Rule: Don’t Wear Head-to-Toe Black
If you dread wearing pastels and bold colors when the temps get warmer, then don’t. You don’t need to ditch your dark wardrobe for the season, just update it with some eye-catching, summery accessories. “Head-to-toe black looks great and lighter when you add metallic jewelry,” says Randi Packard, a freelance fashion editor and brand consultant. “Try some silver bangles and earrings or a gold choker and stackable gold rings and bracelets. You can also lighten the look with colorful accessories such as a red leather handbag, colorful shoes, and a bright red lipstick.”
Rule: No Jewelry at the Beach
You probably won’t take a diamond or pearl necklace to the beach, but that doesn’t mean you need to go completely sans accessories. Alison Deyette, a stylist and lifestyle expert, suggests sporting colorful threaded bracelets or gold earrings (to show off those sun highlights in your hair. “It took you long enough to pick the ideal swimsuit, so why not accessorize it,” she says. Just make sure it’s nothing you’d be devastated to lose in the sand or the surf.
Rule: You Can’t Wear That Swimsuit Cover-Up Off the Beach
No, that short tunic or sheer dress won’t exactly work at a restaurant, but there is a way to wear that stylish cover-up outside of the beach. “Make sure it’s a sophisticated print and color combination,” says Charlotte Hale, founder and designer of loungewear line Plum Pretty Sugar. For a pretty and casual look that’s great for a barbecue or picnic gathering, she advises pairing the dress with a wedge or dressy sandal (sorry, that means no flip-flops).
Rule: No Boots or Booties
You don’t necessarily have to say goodbye to your beloved boots and booties until Labor Day. “A black leather bootie might feel and look heavy during the dog days of summer, but a light-colored suede one looks perfect with a casual dress for a boho look,” Packard says. You can give your sandals and wedges a break for one night, and it will help you mix up your outfits during these warmer months
Rule: Sequins Are Only for the Holidays
Sparkly pieces are normally reserved for holiday parties, but they can work in the summer, too. That doesn’t mean you should wear a beaded or sequin dress to a beach party—moderation is key. “They actually make a great casual look when treated like an accessory,” says Mai Olivo, founder of online clothing boutique Ruche Inc. “Pair a sequin top with a pair of distressed jeans or a basic tee with a sequin bottom. The only other accessory you need is a bright lip color.”
Rule: A Leather Jacket Looks Silly in the Summer
A leather jacket is still an option for those breezy summer nights. “Stick to one of this season’s jackets in a pastel color instead of a sweater or denim jacket,” says Packard. The luxe fabric can really dress up an ordinary sundress or jeans when you’re out for drinks with friends or date night.
Rule: The Swimsuit is Only for the Pool or Beach
Much like a beach cover-up, it is possible to wear your swimsuit when you’re not near the water—if you’re daring enough to try it. “This season’s chic one-pieces and crop bustier tops work with high-waisted shorts and pants,” says Allison Berlin, stylist and co-founder of Le Curate. You won’t be showing too much skin and you’ll be on trend.