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Ask The Style Editor

6 Common Summer Style Conundrums — Solved!

With the summer season upon us you might be wondering, how do I find the right bathing suit for my body? Can I really try summer's hottest trends without looking like a fashion fool? What are the tricks for looking slim in warm weather clothes? Glo Style Editor Lilah Nicolaidis answers these questions and more, with tips from other fashion experts.

QUICK TRIM

People always ask me, how do I figure out what is the most flattering style for my body type (especially during the warm weather months when there are fewer layers and skin is in)? The answer is quite simple, in fact: Focus on your favorite body part. “The warmer months are great for showing some skin,” explains Shoshanna Gruss, who designs her eponymous line of feminine dresses and separates. "The trick is not to show too much. Pick one area of your body that you love and highlight it while camouflaging areas you are not so comfortable with.” In other words, if you love your toned shoulders but want to hide your tummy, Gruss suggests you try a halter dress that highlights your arms and shoulders, while concealing your middle. Or if you love your legs, a mini dress with a covered-up bodice is the way to go.

BE DAZZLED

With stylish stars like Nicole Richie and Kim Kardashian appearing in perfectly accessorized outfits, another question I hear a lot is: How do I pick the right jewelry for my look? We called on Ali Galgano, founder and CEO of Charm and Chain, for some tips. Her number one piece of advice: Don't ignore your body. “Jewelry is much more universal than clothing, but there are very few magical ‘one size fits all pieces,'” explains Galgano. “Jewelry should draw attention to your features, not your flaws. If you're a petite woman, it's harder to wear an oversize statement necklace than it would be for a larger or taller woman. If you have a big chest, medium length necklaces are tough to wear — they either need to be long, or lie close to the neck. Otherwise, they draw too much attention to your chest, or fall into your cleavage (a look that's not so sexy).”

PRINTED MATTER

Prints, such as florals, ikats, geometric patterns and stripes, are everywhere this season. But are they meant to be worn together? From the runways to the mannequins of your favorite store, designers are showcasing this trend with a resounding yes. How can you try this tricky style with success? Joie's owner and creative director, Serge Azria, has plenty of advice. “I like the look of pairing different scales of similar prints, like a large scale floral with a mini floral or a large scale stripe with smaller stripes,” he suggests. “I also love to see florals and stripes together, either sheer and layered to create a 3-D effect, or worn as separates. That looks very chic — fresh and playful yet reminiscent of vintage Parisian style.”

IT'S PERSONAL

Speaking of trends, how do you play with the season's hottest styles while staying true to your personality? ELLE magazine's Style Director, Kate Lanphear, weighed in on the topic with this advice: “Invest your energy and the bulk of your budget in really developing a basic personal style — a uniform or ‘second skin.' Then you can freshen up this core wardrobe with fun, trendier pieces.” So if you lean towards simple shapes and classic styles, invest in pencil skirts, straight leg pants and crew neck tops. Then, add trendy prints or colors in your accessories with one or two items every season. “That's where fashion gets fun,” explains Lanphear. “Besides, only a fashion victim dives headfirst into trends each season. Learn to say no and just dip your toe into the trends.”

BATHING BEAUTY

With summer in full swing, we're all shopping for bathing suits, so we asked swimwear designer Brette Sandler to help us find the perfect suit. "Large chested ladies should look for triangle bikinis, halter tops and bandeaus with thick straps for extra support, while small chested women can wear any style of bikini," says Sandler. "If you want to add volume on top, try a suit with more embellishment, like pleats, ruffles and beads.” Sandler notes that “curvy girls should try a triangle bikini or a strapless bandeau to draw attention to the neckline.” In terms of colors, Sandler suggests bright colors, like white or turquoise, for olive skin tones and coral and silver for women with fair skin. And don't be nervous to shop for this summer staple. Sandler advocates going to a department store with a big swimwear department so you have as many options as possible. “Be open-minded and have fun,” she adds. “I find the best bikinis on the days when I've already been out in the sun, or when I've just been to the beach.”

DAY AND NIGHT

As someone who often has after-work dinners, parties and other events, I think a lot about clothes that can go from day to night. A few simple staples will transform your work wardrobe into party-appropriate attire, whether your destination includes drinks with the girls, a dinner date or a work function. First, invest in a black blazer that you can layer over jeans and a tee, a dress, or a pencil skirt and blouse. Second, a pair of heels will instantly dress up any outfit. And finally, accessories like a clutch bag or a pair of oversize earrings will make you feel festive and fresh, even if you've been in business meetings all day.

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Ask The Style Editor
6 Common Summer Style Conundrums — Solved!
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