by MIKE CHAIKEN
Summer means more than warm weather.
It means visiting friends, lighting up the grill, and sipping wine or beer beside a fire pit.
It also can mean day trips to cute resort towns like Essex, Conn., Newport, R.I., or Hyannis Port, Mass.
For these kind of casual affairs, gowns, cocktail dresses, and pant suits probably wouldn’t be practical… and they might even raise a few eyebrows.
But what should you wear this season rather than a pill-ridden pair of sweats, ripped mom jeans, with well-worn t-shirts when you’re enjoying summer activity?
Just breathe, said Waterbury stylist Hannah Vitarelli.
Summer means switching your wardrobe over to more “breathable” clothes, explained Vitarelli.
Backyard barbecues and outdoor events call for a “keeping cool” outfit, said Vitarelli. To this end, rompers or lightweight jumpsuits are “super easy to style” and get the thumb’s up from the Connecticut stylist. “It’s like a ‘one and done’ outfit.”
Connecticut fashion consultant Susan Pagan of My Strongest Suit (mystrongestsuit.com) said for that backyard gathering, she would wear a tied-dye top, or maybe something floral. She’d then slip on a cute pair of shorts.
And don’t forget to bring a hat, said Pagan. A beach-style or panama would be perfect, said Pagan.
“Keep it simple” at the summer BBQ, said fashion blogger Jada Nicola (TheGirlFromConnecticut.com). “A super easy-to-wear yet comfortable piece would be a T-shirt dress,” said Nicola. She suggested one way to dress up that t-shirt dress would be to slip on “some cute espadrilles or for a more casual look wear lifestyle sneakers.” Nicola said a hat and a “fun” summer tote will complete that backyard wine and dine look.
“The most difficult part is not the drive or even the cost but rather deciding what to wear to dinner (in those cute resort towns),” said Alyssa Anderson, who has worked as a stylist and is the current Miss Watertown.
“Some trendy items this season are jumpsuits, rompers and sundresses in bright vibrant colors or floral patterns,” said Anderson when asked about her picks for upscale casual dining beside the seashores or in the Berkshires.
If you’re going out and want to look more polished, Vitarelli said you should look for a “flowy midi-skirt.” Vitarelli said, “They are so versatile and comfortable for any outings.” She suggested pairing the midi with a “cute summer top, sandals of your choice, and accessories to top off the look.”
For a nice dinner among the other tourists, Nicola said, “I would recommend wearing something that is again easy to wear yet elegant.”
For Nicola, her go-to look is a maxi-dress. “They are effortless while looking chic. Banana Republic currently has a beautiful red pleated maxi dress that would be perfect for a night out in town.”
If you’re heading out to dinner, said Pagan, “I would love to see a nice flowing bold floral print or animal print dress. Add a pair of strappy sandals or heels to complete the look,” said Pagan.
“A staple item to pair with these outfits are tassel earrings,” said Anderson. “They are very trendy and take your outfit to the next level.” She also said a wedge or fashionable sandal are a must to complete your look.
And since we’re talking New England, Anderson said, bring a jean jacket to throw on when the chill settles in after sundown.
For summer trends in general, Macy’s (Macys.com) cites “Blanc Slate” and “Color Pop” as the looks you’ll find on their racks.
Macy’s representatives explained, “Blanc Slate focuses on head-to-toe white looks, whether it is a white button down shirt paired with white linen pants or a great all white swimwear look.”
Color Pop, on the other hand, reports Macy’s, “highlights bold colors in dresses, matching sets and statement accessories.”
Model Iraima Lopez is seen wearing some of the summer styles retailer Target says is on trend.
PHOTOS by MIKE CHAIKEN