe.

Another trend that should not be forgotten while making the most of your summer sizzlers is the all encompassing, fabulous world of vintage. Honestly, how can something that is continually reinvented ever actually go out of style and popularity?

This season, think 1960s mountain bride, hippie sprites and doe-eyed milkmaids, as they all seem to hold inspiration for the summer’s biggest name designers.

The most beautiful and enticing aspect surrounding the ongoing vintage trend is that it can be obtained for mere pennies. And as a form of recycling, buying secondhand has become terribly stylish.

In rounding out the basic guidelines to loosely follow this upcoming “less is more” season, I must tip my hat to the hottest trend, as well as this writer’s personal favorite, PRINTS, PRINTS and more PRINTS!

Whether you choose to don bright checks or a sleek pinstripe, prints are making a huge statement in all realms of fashion.

Feeling print savvy? Dabble a bold tribal or ethnic print into your otherwise boring wardrobe to spice things up a bit. Want to kick it up a notch? Attempt a multi-patterned ensemble, mixing and matching (or in this case, mismatching) pattern and color combinations. It’s fun and easy, and isn’t that what summer is all about?

Two tried and true fashion tips that will never go out of style from this self-proclaimed fashionista: Always remember to go with your gut no matter what trend you are attempting and when in doubt or if your budget is tight, go for the utmost quality for your dollar.

Have a fabulous, fun and fashionable summer!

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