1. Stop Here on Red
Bright blouses, bottoms, and accessories have the right of way.
Left: Shirt, Magaschoni, $300. Shorts, Diane von Furstenberg, $245. Bangles, Allison Daniel Designs, R.J. Graziano, and Coralia Leets. Bag, Prada.
Right: Jacket, Derek Lam, $1,350. Tank, Tees by Tina, $36. Pants, Max Mara Studio, $295. Sunglasses, Anna Sui Eyewear. Cuff, Accessories & Beyond. Ring, Skinny by Jessica Elliot. Shoes, Manolo Blahnik. Luggage, T. Anthony, Prada, and J.Crew.
2. Flash Your Brights
This season's hottest look is all about creative color mixing, and it couldn't be easier: Simply combine two or more solid pieces in contrasting shades. This silk jersey dress (Michael Kors) sizzles against blue accents. A wide belt (ADA Collection), bangles (R.J. Graziano), and heels (Versace) are great for a party. For a sportier style, try sandals. "A T-shirt dress is so versatile," says O
's creative director, Adam Glassman
. "Just change up the accessories to change the mood."
3. Full Tank
Solid-colored pieces don't have to be plain. Consider this tank (Chelsea Flower, $220), which is anything but one-note with its plunging V-neck, twisted straps, and waist-defining knotted midsection. "A low-cut top shouldn't be skintight; that would be overkill," says Glassman. "The fabric skims over the body, and best of all, it breathes." This summer match the top to a long pencil skirt (Peter Som, $485); come fall, the same shell will brighten a blazer or cardigan.
Bangles, Make Me Chic.
4. Walk This Way
If you want to create the illusion of longer legs, kick up your heels in a barely there pair of skinny-strapped sandals (Edmundo Castillo, $625). They're everywhere now, at all prices.
5. Soft Shoulder
A strapless dress can be incredibly elegant—if you're not constantly pulling it up. This structured bustier bodice (Rebecca Taylor, $325) won't let you down. The Crayola color is an accessory in itself; a few bangles (A.V. Max, Skinny by Jessica Elliot, and Sobral USA) and a belt (Martine Wester) in tropical tones are all the extras you need.
6. Curves Ahead
"The back is the new hot zone," Glassman says. Clothes with cutouts and alluringly low dips spotlight an often overlooked area. This minidress (Hervé Léger by Max Azria, $1,350) is made of superstretchy fabric that holds you in and smooths you out. Trying before buying is mandatory with styles like this one; if a bra is needed, get one that works with open backs, like Le Mystère's Dos Nu Convertible Bra ($64).
7. Smooth Ride
The skirts of summer—to-the-knee, midcalf, or ankle-grazing—have a fuller silhouette that glides over hips and thighs, good news for any figure. Fabric is key: "You want something breezy, like jersey or cotton," says Glassman.
Tank and skirt, Michael Kors, $995 and $1,795. Bangle, Make Me Chic. Shoes, Manolo Blahnik.