If you're like us, you've got a stack of fashion mags on the bedside table and a closet full of last year's hits. With a few crucial updates, though, you can make it through summer in style -- even if you don't have a budget like Beyonce.
Here comes the sun
The key is tapping into trends, and this summer's fashions are big on color. All the colors. Sunglass-prompting floral-prints play a starring role in everything from from A-line dresses to Zorro-like blouses with frilled collars. Along with these poppy-covered cottons and linens, sunny yellows and cheerful violets round out the mix. We're also heading straight for the shiny stuff. Metallics -- in silver, bronze and gold -- are still (thankfully) go-to hues. And, we're seeing these glitzy tones show up on all types of clothing.
This means that whether you're in the mood to play "stranded castaway" or "ethereal goddess," there's a wardrobe to match. Sheer, gauzy fabrics in draped layers are oh-so-in, along with wavy goddess hair and subtle makeup tones (Hint: Pick up some peach lip gloss. Now!). For a deserted island look, we're opting for something a bit more deconstructed: shorts with worn-looking edges and shirts with simple tie closures at the shoulder, all in subdued tones.
Hemlines in the negative
As for jeans, if you still have a closet full of '09 denim, holey and thread-worn enough for any grunge band member wannabe, you're in luck. To work for summer 2010, seen-better-days denim needs a seductive spin. Glam it up by pairing them with sheer, draped tops and oversized metallic jewelry casts just the right balance. See, how cute are you?
If you really want to mix it up, snag a threadbare denim miniskirt or a pair of boy shorts. And we do mean "shorts." If you measured hemlines in degrees this summer, you'd hear nothing but negatives. As in minus-20. But we'll tell you this: Even with these miniature minis, you can still pick up a $10 bill if you drop it in the street without revealing your knickers. How so? Patterned tights. Or leggings. Get a bunch and wear them under everything: minis, short shorts, ripped jeans, your favorite little dress. After all, how else would you make all those rows of flounced ruffles look casual instead of pretentious? And this summer, we're seeing ruffles on just about everything. Even shoes.
Skyscraper heels, precocious flats
Sandals are great for showing off your new pedi. But plan to pick a brilliant polish because this season, there's nothing subtle about sandals. We're seeing mega-metallic straps with jumbo embellishments. Flats are perpetually popular, but heels have risen to skyscraper heights. So, while we soar into summer in glitzy ankle-twisters, we plan to land one of its hottest trends: over-the-knee socks. Sure, last winter we partied in those OTK boots like it was 1999. But now it's summer and pulled-up-to-there socks are perfect with little dresses or minis. Plus, they'll protect your knees if you take a runway-style spill while rocking those higher-than-ever heels.
So, if you follow our head-to-toe mantra -- bright colors, short shorts and shiny sandals -- you'll be the hottest thing under the sun this summer. Wondering what to do when the leaves turn? Don't worry. Together, we'll figure out fall fashions, too.