Because it's summer and the last thing you want to worry about is what to wear, simplicity is the way to go. Now's a great time to pare back your wardrobe to the essentials. It's not about how many clothes you have, it's about having clothes that you love. Whether you're packing for a trip, heading to the office or just hanging out with friends and family, here are some tips on how to choose this summer's best fashion essentials.
—Start by letting go. No, most of us don't want to spend a lot of time indoors during the summer, but when the temperature soars, consider taking a quick look at your closet. If you periodically purge the things you don't wear, you won't have to spend tons of time on cleaning it out later. Summer clothes usually need to be replaced more often. If your white jeans are not so white anymore, it's time for them to go...ditto for white T-shirts...two bare essentials.
—Develop a personal style. This is an ongoing evolution that takes most of us years to achieve, and it's always changing...who wants to get stuck in a style rut, right? But when it comes to paring down a wardrobe, it helps to know your personal preferences...and what clothes flatter your own body type. If you like classic clothes, then your summer staples will be a little different than someone who gravitates towards more of a bohemian style. A classic tends to wear more structured shirts and streamlined pants, rather than a romantic off the shoulder peasant top with a maxi skirt.
—Choose your colors. Black and white may be a traditional summer wardrobe combination but throw another color or two in the mix and you've got much more interesting outfits. We all have favorite colors. Look around your home. The same applies to your wardrobe. Neutrals-black, white, beige, gray, brown - can be the basis of your closet, but by adding just one jewel tone or pastel can completely change the mood of your go-to basics. A black or white suit can be transformed with an emerald tank top or a lilac silk wrap blouse. Stick to one or two "extra" colors that can mix and match with everything else in your wardrobe. Versatility is key, especially in the summer when packing for traveling.
—Accessorize for more style. Summer is not the time to pile on the necklaces and bracelets, but you can add lots of flair to neutral separates with just one or two statement accessories when the occasion calls for dressing up a bit. One wide sterling silver cuff or a pair of dangling beaded earrings can be all you need to jazz up a black tunic top layered over white cropped pants and leather slides. Or invest in a colorful handbag to wear with your neutral summer basics. Turquoise and marine blue as well as red are my "extra" accessory colors to team with black and white.
—Have fun with fashion. Summer is the perfect time to be adventurous with your wardrobe. Take some risks. Browse online and pick up a magazine or two to take on a plane trip. Look at people around you, and what they are wearing. You don't have to be a copycat, but you'll be surprised at what you can learn from being more aware of stylish people you admire. Then relax and soak up the sunscreen.
To find out more about Sharon Mosley and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.