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By Maureen Mancini Amaturo

 

Once, long ago, there was a fashion trend that was totally functional. But it was a long time ago and only that once…until now. The recent multi-purpose trend in fashion continues and is such a relief — you can hear grateful sighs from Seventh Avenue to the seashore. Everywhere, women and their wallets are welcoming versatile, double-duty style. And this summer, fashion fans have hit the jackpot. 

 

Following the summer beachwear-as-street-wear trend, beach bags aren’t just for beaches anymore. They’re working overtime. They can be dressed up or dressed down. They’re serving up style that works from sand dunes to dinner. They look great with espadrilles, rompers, and maxi dresses. (Oh, and bathing suits.) 

 

Beach bag style spans the spectrum from classic straw to piñata-like. While the classic straw bag is a staple, there are trendier, more fashion-forward versions putting the <fun> in functional. This summer’s beach bags feature all the of-the-moment trends, like embroidery, tassels, pompoms, crochet, kitsch, figural shapes, words and phrases, and bright colors plus durability, roomy size, and the power to stand up to sun, surf, and sand. 

 

Here are the top beach bag trends that happen to be faves to wear to work, the gym, shopping around town, too. 

 

• Hand-Crocheted and Raffia Straw: Nothing says summer like these classics.

 

• Embroidery: It’s everywhere. One of the street trends that’s storming the beach.

 

• Tassels and pompoms: Another street fashion trend showing up at the shore.

 

• Multicolor, bold shades, and bright prints: Whether in adornments and details or as a beach bag background.

 

• Stripes: Eternally beachy. Chic, modern, and the perfect example of fashion duality.

 

• All-over prints: Especially ethnic and folklore prints. 

 

• Oversized: Fold over for an alternate look or to use as a shopping tote, or don’t fold for a family-size beach bag.   

<Beach Tote Notes>

 

 

 

Classic beach-to-street tote at Lola’s

 

• Carry your makeup everywhere? Find a beach bag that has an insulated lining to keep your makeup from melting (and keep drinks cool, too).

 

• Beach bags are big, and they should be. But their roomy interior can make it hard to protect or find small essentials. Grab a smaller, zippered pouch to store your cell, keys, money, etc., or choose a beach bag with an inner zippered pocket.

 

• Vinyl beach totes are perfect for the pool where you are close to lots of splashing. Straw or canvas beach bags are just fine for a sandy beach.

 

• With styles so chic and versatile, a trendy beach bag will be the only bag you need for a beach — almost any — vacation. 

 

•Not that you have to, but you could match your sandals to your beach bag. Accessorize your swimwear and cover-ups the way you would any other outfit.

 

• Need to keep your hands free, like you do when you take your kids to the beach? Try a beach backpack. They have lots of zippered compartments, are comfortable, durable, easy to store and clean, and are made with waterproof or water-resistant fabrics to protect from waves and weather.

 

• If you need a new summer bag, shop beach bags – even if you’re not a beach person. Dive head first into the statement-making, colorful, quirky, accommodating accessory that could be just the thing that makes your outfit.

 

 

Shopper/beach bag and trendy pompoms at Clutch

 

Big, bright, and colorful at Parkers

 

Fashion and fun in stripes with metallic trim at Great Stuff

Fun and fruity at Clutch

Oversized beach totes at Sarza

Tassels and pompoms at Shoes ‘n’ More

Touch of kitsch at Clutch

 

By Maureen Mancini Amaturo

 

 

What’s good for the street is good for the beach this year. So, bathing suits are floating every hot streetwear trend with options to extend your style from turf to surf. While this year’s women’s swimsuits have more fabric, men’s trunks are getting skimpier, tighter, and shorter. If you’re feeling adrift about what to wear in the water, check out the new wave.

 

The One Piece is the swimsuit of the moment. The best of them feature a deep V-neck that plunges to your midriff, the smallest part of your hourglass figure, and a high-cut leg, à la Baywatch, to elongate your look.

