Fashion designers have dipped into the boldest colors in the paint box, and we’ll all have a lot of fun getting dressed this season. Anything goes as long as it’s brighter, more feminine and a bit dressier than in past years. Dresses are cut for a slimmer, more elegant silhouette, and the fabrics are light and flowing. Even shorts of all styles have undergone a makeover and are perfectly suitable for business casual wear. Most pieces have been designed for an easy transition from the office to cocktails and dinner. Overall, the playful use of color defines the summer of 2014.
Colors from the entire spectrum—orange, in particular—have splashed into fabrics, jewelry and handbags. A crocodile purse I saw recently was dyed sky blue and lime green to surprisingly elegant effect. Patterns range from floral to tie-dye to peacock. Even camouflage is hanging in there, but in outlandish color combinations like pink and purple. The standard “little black dress” will turn plenty of heads in bright azure or canary yellow. Now that I think about, hardly anything is the color it used to be: The peacock I mentioned before is likely to be any combo except green and blue. Feel free to make your own rules, even where evening wear is concerned. Black tie affairs just got a lot more interesting.
I love wearing dresses, and the possibilities this summer are endless. The timeless Dior look, with a fitted bodice, belted waist and full skirt, is popular again at any length. Maxi dresses, great for comfort and versatility, have been tailored down to fall closer to the body. Many are slit to show a little leg. Simple, sleeveless sheaths have been embellished with sheer panels above the bodice or lace at the neckline. Pastels are still a good bet, but shimmery fabrics make them pop—think Grace Kelly in her icy blue gown at the Academy Awards. In all dresses, look for shine, shimmer, more movement and flow.
If you’ve planned a beach vacation, you’ll be startled by the evolution of the swimsuit cover-up. Muumuus and terry zip-ups won’t cut it anymore. Caftans are gorgeous this year, flattering and dressy enough to wear to dinner poolside with a change of shoes and the addition of some chunky jewelry. Other outdoor staples, like shorts, bandeaus and crop tops have been kicked up a notch for a classier appearance. If you dare to reveal some skin, take note—the bare midriff no longer exposes the navel. Waistlines have risen to the waist on shorts, bikini bottoms and light trousers. In swimsuits, florals and geometric patterns are popular, the bolder the better. Bermuda shorts aren’t nerdy anymore and transition well for work or play. For the office, find a pair with a light sheen to the fabric and top them with a tailored blouse. Save denim cut-offs for the back yard this year; the tomboy look has given way the soft and feminine, even in shorts.
There’s something for everyone in shoes. Stilettos shares equal space with chunky heels, and traditional summer espadrilles are offered in eye-popping colors. Fun trends include wild patterns, rock-studding and metallic accents, especially rose-gold.
Don’t avoid brilliant lip shades, but tone down your cheek and eye makeup. Slicked-back, wet-look hair balances well with strong brows and sheer lips. Add a light bronzer for that day-at-the-beach look.
Orange you glad it’s summer?
Photo accredited to ***~^ ^~*** on flickr