Summer brings with it sunny days, warm weather, outdoor activities—and an explosion of color. We’re well past winter’s dark hues and getting tired of spring’s pastels. Instead, we want color—the bright shades that have somehow become associated with this warmest of seasons. When it comes to summer clothes, you can use color in several different ways. Read on for some suggestions on how to do just that.
If you want to add color to your summer wardrobe, start with white. We’re not talking about the whole “is white a color or the absence of color?” debate. Rather, much as a painter begins with a white canvas or wall, you need a base on which to put your color. So, for example, consider choosing a pair of white Capris as your starting point. From there, options abound. You could add a white T-shirt and then add pops of color with accessories: a bright print scarf, flats or sandals in a fun shade, or some beaded jewelry. However, summer has its own palettes of colors, so celebrate the season by choosing tops in a hot-weather shade that celebrates the season.
Because they reflect heat, white clothes are especially popular in summer. That doesn’t mean you should not wear pants or skirts in other colors. If you find you’re constantly getting your white clothing dirty, or you just don’t feel white flatters you, don’t wear it. Colored garments will look just as nice when worn with blue, black, or other neutrals.
Citrus colors and summer seem to belong together. Even the colors sound like fruits: lemon yellow, lime green, tangerine orange, grapefruit pink. Whether incorporated into a pattern or on their own as individual solids, citrus shades add mouthwatering pops of color to your summer wardrobe, especially when set against white bottoms. A tunic top in a citrus color over white leggings is a great outfit for enjoying a weekend brunch on the patio of your favorite restaurant.
If citrus colors aren’t your favorite shades, consider the palette of sherbet colors, which are similar to pastels but have deeper hues. Popular colors include raspberry pink, mint green, blue raspberry, and peach. If you’re heading out for a relaxing evening with friends, change your white bottoms for black; sherbet colors look fantastic when contrasted against women’s black jeans, for example.
Let’s not forget those classic, bright primary or secondary colors of red, blue, yellow or purple, green, and orange. A popular summer look is white high-waisted ankle pants with a ¾-sleeve top, particularly in navy or red Breton stripes with a bateau neckline. Add a jaunty bandana tied around your neck and a pair of white canvas sneakers, and you’ll be ready to set sail on the adventure of a lifetime. Or, mix things up a bit by wearing a white top with a pair of bright solid crop pants, matching flats, and some fun jewelry that picks up that same color.
Even the colors in summery palettes get tiresome if all you see are solid blocks of color all the time. Take advantage of summer’s themes and incorporate them into what you wear. Love citrus colors? Find a pattern with fruits in it. Sherbet shades aren’t good just in ice cream images; they really make floral patterns pop. Primary colors shine in summery nautical themes. And, of course, tropical prints rule summer, whether you’re dressing for casual Friday at the office or meeting friends for coffee or a drink. Tropical prints come in so many color combinations and themes, whether you’re looking for Capris, shorts, a dress, or a button-down cotton or linen shirt you’re sure to find one that suits your interests.
One of the easiest ways to use color in your wardrobe is with your accessories. Look for either resin or paper-mâché costume jewelry in fun shapes that complement the colors in your wardrobe. For example, if you’re wearing something in a citrus color, it would be fun to throw on a pair of earrings with dangling fruit. Fashion scarves, which can be draped in various ways, offer another way to add color to your outfit, especially if you’re wearing a solid-color dress or top-and-bottom combo. Still another way to add color is with your handbag. Whether you’re lugging a large tote bag or slinging a small crossbody bag over your shoulder, opt for a color that’s not neutral. Instead, paint the town, rather bag, red or pink or orange…or choose a bright floral or geometric pattern that exemplifies summer’s fun vibes.
Between summer sunshine and the season’s vibrant hues, it’s easy to find clothes in flattering shades that suit your personality and mood. The hard part will be narrowing down all the possibilities.