 

<<The 2017 Swimsuit Issue>>

 

• Lace-up fronts <and> sides. Sexy, playful. 

 

• Cutouts. Truly bare or sheer-to-opaque fabric. Cutouts at the waist are a favorite (waist-accenting.) Graphic-shaped cutouts are the new twist. Solid black one-pieces with sheer or blush cutouts at the waist are incredibly flattering.

 

• Floral Embroidery. This No. 1 detail is everywhere. 

 

• Tassels. No way you’re not going to have fun in tassels. Just tuck them under or to the side to avoid crazy tan lines.

 

• Ruffles. Small chest? Ruffled tops are great for you. Bigger bust? Pass on the ruffles. They’ll add bulk where you don’t need it.

 

• Crop-top two-piece suits, especially high-neck. Perfect whether you’re thin or not, flat or fully endowed.  

  

• High waist. Classy and sexy, creates the hourglass illusion. Almost like a control-top bikini bottom. Trendiest choices combine a high-waist with cutout or lace.

 

• Halter top with cutouts or crochet cutouts. Halters and their sister trend, high-neck swimwear, bring attention to shoulders and create the illusion of a more balanced figure. 

                                                                                                                      •Wrap-Around Features. The swimsuit version of the bandage dress adds support and shape. Same concept as the timeless wrap dress.

• One-Shoulder. Flatters all body types. Insecure about one strap holding things up? Many come with an extra strap to attach to the other side. 

•String Bikinis are classic, however, the now version is yellow, animal print (especially tiger), or has tassels.  

• Shades of yellow from light neon to almost nude. Even metallic gold, metallic being another big trend. 

                                                                                                                             • Prints. Cheetah and tiger, of course. Other biggies: Tie-dye, chevron stripes, global ethnics, scarf prints, geometrics featuring orange, corals, pinks, and teal. 

• Gingham. The hottest print of the moment brings a nostalgic touch and is on everything–for men and women.. 

 

 

 

 

Volcom Buds Forever long-sleeved swimsuit 

H&M one-piece with ruffles

Floral-embroidered one-piece from Stella McCartney

L*Space Callie long sleeve Swim Top 

Ruffled off-the-shoulder by Fuzzi Swim

Camilla animal print 

Tassel one-piece from Anna Kosturova Swim

High-waist retro swimsuit from Carmen Marc Valvo

Kenneth Cole Reaction mesh embroidered one-piece

Rachel Roy floral 

Floral high-neck wrap

One-Shoulder with cut-outs from Carmen Marc Valvo

 

 

 

Where the Boys Are

 

Men’s swimwear is showing more leg and moving away from board shorts. But there are some new styles in board — short lengths that hug the leg tighter to bring in the new silhouette. The trends are shorter, tighter, closer to the body, and mid-thigh length European fit.

 

Color and print trends: color blocking, geometric patterns, mixed prints (metallics, neon, stripes) vibrant colors.

Bold-striped men’s trunks

 

Gingham for men in trendy shorter length 

 

 

 By Maureen Amaturo

 

Who woulda thunk that the season of lightweight garments and least amount of fabric would have so much to offer? Summer ’17 merges old standards with the ballyhoo of the most pulsating trends for an exciting, June-September fashion menu. Beachwear mimics streetwear and does double-duty. Fall trends translate to wispy versions. White, linen, and cut-offs release their alter ego. Plain is a thing of the past. Don’t panic. Put on your rose-colored sunglasses (a trend) and have fun with fashion. 

 

<<The Clothes>>

 

<Cut-Offs.> A summer staple. Cut your old jeans. (You know they fit.) Distress your denim. The best way is with sandpaper. Beats paying ridiculous $$$ for shorts.

 

Frayed hem cut-offs at Havana Jeans

 

<Dresses.> One of each – mini, midi, maxi– and you’re set. Play with different silhouettes in both reliable solids and bold prints. Option: skirt versions. Pair the A-line midi with a structured crop top and statement earrings. 

