There are a number of iconic films in which Hollywood depicts the alluring fantasy of Summer – whether one is finishing school and looking forward to any number of unexpected adventures, which may include but not be limited to partying, trying things for the first time and finally getting that coveted kiss from the girl everyone wants but only has eyes for you, or returning from vacation and randomly breaking into song to describe falling in love. The point is that there are a variety of images that one conjures up at the mere mention of Summer, and while generally we are still enjoying the beauty of a heavily floral Spring, one can never be too prepared when it comes to styling in the latest fashions while keeping a vintage tone and not being the cookie-cutter genre clusterfuck that seems to be running rampant among the alternative subcultures.
Classic cuts mixed with intriguing patterns will definitely make one stand out among those who are too reserved for a more daring exhibition when it comes to dressing up. However, there also comes the risk of having the clothing wear you and blending into a character because none of your real personality is shining through. This is not achieved with accessories or the right shade of artificial red hair, but exudes from within and can assist in owning a room from the moment you walk in.
When fulfilling those Summer dreams, there is an importance of comfort and function over being fashionable for the sake of being able to add another label to a modeling resume. Not all of us have that ‘perfect’ body and none should be ashamed to flaunt it in order to feel good about themselves. Thankfully there are enough companies that understand not every woman is created with the same proportions, and similarly there are plenty of prints and primary colored dresses for every occasion that will suit a wide range of tastes.
The marine blue of Hell Bunny’s Avast dress invokes the postcard perfect sky and sets the background for palm trees and soaring birds, both of which one would hope to see while lounging in this nautical print. Tropical fruity drink drowned in alcohol and served in a coconut shell with tiny paper umbrella option but highly encouraged if stuck on land.
The 50s inspired cut of the Motley dress features a fitted top and full skirt, the white striped sailor collar and skull anchors on the pockets maintain the maritime theme while catering to a slightly darker aesthetic. Then again, a vibrantly hued petticoat and coordinating shoes is a simple way of adding the right dose of fiery flare.
Hell Bunny certainly has no shortage of printed dresses, though personally I am tired of zombie creatures and eyeballs floating on black cotton backgrounds. However, the Cyanide dress features a ghoulishly cute mix of bunnies, bows and bones – yes eyeballs too but juxtaposed with the other illustrations they create an optical buffet from a distance that will draw in the curious.
One of the newer Iron Fist prints is Sailors Delight, which of course carries a significant resemblance to classic tattoos, evidenced by the saturation of red – the Peter Pan style of this dress also happens to be a fashion trend.
For something with a little less modesty and a few notches up on the sultry scale is this modern take on a pencil skirt, which one could wear with Too Fast’s Vintage Octopus Fargo Tank and Iron Fist’s Ladies Bleeder Sandals.
One cannot indulge in the decadence of Summer without having a few too many tiki drinks, and what better way to embrace the kitschy part of the culture than by wearing Tiki Toes Platforms – not recommended for beach wear unless one is pro at navigating deep sand dunes in three and a half inch heels.
The answer is yes, one can swim in velvet, and this vintage styled suit is so constructed that it will seem more like a dress. Dixiefried presents the Glamour Swimsuit in leopard print through Pinup Girl Clothing, a company I personally have turned to when in the market for flattering swimwear.
When seeking a bag with enough space for daily essentials along with those extra things one might toss in for a spontaneous weekend getaway, often style takes a back seat to bulky bags that let everyone know you are supposed to be at work but decided to ditch being responsible for pale sandy beaches and miles of blue water. The Mini Weekender in black faux croc by Lux De Ville suits all of these needs with an attitude.
When waking up in hangover land, one cannot go wrong with 50s styled cat eye sunglasses. They not only will act as a shield between you and the evil rays of the sun, but also as a barrier against gawkers when stumbling into the local diner for several cups of strong coffee and greasy food to soothe a rotten belly.
Another accessory that no woman should be without is a scarf – the vibrant red with white polka dot will distract from the disheveled mess that used to be an expertly crafted vintage updo, or as a disguise for the love bite that may have been upon ones neck when waking up.
Extravagant hair accessories are always in season, and Eight Ball Kustoms is the one-stop-shop for high quality hand made items suitable for multipurpose wear. From layered flowers such as the beautiful dahlia to exotic feathered hybrids and plumed hats or fascinators, each piece is crafted with expertise – there are no mass produced duplicates running around either.
No matter what your plans are for the Summer, chances are you will find yourself outside either enjoying or cursing the rays of sunshine. This requires a product that many forget about but is essential in combating against things like skin cancer, or fading colors if you are heavily tattooed like me. Neutrogena offers Ultimate Sport Sunblock Spary SPF 100+, which is reported to resist vigorous activity and wear off from water, sweat, rubbing or wiping.
The sun is far more powerful than people realize, and scientists recently discovered it can cause Oxidative Damage, which can lead to skin aging, pigmentation and other serious problems. Fortunately, Spectrum+ Advanced Sunblock Spray SPF 100+ is infused with technology that protects us from the major causes of sun damage.
Taking a relaxing dip in the pool, ocean or other various bodies of water usually means that sunblock is going to slide off and skin will be left vulnerable. Then again, Wet Skin Sunblock Spray SPF 85+ is specifically formulated to cut through water to form a protective barrier.
To compliment any of the looks one can create with the items listed above, Too Faced offers the Summer Royalty collection, which begins with the Summer Eye Summertime Sexy Shadow palette. Nine richly pigmented colors such as Plumeria [vivid pink], Coral Crush [coral pink shimmer] and Mermaid [muted teal] are accompanied by how-to cards that will help create classic, fashionable looks for any occasion.
Get instant radiance with the Candlelight Glow Highlighting Powder Duo – the sheer gold warms skin while gilded rose brightens and illuminates – use separately or swirled together to combat the effect of cold lighting.
For that perfect sun-kissed, shine-free look, Chocolate Soleil Matte Bronzing Powder – available in Light or Deep – is made with real cocoa powder and Too Faced’s signature bronzing pigments that smells as good as it looks.
As with all aspects of fashion and drawing upon inspiration in general, there is no right or wrong when it comes to expressing onself, and this guide should serve as suggestions of styles to experiment with. For me, the images that spring to mind when thinking about Summer are hours wasted on the Jersey Shore, taking random trips to discover unique roadside attractions, cruiser nights, rockabilly shows, chrome diners, cotton candy at the carnival and sipping frozen cocktails in the urban jungle that is my back yard.