BY KATE DAVIDSON HUDSON, EXECUTIVE ACCESSORIES EDITOR AT ELLE
Summer requires an easy, go-to uniform. If I had to choose my top five must-haves of the season, I’d want a cross-body, pared-down messenger bag, a menswear belt, a pair of aviator sunglasses, an oversized gold watch, and a pair of utility booties. I’m thinking “utility” in terms of color this season, too – clothes and accessories in tones like beige, camel, army green, and grey look simple and effortless. Surf-inspired wear also feels fresh and fun for the summer months. Embrace tie-dyes or watercolor printed sandals – infusing color into your look feels right if it has more of sun-washed, surf aesthetic.
We now know a beach run mandates more than a suit and towel, but it has to feel easy – fedoras, classic sunglass shapes, and luxe, flat leather sandals. If you’re going to buy one investment piece this summer, make it a great pair of sunglasses. They’re the only accessory that’s as important from a functional standpoint as a stylistic one. Since I keep everything else classic, I love to incorporate a print into my beachwear – whether it’s a printed caftan or a spice-color printed sarong, I try to weave in a dash of Moroccan flair to add texture to otherwise simple, louche pieces.
Summer in the city to me signals a fitted printed dress. Wear it with a cardigan and ballet flats for a comfortable day look, then lose the cardigan and swap your flats for a statement high-heel sandal. Ditch your day tote or a sleek clutch, and you’re ready for a night on the town. Another simple-yet-stylish option I love to wear every day are wedges. They’re a little easier to run around in, and a nice compromise between feeling dressed, but not “dressy.” One of my personal favorites – a laser-cut wedge.
If you’re anything like me, you’ll want to start shopping for fall now, too. Invest in something leopard print – it’s going to be huge this fall. It’s best when incorporated in small doses, like a printed belt, scarf, or heel. Statement jewelry is a great accessory to buy now and wear later. Make sure to keep the focus on one area to avoid looking weighed down. An oversized dome cocktail ring, embellished bib necklace, or statement cuff will work year-round to accent your look.
And my last bit of fashion advice is to the style shy. If you’re a little hesitant to embrace the trends, find someone whose style you identify with, and use them as a reference to emulate. There are so many clothing and accessory choices on the market right now, sometimes it’s easier to have a specific sensibility in mind when you start to build a look. If you start to experiment with accessories, they can act as building blocks to help you arrive at a fully-defined understanding of your own personal style.