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1 year, 9 months ago  |  Get Dressed

Decoding Summer Style

By Gretta Monohan

We’re in the thick of it now: a two-month stretch of back-to-back hot-weather get-togethers. So bring on the endless barbecues, picnics and patio parties. And when it comes to finding the perfect outfits for all of the above, don’t forget to consider the context. What’s great for a family celebration isn’t always the best for a work event. Here’s some inspiration for nailing the right look in four key categories:


Maxi dresses are perfect for a family barbecue, as they don’t show too much skin, but are light and allow you to stay cool in the heat. Dresses like this gathered cotton maxi dress come in multiple fun prints. Add a funky bracelet (a la this one for $58 at anthropologie­.com) for a colorful pop. Meanwhile, a straw hat will keep you cool in more ways than one, if it has a whimsical floppy shape.


Crowds of pals allow for some loosening up, and ensembles like this one are comfy but still cute — exactly how you want to look and feel around your friends. The jumpsuit is good for movement. Step it up with black wedges and bold sunglasses (Like Wow$60 at to keep the ever-so-cool vibe going.


If you’re headed to a cookout at which your obsession du jour will also be in attendance, it’s key to look and feel at the top of your game while not going overboard. Wear a pair of skinny jeans, but keep the top flowy instead of trying-too-hard tight. An off-the-shoulder style (like this eyelet top$88 at will reveal just enough skin. Accessorize it all with something eye-catching, like the Phoebe choker by BaubleBar ($38 at; the gold-tone plating will make lend you a chic glow, whether he notices or not.


If you’re invited to a work-related barbecue or event, that’s the time to highlight the fun side of your wardrobe while still keeping the workplace vibe in mind. Trousers are a popular choice for work, but for this occasion pick some that have a bold, floral print (such as Eli’s Trousers$136 at and can be paired with a light, flowy top. Finish the look with a bright lip stain to give your lips a 
faux naturelle wash of color (try Lancome’s new Juicy Shakers).

Repeat these rules throughout summer, and you’ll be celebrating, dressing and networking stress-free.