If you’re like most people, you live in an area that has an established summer uniform: cutoffs and flip-flips, sundresses and headbands, or running shorts paired with tiny tank tops. While these styles are all well and good, they can get tired – especially if you’ve worn them summer after summer.
To avoid getting bored with this year’s summer wardrobe, try taking some inspiration from places with styles outside your norm. One of the best ways to shake things up is to look around the globe for new ideas.
New Yorkers are notorious for pushing the fashion envelope, and warm weather doesn’t cool that impulse down one bit. Printed jeans are an NYC summer staple, particularly those with funky, abstract prints that are eye-catching. Everyone’s been spotted in them this year, from A-listers to anonymous city dwellers, and for good reason: they’re incredibly comfortable and can add punch to any outfit. Printed jeans are the perfect way to show a little personality in your clothing, and they can be worn in casual settings or for a night on the town. However, because these pants make a pretty strong statement on their own, keep the rest of your outfit simple.
Londoners are very much into the bohemian style of the ‘60s this summer. Accessories with a hippie look are especially popular, with python and crocodile material in demand in everything from handbags to shoes. Really large jewelry pieces, from oversized earrings to big, decorative rings, are on-trend this year, too. If you want to steal some less attention-grabbing accessory ideas from London, try anything green or carrying a cross. Any shade of green, and any size or style of cross, from colorful to dainty, will hit the mark. No matter your preference of charm style, you should be able to find one to your liking, as many designers are taking this trend on in 2012.
We may be biased in saying Mumbai is a truly exciting and inspiring place, as we grew up there, but it has a very New York-style melting pot of cultures, religions, and tastes. One thing Indians do better than anyone else in the world is accepting color – everything from flowers to food is a little brighter in Mumbai. If you want to pull from this Indian love of color, look for bright reds, oranges, and yellows this summer. To cultivate a truly Indian look, find a scarf in one of these shades. Scarves make simple outfits more fun, and some carry truly eye-catching Mumbai trademarks, like Bollywood-style sequins or sophisticated prints like those found on saris. If you want a silk scarf, choose one in purple, tangerine, pink, or aqua – these lend the perfect pop of color for summer. (Remember that scarves can be used as wraps, head scarves, and sarongs, too – they’re perfect for the warmer months!)
Dubai is both the business capital and the playground of the Middle East, so many people have migrated there, bringing their own unique styles from their homelands. The city fluctuates between being very conservative and beyond opulent, so major designers have a big influence here. One style that’s been popular with both designers and women in Dubai has been the tunic. In an area with extreme heat (sound like your sweltering hometown in August?), many prefer to stay away from skintight clothes. Tunics are semi-fitted and usually made of cotton, which is very breathable. Better yet, tunics work for every body type – they can be found in every length and shape, and they look great with shorts, skirts, or pants.
Your old summer wardrobe may make you yawn every time you open your closet door, but put yourself in the mindset of someone half a world away. This new point of view will introduce you to some pieces you’ve never considered before – and will love to wear every summer.