What to Pack This Summer

I thought I would put an end to my hiatus on this blog with something a little more personal. Summer is not my favorite season. It’s altogether  hot and uncomfortable, and I don’t exactly tan so much as burn, freckle, and then return to my normal pasty state. However, being unable to alter the Earth’s orbit, I’ve devised an essential list of everything I need, beauty and otherwise, to survive the unforgiving temperatures.

Something long-sleeved and high-neck: It may seem seasonally inappropriate, but the nautical stripes and delicate neckline make this blouse my go-to, at the beach or otherwise.

A good tote: This is an obvious one. Anything with canvas, rope, straw or any combination of the three will do. Leather at the beach is just so wrong.

Micellar water: A longtime favorite of French pharmacies, the Garnier version is almost as good as its European counterpart. A gentle cleansing water removes makeup, sweat, and sunscreen residue after a long day of lounging by the water, but its great for ridding the skin of all kinds of impurities year round.

Cream blush: Powers and sweat do not mix, but a cream blush adds and effortless flush to the cheeks. Josie Maran’s coconut formula is super light and hydrating.

Highlight: While I’m not a fan of the 100 watt glow popular on social media currently, a nice highlight on the cheekbones looks effortlessly radiant in the sun.

 

Bundled Up 

Last spring, the runways saw quite the display of chunky sandals, from Gucci to Prada to Cholé. Now that the temperatures are beginning to drop, we don’t have to bid farewell to last season’s hottest footwear just yet. While socks and sandals may bring up images of tourists in cargo shorts, gorgeous chunky heels and socks (or tights) are anything but tacky. If you’re not ready to rock the maximum-impact opened toed look, opt for something more subtle. 

For the Masses

For almost everyone, including some people in the industry, the concept of Fashion Week can be a little confusing. The runways show clothes off six months before they’re available for almost anyone to buy. That’s why the shows are labelled “Spring/Summer” for no apparent reason in the middle of September. This adds to the exclusivity of Fashion Week. Sure, you can look at the clothes, but any old viewer can’t get their hands on it. That’s where things are changing, however. Christopher Bailey of Burberry, for example, announced that he would be showing his collections on a see now, buy now basis. His collection shown in September at London Fashion Week will simply be called “September.” I’ve admired Christopher for quite some time now. Burberry has always been at the forefront of the industry, especially when it comes to embracing technology. Burberry was the first company to livestream their runway shows, a major step in making fashion about the masses rather than only about an elite group of editors and socialites sitting front row. Burberry then partnered with Apple and live streamed their Spring 2014 show entirely on an iPhone. The success has been undeniable. Under Bailey’s guidance, Burberry is young and cool once again, largely because it’s managed to humanize itself. It’s accessible to anyone with an Internet connection. Next week at London Fashion Week, buyers will be able to purchase pieces from Burberry’s runway right away and from anywhere in the world. A major shift in thinking, but maybe it really is the future. While other designers have strongly voiced their opinions against the concept, others have gotten on board with it. Just a few days ago, Tom Ford took a similar approach in New York. Preen will do the same in London. At this point, it’s too soon to say if this is the new normal or not. However, one thing is for sure. Fashion is becoming more about what it was always intended to be about: people.

(Pearls) A Girl’s Best Friend

I’ve never been a big jewelry person. I can recall a time a time a few years ago when statement necklaces seemed to be all the rage, and yet I felt so wrong wearing one of the chunky-looking pieces around my neck. However, this summer has presented me with an opportunity to branch out a bit, if you will. While pearls have long held a very old ladyish connotation in my mind (NOT that there’s anything wrong with old lady style), I’ve had a bit of an epiphany lately. No longer just strands of lustrous little beads, pearls have become modern and minimalist. Just think of those infamous Celine chokers from summer 2013.

One of the Boys

I will be the first to admit it; I love men’s cologne. Nothing is more attractive to me than a guy that smells great. I’m also a perfume addict myself, but I have always struggled to find the perfect women’s fragrance that’s neither too floral nor too syrupy. I’ve definitely had my favorites over the years, but only recently have I started borrowing from the guys, per se. While I was first a bit apprehensive about shopping at the men’s counter, I quickly found myself loving the way the masculine scents warmed up on my skin. Now, I frequently wear cologne, either on its own or as a base. I’ve also come up with what I believe to be a good rule of thumb for making the switch. Avoid any scent with too much leather, tobacco, or pepper. Instead, opt for clean, fresh scents that are slightly woody. One of my favorites is Dior Sauvage.

Into the Wild

Embrace the freezing temperatures this winter in rugged fashion with think knits, fur, leather and shearling. Take on a casual, almost grunge feel, following suit of DSQUARED fall/winter 15/16. The look of Arctic fur is striking, yet classic and always practical.

 

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Retro Wave 

It’s easy to forget about sunglasses as the weather gets colder and the days get shorter. However, with the 70’s trend staying strong in the form of eyewear this season, this is the perfect opportunity to sport a retro silloete. From eyewear favorite Tom Ford’s winter collection to Gucci’s runway, inspiration in the form of oversized, round lenses is all over. 

  

Wine O’Clock

One of this season’s biggest colors has been deep red and purple hues, from the Marc Jacobs Winter 2015 runway to Chanel announcing an entire cosmetics collection inspired by its highly coveted Rouge Noir nail vernis. Worn most easily on the lips, a wine shade is perfect for a holiday party or a casual day out. Pair this flattering shade with a smokey eye to intensify the look, or let it be the center piece and go neutral with the rest of your makeup.

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After Hours

Take a cue from 80’s deconstructionism for your workwear this season. Roll up your sleeves or undo a few buttons to make classic office staples young and modern. Showing even the slightest bit of skin is effortlessly sexy, yet still totally work-appropriate.

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The Classical Era

Following what seemed to be a bohemian-crazed, festival-inspired spring season that included flared jeans, flowy blouses, body jewelry, and floral prints a la Tommy Hilfiger’s  Spring 2015 collection, this fall is bringing something cleaner to the table. Instead of heavily fringed jackets and lots of embellishment, this season will feature classic, structured outerwear, which, coincidentally, happens to be pretty warm too.

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