 

Gingham dress at Angela’s

 

<White.> Worn all year, but still a summer standby. What to wear under it? Fashion know-it-alls say the Commando Cotton Scoop Bralette is the thing. Seamless, great under sheer looks, comfortable. 

 

<Cropped Pants.> It’s the summer of the ankle. Streamlined, relaxed, voluminous, or flare …whatever silhouette you love, as long as they’re cropped. Most look best cropped between two to four inches above the ankle. Longer, and they look like regular bottoms that are too short. The length must look intentional. 

 

<Patterns and Mixed Prints.> Especially floral, gingham, and stripes. Push the limit – combine them. If you wear only solids, add accessories with prints.  

 

<Interesting Sleeves.> Leftover from fall and still hot. Volume (bell, lantern, balloon sleeves). Gathered sleeves and tops with exaggerated cuffs. Pleated shoulders are still a focus, as are smocked and cascading ruffled sleeves. 

 

Show-stopping sleeved top at Angela’s

 

<Touch of Tailored.> Balance flowing or oversized summer silhouettes with tailored items that define the curve of the bust, waist, and hip, i.e., peplum tops, pencil skirts, skinny jeans, structured jackets. Wear a billowy top tucked into tailored trousers to highlight your waist. 

  

 

 

 

 

<<The Shoes>>

 

The Everywhere Sandal. Try a simple t-strap sandal, without too much going on, in black or nude.

 

T-strap wedges at Shoes ‘N’ More

 

Ankle-Accentuating. Perfect for cropped jeans/pants. Andkle-strap sandals, shoes with ankle wrap ties, or gladiators. High-vamped footwear like loafers, oxfords, slip-on sneakers, hi-tops, mules, slides. Mules are the shoe of 2017.

 

 

Ankle-wrap espadrilles at Shoes ‘N’ More

 

Espadrilles. Summer classic sandal alternative. Pair ankle-tie, wedge with a maxi dress for summer evenings. Trendiest trend: metallic espadrilles, especially gold or glitter.   

 

Woven shoes. Should be worn sock-less. Wear them with denim, cotton, or linen pants.  

Minorquines. No one knows the name, but everyone knows the shoe. Chic and comfy for city strutting, shopping, or beach.  

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<<The Accessories>>

 

• Basket Bag. The summer purse, grab a straw version.  

Bracelet bags. They’re selling out everywhere, so that could only mean one thing — you need one.  

• Statement earrings                                                                                                 • Color. For accessories and shoes, especially bright green or orange. No matter how neutral your outfit is, pump it up.

<<Trends This Very Second>>

 

• Embroidered items are <the> embellished look of the season, but lots of touches are trendy –– fringe, pom-poms, lace insets, badges, tassels, ladder lace, bows, beading, and raw denim hems. Go tonal or high contrast. Even on bathing suits.  

 

 

Embroidered denim jacket at Angela’s

• Feminist/statement T-shirts                                                                                • Baseball caps. Street-style touch for any outfit. No rules. Just cool.                       • Sunglasses with pastel lenses.

 

 

 

 

 

 

DRESSING ON THE SIDE

For the Love of Leggings

 

By Maureen Mancini Amaturo

 

 

Where has all the denim gone? There’s a statistic out there that says from 2015-2016 women ordered more leggings online than jeans, 40% more than the prior year. Denim orders increased by only 3%. Leggings win.  

 

Leggings equal comfort. They’re as mobile as you are…or aren’t. (Even if you prefer the couch to crunches, leggings make you look active.) Whether anchored with stirrups or infused with high-tech fibers, leggings have gone so far beyond the gym, they’re even showing up in evening looks and creeping into couture. In addition to mainstream retail brands, big names are in athleisurewear now – from Kate Hudson’s Fabletics to Karl Lagerfeld’s $235 sweatshirt. Leggings are no longer a fashion cop-out.   

