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What To Wear: Summer Start-Up

May 24, 2010

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I’m in desperate need of a vacation; all I can think about are picnics, retro swimwear (all out of my price range, mind you), warm nights, lazy mornings, and that glorious stack of summer reading books sitting on my shelf at home. Summer has already begun for what seems like everyone but me, so to get pumped for all the events I will get to attend soon (three short weeks, to be exact), I decided to do a little beginning-of-summer guide for all the super-lucky people who are already out of school. Enjoy!

Event #1: Memorial Day Festivities

Almost every family I know uses Memorial Day as an excuse for a family reunion. If you are lucky enough to have a vacation scheduled for Memorial Day weekend, go ahead and skip this event and then promptly thank your lucky stars you don’t have to watch your Uncle Jared publicly humiliate himself for the third year in a row.

Not everyone’s Memorial Day sucks — one of my cousins is celebrating “Beermorial Day”, which sounds like a great time, especially if the alternative is an Uncle Jared. Of course there are also tons of BBQs, pool parties, and bonfires. Whether you love Memorial Day festivities or loathe them, you will need something to wear, and no one wants to be rummaging through their closet at the last minute.  My solution: something simple, weather-friendly, and fun:

Memorial Day BBQ

1. Sunnies are a must! Most Memorial Day activities take place outdoors, and you don’t want to be squinting the entire time (how will you see your potato salad?). These retro-inspired shades give a simple outfit just the right amount of cool, plus they are neutral, so they’ll go with pretty much anything.

2. A brightly-colored, graphic print is the perfect pick for a daytime activity. A fun checkered dress is both whimsical and chic, and red looks great against tanned skin (hopefully fake!) and paler complexions.

3. A blazer keeps you warm if you’re out after dark, and the neutral color balances the printed dress to keep you from looking like a walking table cloth!

4. Um, can anyone say LOVE?!? I am obsessed with these shoes! I spotted them on Jessica from What I Wore, and I’ve been looking for an outfit to pair them with since. They are way to high for me to wear in real life, but maybe some of you are brave enough. Wedges are great for outdoor activities because you don’t have to worry about your heels constantly sinking into the mud. I like that these have a subtle floral print on the bow, which also offsets the checkered dress.

5. A simple chain and leather bracelet (for a great price!) adds just the right touch of glamour to a casual cookout outfit. This bracelet reminds me of a horsebit (I am strangely drawn to them), which reminds me of this gorgeous bracelet that I can’t afford, but still love.

Event #2: Reunion With Old Friends

The beginning of summer usually means reuniting with friends from home. As soon as you hand in your last final exam and start dusting off your flip flops, your cell phone starts ringing off the hook with calls from high school pals. While it’s great to see everybody again, these reunions usually come with pressure to impress. To relieve some of that pressure, wear something comfortable and trendy: You can show off your fashion know-how and brag about that killer internship with confidence.

Reunion Outfit 2

1. When you’re hanging out with old friends, there is no telling what you’ll end up doing. A cross-body bag allows you to keep both hands free, and this one is big enough for all you things plus a digital camera to capture all the good times.

2. A fun and flirty tank top with a vintage feel is a great piece to work from day to night. When brunch turns to shopping turns to party, switch out heels for flip-flops, and throw on a sequined cardigan for a nighttime look.

3. Bright jelly sandals are playful and trendy with added floral embellishment.

4. A layered chain necklace toughens up a super girly look. Layer a few of your favorite necklaces to get the same look for free — you could even mix colored strands with chains or pearls to add some texture.

5. Cropped jeggings in a dark wash are classic and comfortable. A tip when wearing jeggings: if they don’t look like jeans, don’t wear them like jeans. Denim leggings look best with tunics and longer tops (just like regular leggings) if they don’t have pockets or buttons.

Event #3: Summer Weddings

Summer is prime wedding time, and there is a very slim chance that you’ll last the entire summer without attending a single one. Each wedding has it’s own theme or feel and comes with its own dress code. If you have one go to ensemble, you can easily switch it up with new accessories to eliminate outfit stress on the day of the wedding.

Beach Wedding

1. If the feel of the wedding is romantic, go for romantic accessories. A neutral ruffled clutch adds a great touch of romance to any outfit. This clutch would also be a great way to soften up a tougher going out look (I’m thinking leather and caged heels), so it will definitely last you more than one night.

2. A go-to dress for weddings is a must. This dress would work for beach weddings, most country club weddings, and any other casual/outdoor weddings. Throwing on a shrug, cardigan, or blazer automatically dressing this up, so if you feel you might be under dressed, go for some kind of cover-up. This dress is a great color for summer and spring, and the ruffles give it that romantic feel. Just a word of warning: If you are going to a black-tie wedding, you might want to choose a different dress…this one might not fit the bill!

3. A free flowing doodle-esque necklace draws attention to your face and adds a touch of glam.

4. Metallic sandals have a beachy feel, but are still dressy enough for a wedding, and you really can’t beat that price!

What Do You Think?

Are you already out of school? What do you have planned for the beginning of summer? Do you have a go-to wedding dress or do you buy something new for each event (lucky!). Do you feel pressured to dress-to-impress when you reunite with friends from home? I’d love to hear from you!

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