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Barbara Aleks Hecht

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5 Easy Summer Style Staples to Keep You Cool and Hot

Posted: 07/23/2013 11:11 am

The good thing about summertime is that my kids are home all day and I go into summer mode. The bad thing about the summertime is that my kids are home all day and I go into summer mode. I get very little work done (did I mention my kids are home all day?) and with the constant heat and activity, I tend to gravitate towards clothes that are easy to wear, comfortable and practical. At the same time, I don't want to sacrifice style.

Here are my picks for five easy summer style staples that will leave you cool, comfortable and looking super fab.

1. Shorts

Shorts are my favorite summer staple because they're practical, comfortable and extremely versatile. You can keep them casual with a tank and flat sandals, fancy them up a little with some wedges and a sparkly Tee or dress them right up with heels and silky blouse.

With so many colours, patterns and lengths to choose from, there's no reason why you can't stay cool, be super comfy and look incredible -- all at the same time.


2. Skirts

I used to think that skirts were only worn when you want to dress up. Now I know better. With so many different styles and cuts available, I find that they're just as versatile and easy to wear as shorts (unless I'm climbing the monkey bars).

They're also ideal for creating a look that's a play on both casual and dressy -- try pairing a printed pencil skirt with a graphic Tee or a fuller skirt with a tank and sneakers. The great thing about skirts is that the combinations are endless.


3. Dresses

I'm not much of a dress person, but when I find one that's the perfect fabric, cut and colour, just try to get me to wear something else. The great thing about dresses is that they're an instant outfit. They're perfect if you can't figure out what to wear with what. Not only that, they're ideal in almost any situation or event.

I used to think that dresses meant dressy and the only way to wear them was with heels, but I've learned that they're great with flats, sandals, wedges or sneakers and can be as casual as you make them.


4. Maxi Dresses

I know that Maxi Dresses are technically dresses, but I thought they deserved their own section. Why? Because they're just so fabulous. Comfortable and versatile, these dresses are great when you want to be casual, chic or somewhere in between.

The key to looking fabulous in one, is to wear the right style for your height and your shape. I tend to look like a Smurf in anything other than a slim column style Maxi Dress and have to belt it at the hip to give me (and the dress) some shape. Once you find the right dress for you, your Maxi Dress will probably become one of the most worn summer staples in your closet.


5. Sandals

When looking for footwear this summer, you don't have to sacrifice style for comfort. It's just as easy to slip on a great pair of flats or sandals, as it is to slip on a pair of flip-flops.

Keep in mind that you don't need to have a ton of pairs to go with all of your outfits. Invest in good quality, neutral sandals and you'll see how much wear you can get out of them. And how incredible you'll look.


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  • 1. Peplums

    Kim Kardashian was perhaps peplums' most famous fan in 2012, but we kind of hope she gives them the Kris Humphries send-off in 2013. Yawn.

  • 2. Sheer everything

    Two words: <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/12/06/ellie-goulding-wardrobe-malfunction-see-through-white-dress_n_2249540.html">wardrobe malfunction.</a>

  • 3. Gel manicures

    Sure, they last a long time. But who wants a mani you can't take off yourself on a whim?

  • 4. Half-shaved heads

    2013 will be the year of Classy Scalp Uniformity.

  • 5. Pastel hair

    Katy Perry and <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/11/06/christina-aguilera-pink-hair-the-voice-2012-photos_n_2081680.html">Christina Aguilera </a>were among the ombre amours this year, but this go around, we hope everyone leaves the My Little Pony hair to, well, My Little Ponies.

  • 6. Studded collars

    We get it. Everyone's afraid of your lapels. Next!

  • 7. Wedge sneakers

    They're comfy. We like comfy! Towering sneaks are just a little bit overdone at this point.

  • 8. High fashion sweatshirts

    The <a href="http://www.openingceremony.us/products.asp?menuid=2&designerid=1335&productid=63924">Kenzo tiger</a> and the <a href="http://www.elbowsandkneesblog.com/?tag=balenciaga-galactic-sweaters">Balenciaga galactic print</a> both kicked off hot sweatshirt-y trends this year, but as far as we're concerned, any item of clothing we're going to spend triple digits on shouldn't be able to double as gym wear.

  • 9. Neon

    Day-Glo dresses, pants, jewelry, shoes, pantsuits, bags, lipstick -- enough!

  • 10. Flatforms

    We'd rather wear stilettos than clod around in a pair of these.

  • 11. Printed pants

    Don't get us wrong, we love this look fashion-wise, BUT, we're skeptical that a pair exists that doesn't make us our thighs look like walruses balancing on their tails.

  • 12. Jumpsuits

    Petitioning the White House to allow separate tops and bottoms in 2013.

  • 13. Dark '90s lipstick

    We have a feeling goth-y lips will be a mainstay this year, but we're already a bit over the "Interview with the Vampire" beauty thang.


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