Bradley Bayou, a couture fashion designer with an atelier in Beverly Hills, lists the top 10 trends for summer and explains how every shape and size can wear them.
1. Floral Prints
Floral prints are a great way to add a feminine touch to your outfit—mixing a hard edge, maybe a little rock 'n' roll, with a feminine touch makes for a very sexy silhouette.
Things to remember in picking your printed pieces:
- Scale: Pick a print that matches the scale of your frame. For example, if you are petite, choose a small and delicate print, or if you have a large frame, pick a larger print.
- Your Body Shape: This trend will work on every body, no matter what your height or weight—just be sure to use it to your advantage. A print is a focal point of an outfit and will draw attention to wherever you place it, so use it to show off your assets!
- For triangles, place the print on your upper body to balance your hips and draw attention to your face.
- If you are an inverted triangle, place the print on your bottom half to balance your broad shoulders.
- Rectangles can put prints on either their top or bottom—just be sure to balance your silhouette by pairing it with a piece that is cut to bring out your hips or shoulders...this will create the illusion of a defined waist.
- An hourglass shape can pull off a printed dress, top or bottom, but she has to remember to make sure her waist is defined, and that her top and bottom are balanced.
Although hot pants and boy shorts were big on the runway, they are not for everyone—but, you can find a pair of shorts that will work best for you. A great pair of shorts paired with a blazer and a button-down is a good way to spice up your summer work gear...or pair them with a sexy top and a pair of heels, and you're ready to hit the town!
- If you are an inverted triangle or a triangle, choose a short with pleats and fuller legs—this will balance an inverted triangle and minimize a triangle frame.
- If you are petite and have nice legs, go for a short-short—this will make your legs appear longer and ,you taller.
- If you are tall or long-waisted, pick a longer, more flowing short. The added length on your shorts will balance your frame.
- And if you've got some extra curves, a longer, more flowing short will give you some coverage and be most slenderizing. Just be sure to pick one that stops at a small point in your leg—like at your lower thigh, where it is narrower.
The military look can be used in a variety of ways to update pieces you already have in your wardrobe.
4. Boyfriend Blazer
- If your body type is an inverted triangle, avoid military jackets with structured shoulders or heavy detailing on the shoulders—such as epaulets or large buttons. These will draw the eye outward and make you appear top-heavy; instead, choose one that has pockets at the hips to balance your broad shoulders. Military cargo pants are a good option for you because the bulky hip pockets will balance your broad shoulders.
- A triangle should choose a military jacket with epaulets and structured shoulders because this will balance your hips—and avoid those cargo pants with bulky pockets around the hips!
- A military jacket will work well for hourglass and rectangle shapes if you pick one that pulls in to give a defined waist. If you choose cargo pants with bulky pockets, make sure to balance your frame by also addressing your shoulders.
- Remember, you can also incorporate this look by utilizing a military or camouflage print, or with accessories such as military-inspired hats and sunglasses.
Don't leave your boyfriend blazer behind this summer! He may turn out to be your favorite accessory.
- You can take him to work over a button-down and a great pair of shorts, or—paired with heels and sexy top—you will want to take him with you for a night out.
- He will also look great with the sleeves rolled up and lots of colorful bangles. (And a great way to incorporate summer's other big jewelry trend!)
- The key to making this trend work is to pick a jacket that has shape rather than just a box cut; otherwise, you may hide your waist and add weight to your frame.
- Whatever your shape, if you wear a fitted underpinning with the blazer, it will be slenderizing—and if the underpinning is a contrasting color, it will be even more slenderizing!
A good summer alternative to the boyfriend blazer is a vest. It's a great way to incorporate a menswear edge and still beat the heat! This piece pulls in and accentuates your waist and is a great way to create an hourglass silhouette for any body type.
- A rectangle should choose a vest with a pronounced front V with a hem closer to your waist to detract from your hips.
- An inverted triangle should choose a vest with a peplum and wider-set straps to balance your shoulders.
- Hourglass and rectangles should make sure to choose a vest that is form-fitting and accentuates the waist.
- If you have a larger frame, match the color of your vest to your shirt. This will work much as a corset would, providing support and a slenderizing effect, especially if worn under a contrasting jacket.
Animal, graphic and geometric prints are a great way to update your wardrobe for summer.
7. Underwear as Outerwear/Sheer Fabric
- If you are going to go for an allover print, pick a simple silhouette such as a sheath dress.
