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Dressing light for the warmest months of the year is a given:  teens gravitate to minishorts; matrons to sundresses and Bermuda shorts; many men wear tattoo- or muscle-revealing T’s, and the babies among us wear bonnets and stay under the protective overhang of the carriage.  But “light” not only means skimpier clothing crafted of sheer, whisper-thin fabrics, but something just as important:  light in color

–Rarely have designers been so “on target” for a season’s needs than right now.  Light is the mantra for 2010.

                        The Personal Art of Thermal Management

It’s hardly a physics lesson, but color is magical:  the lighter the color, the more it reflects light (and, conversely, the more the object reflects light, the lighter it will appear.)  The darker the color, the more it absorbs light (and, again, the darker it will appear to the eye.)  This is the formula for maximum comfort in mid-summer because sunlight is also heat.  And, as light colored clothing reflects light, it simultaneously reflects heat…away from the body!

White reflects most light/heat, and is the ultimate fashionista choice as temperatures climb.  Black is the other extreme, and absorbs the most light and heat, causing some degree of summer discomfort (unless chilled by air conditioning.)

Best colors for the fun sun season are:  white, cream, tan, pale grey. plus the entire group of colors termed “neutrals,” all favored by top designers for resort wear for 2010.  Deconstructed is the word for many luxe resort collections, even slouchy. 

New ways to be comfortable at rest and in movement are shown in stunning organic lace mini-dresses by Stella McCarthy, muted palettes and gently draped mid-calf dress shapings by Calvin Klein, and just-so cropped jackets by Zac Posen.  Armani’s tulip-shaped cotton miniskirt can go anywhere, any time; as can Tommy Hilfiger’s white cotton shirtdress or Ann Taylor’s sleeveless white top with clusters of fabric petals cascading down from the left shoulder.  So cool! 
But isn’t bright color de rigueur for summer?  Of course!  And that is precisely where accessories come in. Light and comfortable outfits enlivened by bright accessories are dynamic, energetic, and downright fashion-brilliant! Nothing looks as glamorous as shining gold against tanned skin—rings, necklaces, bracelets.  And saturated bright colors can telegraph your mood and fashion sense.

Think of bright bracelets and necklaces, shiny bright clutches, and color-vibrant neck scarves.









Chic is Easy—Choose What You Love

White denim shorts by Michael Kors are truly must-have!  Pop an oversize blurry-colored peasant blouse over it, an impressive bulky necklace, and you’re ready for the day in an oh, so ravishing way!  This summer long beach dresses, thong sandals, a raffia big-brimmed hat and lots of bracelets will have you looking like you’re on site for a fashion spread. 

Scarves catch the breeze, and can either accent soft pale shades or blaze brightly in contrast.  And don’t forget sunglasses!  They not only protect your eyes from glare, but are ultra-glam as part of an outdoorsy ensemble.  And the choice of shape and color are all yours.
Nothing promotes a sense of personal confidence more than simply feeling physically comfortable in your skin.  As one designer said, referring to resort, “People want to look put together without looking too dressed up.”  Maybe that’s why hippie chic is in, as well as khaki safari ensembles, batik prints, military touches, relaxed looks. But understatement isn’t the mode – personal statement is.  The truth is, everyone wants to look terrific, but without seeming to be trying too hard. 




Comments (0) Posted by Mary McGarry on Tuesday, June 22nd, 2010

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