What's hot for summer? Chunky slides, wide pants and white shirts reinvented.
The season, it seems, isn't cluttered with neons and bright prints in apparel, said Dana Avidan-Cohn, a senior editor at InStyle magazine. Florals and gingham popped up on runways, but she's feeling more classic touches in solids made modern for summer's easy living.
Emily Blumenthal, founder of the Independent Handbag Designer Awards, said convenience is key for the season in bags that can take on multiple duties.
Check out these essentials:
THE 'UGLY SANDAL'
The chunky "ugly sandal" with the comfortable sole and wide straps has enjoyed a higher fashion profile, helped along by women pairing them with more sophisticated pieces.
"They're like a throwback to the original Birkenstocks with the double thick strap," Avidan-Cohn said. "There are a zillion copycats now, but the actual original Birkenstock in a solid black or white, or even a black patent, is trendy again."
Good for all ages, and for all-day walking or a day at the beach, this slide worn with a lightweight white cotton shirtdress, for example, is displacing delicate strappy sandals of seasons past, she said.
A lot of the styles are adjustable. Black is a popular color that Avidan-Cohn likes with a white pedicure.
WIDE, CROPPED PANTS
This spring look is floating into summer, hitting at the mid-calf.
"A lot of women say, 'Oh I have short legs. I can't wear cropped pants.' But it's just a matter of hemming the pant to your mid-leg," Avidan-Cohn said.
And by wide, she means culottes wide.
"They require a more substantial shoe, a chunky shoe whether it's flat or with a heel," she said. "I like to see the waist on these pants, so I like a shirt that hits where your natural waist is at the top of the pant, not showing any skin."
In shorts, the high-waisted style paired with cropped tops that also aren't belly-baring — hitting just below the waistband — is holding for summer.
Bucket styles, cross-body bags instead of clutches and a fresh crop of bright, flower-soft backpacks are high on Blumenthal's list for summer.
She sees versatile, lightweight and hands-free schlepping in backpacks at a variety of retailers, both high-end and more affordable.
A cross-body bag in leather with clean, modern touches will take you easily from day to night, Blumenthal said. And, bucket bags, she said, "are an 'it' shape for this summer. They're soft, hands-free, easy to access but also chic."
MIDISKIRTS AND DRESSES
Avidan-Cohn suggests these staples as less sundress and more polished, 1940s-inspired silhouette.
The look isn't particularly structured but can be feminine and airy, hitting at the mid-calf. Pleats fancy things up and offer a nearly universal shape.
"It makes almost every woman's waist look thinner. If you wear it with a heel, a longer silhouette makes you look taller. And you can find them with all types of strap details so it's easy to pair a bra with," she said.
There's a range of fabrics out there, from casual cotton to silky satin for evening.
Try some delicate, stackable rings, but don't feel honor-bound to stack.
Split them across fingers or wear one above the knuckle with another on the thumb, Avidan-Cohn said.
You can personalize with your initials or buy plated metal to save a few bucks. Avidan-Cohn suggests sticking to one-color metal but otherwise urges you to have at it five at a time!
THE WHITE SHIRT
This staple has been made new again.
"There are all of these different variations now on a classic cotton white shirt, which is the most comfortable thing to wear during summer," Avidan-Cohn said.
Forget your basic fitted button-down. Some have asymmetric hems, so the back is longer. Others are without collars or sleeves.
Ways to wear them are many: layer over a structured skirt, leave the shirttails out in the back or roll up the sleeves.
"You can put something over the top of one. You can wear it as a short dress. They're really, really versatile pieces to have," Avidan-Cohn said. "I've seen a lot of things returning to a classic, modern way of dressing."