Sometimes it feels like we wait until summer to break the monotony of everyday life. It’s a season filled with vacations, barbecues, family reunions, weddings, pool parties, and different efforts to balance outdoor activities with staying cool.
One thing’s certain; the hot weather shouldn’t stop you from looking good, enjoying your own body, and adorning it with your favorite styles. Whether you’re working, sitting back and unwinding, or driving “two miles an hour so everybody sees you” – there are a ton of summertime styles to delve into. This month we want to share some of our personal must-haves with you!
Prints! Prints! And More Prints!
This is the perfect season to show off your colorful prints. Right now, you can find shirts, shorts, pants, leggings, dresses, and shoes in a multitude of them. Whether you shop at your local thrift stores (like we often do) or at high-end boutiques, prints are everywhere! Trending this summer? Tribal, floral, and animal prints. Here’s a great example on Funmi (below); she’s wearing a beautiful mint green sundress with pale pink and yellow floral print for those casual summer days on the go!
Not your Mama’s Shorts… or are They?
High-waisted shorts are here to stay! They first hit the scene in the 40s, came back in the 80s, and now they’re here today, so it’s safe to say two things: (1) fashion almost always becomes fashionable again, and (2) high-waisted shorts are awesome.
Aisha’s favorite high-waisted shorts are actually her mom’s shorts from the 90s. But whether you inherit them from your mama, thrift them (most likely they once belonged to someone else’s mama), or you buy them new from a store you love, you’re going to look stylish with a pair of them on.
Show your tummy some sunny loving and wear a crop top! One on-trend summer look that we enjoy involves a crop top and high-waisted shorts or a maxi skirt. Bandeau tops also create fun styles, as they can be worn by themselves, under tank tops, or sheer tops with any kind of bottom.
Maxi Skirts and Dresses
Our other faves? Maxi skirts and dresses, of course. Maxi skirts and dresses allow you to feel fully covered while also helping you keep cool in lighter fabric. You can pair your maxi skirt with an easy, breezy summer shirt and throw on a pair of cute sandals or heels! And if you like maxi skirts/dresses and really love bold colors, you can wear something like Funmi’s strapless, cobalt blue maxi dress shown below:
Whatever style trends you choose to embrace this summer, make sure that…
You feel good about what you’re wearing.
You know or are getting to know your own personal style. Like everything, style is also about knowing yourself, so find out what you like by experimenting with different looks. Additionally, it is nice to consult with friends about those highlighter green cut-off shorts you want to buy, but at the end of the day, you’re the one who will be wearing them. Your life is not an episode of What Not to Wear.
You make your own rules. Don’t let anybody dictate what you wear because it doesn’t “look good” on your body type. Wear what makes you feel beautiful and comfortable. Yes, throw on that crop top no matter how big or small your belly. We’re not out here sporting our crop tops and bustiers with six packs and flat bellies. And as one of our Twitter followers @awkward_duck says, “you will deal!”
You are physically comfortable. “Booty” shorts are nice, but make sure you can breathe in them!
You create trends. We know that YOU know what looks good! Visit your local thrift store or your mom’s closet so that you’re not spending too much money trying to become a fashionista!
The most important thing to remember about dressing for summer is: Do YOU! And remember that it is HOT, so give the sun a run for her money!
Other top picks for Simone: bright cut-off shorts; maxi dresses; crop tanks; and floral bustiers. Simone found her favorite flowy print skirt at a local thrift store, and we guess you can say it has ALL the prints!
Other top style picks for Aisha: tribal print crop tops and patterned pants
Oh, one more thing! Check out our friend, Tareya; owner of the virtual clothing boutique The Vault Vintage. She has some great merchandise at amazing prices! You can also follow The Vault Vintage on Instagram and Twitter for updates on new items.
We’d love to hear what’s in your closet this summer!
Aisha + Simone are the Life + Style contributors for the Phoenix Rising Collective; continue supporting their posts on the importance of letting who you are shine through when it comes to self-care and defining your personal style. Here are more of their how-tos, anecdotes, and words of inspiration.
Aisha Upton is a first year PhD student at the University of Pittsburgh, studying Sociology and Women’s Studies. Her research interests: Black women in service organizations and violence against Black women. She is passionate about many things including community service, lipstick, baking, thrifting, knitting, and being a proud owner of a Cockapoo, Napoleon. At the intersection of being a diligent student, a fashionista, and an activist – you will find Aisha, attempting to find a balance.
Simone Savannah is an English instructor and contributing writer for the Project on the History of Black Writing at the University of Kansas. She is currently pursuing a PhD in English-Creative Writing and Women, Gender, & Sexuality Studies. Her poetry is based on personal experiences she can’t let go—imagined or otherwise. Simone also enjoys making green smoothies, attending Bikram Yoga classes, and laughing uncontrollably.