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Stepping out this summer in style

Tamara Leigh offers options for festival- and concert-goers alike, to ensure you're looking as good as possible when you're out in the summer sun.

By - Jun 19th, 2013 04:00 am
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Men’s blue Ralph Lauren sneakers and Women’s Tory Birch beaded sandals are perfect for the summer festival season

Lovers of summer endure Wisconsin’s harsh winter just to celebrate three glorious months when energy is bursting, like butterflies emerging from hard cocoons into blue skies and sun-kissed days. Summer keeps us “Forever Young”, with a “school’s out” mindset, giving even grown-ups a pass to frolic from June through August.

The increasingly warmer weather also heralds the season of festivals: Milwaukee’s Summerfest, the Lakefront Festival of the Arts, numerous culturally themed celebrations, as well as the Wisconsin State Fair, Milwaukee Zoo events, and Madison’s 30th Anniversary of Concerts on the Capitol Square, to name a few.

man bag summer 2013 lv

The Louis Vuitton man bag

To help you step out in summer style, here are some fashion tips that will help dispel the reputation our state residents have of only wearing sweatshirts, flannel, and apparel made to resemble cheese. For those sporting a few more winter pounds than we’d like, style is not dependent on size or shape; it’s an attitude. A commitment to appearance will accentuate your best features.

The unbreakable rule of summer attire: Wear comfortable, yet stylish, shoes. Your feet will take a beating and will be blistered, sweating, or throbbing if you don’t. Leave the crocs, flip-flops, and athletic footwear at home.

Another note: Wear clothing with pockets when going out. Add a lightweight fabric, durable bag, purse, or backpack with a comfortable strap, zip, or secured latches, and multiple exterior compartments to separate sunglasses, wallet, cellphone, sunscreen, etc.

hawaiian shirt look

Printed Hawaiian shirt nicely done

Summer also lets us lighten up with colors and fabrics. Taking a cue from nature, shades reflect the vibrancy or subtlety of flora and fauna as in Pantone’s 2013 colors. As skin tones soak up sunshine (protected by sunscreen, of course), lighter colors naturally look great against the contrast. For both men and women, the key is to balance the overall palette of calming neutrals, like sandy beaches and blue-greens of water, with vibrant brights such as poppy red or sunflower yellow. Even a monochromatic color theme can pop with an energizing bright accent.

Coordinating a color theme to your venue is often encouraged. Who doesn’t want to wear some green to Irish Fest or a little Navajo turquoise to Tim McGraw at the Marcus Amphitheater? If you’re going to Jimmy Buffet, or a similarly Island-esque event, dress up the bold colors. A note to men: just putting on a Hawaiian shirt over jeans or khakis does not make you “dressed” to go out.

Ladies: Whether going hip hop, indie rock, jazz, or country, summer is all about sexy. Bare shoulders and bare backs make stunning statements without the overexposure of boobs and booty. Proper fit always makes you look better (that goes for guys too). We’ve all seen the people poured into too small a size; it isn’t pretty.

woman maxi dress tamara

Maxi dress from IGIGI

Summer fabrics are bright, breezy linens, silks, cotton, and chiffon, with a variety of textures, prints, and patterns such as gingham, paisley, or embroidery. In hot weather, natural fabrics that “breathe” are best for keeping sweat at bay.

Zero in on your body type, complementary colors, age group, and type of event, then choose from a plethora of summer style. Be inspired by hot summer 2013 fashion.

Before you step out this summer, contemplate how to do it in style. When you plan ahead, you can capitalize on deals when you’re out shopping, and you’ll be ready for anything.

What look will you be wearing at the festivals this summer?

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