- However, if you want to use it in separates, remember that animal prints work the same way floral prints work and become the focal point of your outfit...so use them to your advantage. Place the print where you want to draw attention, such as a scarf or on a V-neck shirt—this will pull the eye up to your face, which is always a good thing! By adding the print to your top half, you can balance a larger bottom half, or vice versa; adding it to your bottom half, you will balance a larger top half.
- Keep in mind that a simple outfit can be updated with tribal-influenced accessories: belts, scarves, hats and jewelry.
- Use animal prints sparingly as a focal point—a bold necklace or earrings against a simple background of a basic black dress is a sophisticated, modern look.
- For some eclectic summer sizzle, try cluttering up with multiple layers of necklaces and bracelets in the same color palette.
- Remember to use only prints that are in scale with the size of your frame. Larger prints will overwhelm a petite frame and make you appear smaller, just as small prints will make a large frame look larger.
- Another way to incorporate this trend is with a great shoe. Pick up a gladiator sandal or animal-print shoe to finish off a simple outfit for a polished summer look.
A camisole is the perfect feminine piece to pair with a boyfriend blazer or military-inspired jacket. Layering or draping sheer fabric is a delicate and feminine way to add a sexy touch to any look. This can work for any body shape, using the principles from my book The Science of Sexy—accentuating your assets and hiding flaws to create the illusion of an hourglass shape.
8. Nudes and Neutrals
- A dark, monochromatic, form-fitting base, such as a tank and dark jeans or pants with a light-colored lace or sheer over-top, will work best on average and tall frames.
- The dark under-layer will be slenderizing, while the light over-top will add a feminine touch and some sexy to your summer look.
- If you are short or petite, you can still pick a monochromatic base, such as a camisole, corset or lingerie-inspired top under a contrasting boyfriend blazer. It is a great option for larger sizes, as the contrasting colors will give you a bold, vertical line, for a slenderizing effect.
These tones are the perfect contrast to the tribal prints and other bold patterns that are trending this summer. Anything from soft flesh-tone hues to earthy neutrals are going to be hot, so start looking for those in stores and in your wardrobe.
Because nudes are considered neutral colors, they go well when combined with other colors in an outfit or as a canvas to display your jewelry, so go nude and pile on an eclectic mix of necklaces and bangles! However, be sure to pick the right nude fabrics—and whatever you do, do not pick items that are too tight, as body-hugging silhouettes will look like another layer of skin, which isn't flattering at all. To be most flattering, they should drape and float away from the body.
Be careful, because nude colors tend to wash out some skin tones, so mix nudes with black and darker neutral tones like brown, navy and gray, or combo with a splash of color or sparkle around your face.
9. Sparkle and Shine
You will find lots of sparkle out there this summer, and not just as evening wear, so don't be afraid to shine in the daytime too! Look for metallic off-colors such as pewter over a polished silver and dirty bronze over a shiny gold for one of this summer's hottest trends.
- Slinky floor-length gowns are of the moment and can suit any frame if the cut is right for your body shape, so keep up with The Science of Sexy secrets to make the best choices for you.
- Look great in warrior and gladiatorial dress shapes in oxidized metallics. Again, these silhouettes can be cut to fit any body, so be sure to pick one that is best for your frame.
- Gladiator sandals are still here—and are an excellent way to spice up an outfit. If you have long, lean legs, you can pick a sandal that wraps around your ankle. If you are shorter or have more curvy legs, you need to pick a sandal that will not cut the line of your leg, such as an ankle strap. It will be a bit more difficult for you to find a gladiator that suits you, but resist temptation and do not invest in a shoe that is not flattering. Your sandal should buckle low around the ankle. In fact, the lower, the better.
Accessories are a great way to incorporate trends into your wardrobe in an inexpensive way. You could easily add a tribal print scarf or a Panama hat to an outfit to make it summer-sizzling. Bangles and beaded jewelry will also update your look. For instance, add a bunch of bangles in neon colors to your favorite outfit, and it is instantly updated and right on-trend. But don’t forget to use accessories that are appropriate for your shape and size. Larger ladies can wear larger pieces, while smaller frames need to utilize smaller accessories.
May 20, 2010, is National Makeover Day! Watch a behind-the-scenes clip with Bradley Bayou on QVC.
Printed from Oprah.com on Friday, March 7, 2014
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