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Ask Avery: 10 Summer Essentials

Photo courtesy of Flickr / pinksugarface

blog by Avery Hartmans  • 

Dear Avery,
What are your top picks for women this summer? I could really use an excuse to go shopping.

I’m delighted you ask, because I think it’s time to call it what it is: summertime. I know, I know, it’s not officially summer, at least not according to the calendar, and the kids are still in school. But Memorial Day has come and gone and I think — I hope — that hot weather here to stay. So by my standards, it’s summer. Which is the best excuse I can think of to buy a whole heck of a lot of new stuff, just to celebrate. So here you go: my top ten picks for sweet, sweet summertime.

No. 10: White skinny jeans

I realize this is not very exciting nor surprising because everyone knows white jeans are a summer staple. But much to my embarrassment, I did not own a pair until two days ago and friends, let me tell you: they are life-changing. It’s one thing for me to Google image search celebrities in white jeans or lust after the perfect pair of white skinnies during my many hours logged online. But to actually own a great pair that I can match with pretty much anything has caused me endless hours of delight. And yes, I’m slightly embarrassed by that.

Top pick: H&M, $24.95

No. 9: The perfect hat

I can’t narrow this down any further because there are so many great options out there. Don’t limit yourself to baseball caps or the typical sun hat: straw fedoras are still in, along with military-style caps and even western-style chapeaux. But take note: while I’m not going to prohibit you from wearing “Gone With the Wind”-style giant hats, I will make fun of you in my head. Stick with something a little more current and leave your giant floppy hats at home. You look stupid in them anyway, I promise.

Top pick: Urban Outfitters, $46

No. 8: Yellow

You know how I mentioned the color for spring is tangerine? It’s time to forget I said that and move on to a sunnier hue. Summer is all about yellow in every shade imaginable. From pale, innocent lemon to blinding neon, this mellow color will be your best friend for the hottest months of the year. Pair yellow with white. Pair it with denim. Pair it with even more yellow, for all I care. Just wear it and be happy about it, dammit.

Top pick: American Apparel, $6

No. 7: Surf-inspired separates

What better time to embrace surf style than summertime? This trend has been around for a season or two by now, but it still looks fresh and surprisingly chic. The trick to wearing clothes usually meant for the waves is to mix and match. As with any trend, a head-to-toe outfit will make you look like a goofball. Instead, pair a neoprene shirt with tuxedo pants and pointy-toe pumps, or a wetsuit-inspired dress with flat gladiator sandals and statement jewelry. Everyone knows surfer chicks are the coolest breed of human, so this is your chance to be one of them.

Top pick: Nasty Gal, $48

No. 6: Sheer beach dresses

I think it’s pretty clear that I don’t shy away from all things sheer, so why would beach cover-ups be any different? Let’s be honest, everyone’s about to see it all anyway, so don’t even bother with a demure cover-up. Choose something fun that shows off that sick bikini bod we spent all winter working on (or so I’m pretending). And even if you don’t feel like revealing all at the beach in a tiny bikini, keep your cover-up on and let people strain their eyes attempting to see through it. Buy one that’s sheer and chiffon or hippie-ish and linen. Either way, this is not the time to pretend you’re modest.

Top pick: Free People, $148

No. 5: Neon backpacks

A refreshing alternative to the tired old straw beach tote, the neon backpack is fun and functional. As you may have realized, I’m rather partial to neon, but I refuse to believe that’s a bad thing. Summer is the perfect time to wear as much color as you want, and that includes accessories. Plus, a backpack can take you from the sand to the streets and has tons of pockets for sunscreen, an iPod, a paperback and all your other beach essentials.

Top pick: Opening Ceremony, $60

No. 4: Sequins + faded denim

My favorite thing about fashion is contrast, so I love when two opposites are paired together. Summer is a good time to break out that washed-out, destroyed denim you tucked in your closet last fall and pair it with something unexpected, like sequins — a soft, vintage material mixed with a harder, edgier look is unexpected and understated. So find that trashy sequined mini skirt I know you held onto as a remnant of your dancing-on-bars phase, and throw it on with a loose chambray button-down and some sandals. Or, try a sequined tank with destroyed boyfriend jeans. It will look very fashion-forward, not weird. Probably.

Top picks: Brochu Walker, $295 (top), American Eagle Outfitters, $36.50 (shorts)


No. 3: Hot pants

Yes, you read that correctly. Super-duper short shorts are in this summer and I sure hope your legs are ready for it. As with other daring trends, hot pants are not meant for everyone — they will not flatter certain body types, plain and simple. But for those of you who think you can handle it, go ahead and rock some truly itsy-bitsy pants. But keep in mind the concept of balance: if you’re shorts are barely there, go ladylike up top and south of the ankles. Hot pants paired with a loose tee or sweater and classic Keds could become your go-to summer look.

Top pick: Forever 21, $14.80

No. 2: Summer sweaters

I wholeheartedly believe that summer sweaters are highly underrated. A light, loosely-knitted sweater is perfect for a chilly night at an outdoor party or a cozy backyard bonfire. It can be worn over a dress, with shorts or jeans, or even a bikini if you really have internal temperature control issues. Basically, there is no limit to what a summer sweater can do for you, so ensure it becomes a staple in your wardrobe. I’m also a fan of sweater tank tops, which are mildly confusing but ultimately very cool. A sweater tank top in a natural shade like tan or taupe paired with white jeans and neutral wedges may just be my new favorite summer look.

Top pick: ASOS, $69.58

No. 1: Pale pink footwear

Is there anything better than pale pink ballet flats covered in silver glitter? The answer is no, there isn’t (except maybe for golden retriever puppies). These flats are ladylike yet youthful and could be paired with pretty much anything you want — the pink is neutral enough that these could become your new wear-with-everything shoes. Plus, these shoes remind me of ballet slippers, which makes them even more adorable. I hope you are now inspired to embrace your inner girly-girl.

Top pick: H&M, $17.95

Photo courtesy of Flickr / pinksugarface.

TAGGED: summer, summer fashion, summer style, top ten, top ten lists

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