 

As with all fashion categories, there are ever-changing trends and particulars and the legging trends emerging now include:

 

• Black, matte or leather

• Darks and neutrals, subtle prints

• White      

• Shades of pink                    

• Nature-inspired prints (like snake)

• Star prints

 

Whatever the trend, it’s all about how you interpret it for your body type and lifestyle. Here are some ideas that transform gym to glam.

 

Leggings Plus

 

• Over-the-Knee Boots. The fitted leg in contrast to the slight bulk of the boot creates an edgy contrast and adds sophistication. The boot masks the active wear legging vibe.

 

• With any Boots. Switch sneakers for boots to update the cliché leggings and sweatshirt combination.  

 

• Statement Coat. Bold outerwear adds instant glam. Leggings are the perfect subtle background to a statement coat or jacket. 

 

• Moto Jacket. Great street look. Casual and sleek simultaneously. The moto remains a must-have. 

 

• Bomber Jacket. Another must-have jacket. A bomber highlights the sporty side of leggings. Try this with black sneakers to go a few degrees more casual than the moto jacket look.

 

• Long Top and Pumps. Match the pumps and long top to the leggings for a monotone effect, and the combo will actually look dressed up, formal enough for evening dinner, cocktail parties, etc.

 

• Jean Jacket and Hat. Pair black leggings with a hat and denim jacket for a bohemian day look.

 

• An Oversize Sweater. The big sweater paired with the sleek, fitted leggings is the perfect example of the fashion-proportion rule: big on top, small on the bottom–and vice versa. Also, a great sweater can add just the right touch of dress-up to the leggings. This combo looks great with sneakers. 

 

• A Feminine Bag. No matter how sporty the outfit, you can always add a surprise touch of chic like a great handbag with feminine details.

 

• Heels and a Trench Coat. Leggings look very dressed up if they’re leather paired with pumps and a classic trench. Very sophisticated.  

 

 

Legging Tips

 

•You can add a fresh spin to anything, even black leggings. Find a pair with details, insets, paneling, or some other touch that takes basic to beyond.

 

• Like the extra-long sleeve trend, there are extra-long leggings that bunch at the ankles. These look great with either high heels or flats. Pair the longer leggings with a matching cropped top. That proportion rule again: long and bunchy on the bottom, sleek and short on top. 

 

• Swap black leggings for skinny jeans. Same silhouette and fit. 

 

• High-waisted leggings cinch your waist and make your legs look longer, just like high-waisted pants and skirts.

 

• Love the glitter/metallic sneaker trend? Keep the rest of your look simple. Pair fun statement sneakers with black or neutral leggings.

 

CAPTIONS

 

Mixed print on bottom, solid top at Sportech

 

Geometric print leggings at Rye Running Company

 

Star print tee and pants at Great Stuff

 

Subdued hues at Sportech

 

 

 

By Maureen Mancini Amaturo

 

Exams, college applications, acceptances, and internships are settled. Now, for the important stuff. What to wear to graduation? And the parties? 

 

Wear what expresses your personal style, is comfortable, appropriate for the occasion, and works under your grad gown. Girls, a dress in any classic silhouette will work. Light colors and white are top choices. If you prefer color, remember GREENERY, a cross between lime and peridot, is the 2017 color of the year–a fresh, crisp tone right for the temp and season. Guys: khaki, solid color, or dark dress pants, light dress shirt and tie (try the 2017 Greenery shade.) Short sleeves, or rolled up sleeves. The goal: smart, casual, and comfortable. An expressive tie can mean everything to your look. Remember, ankles and feet are visible. Flip-flops or torn-up sneakers just take the whole look down.  

You’ll be taking lots of pictures. Wear what makes you feel good and what you’ll feel good about when you look back at the pics someday.  

 

Guests, dress for the surroundings — indoor, auditorium, outdoor, stadium, the weather. Choose fabrics that won’t wrinkle, so you’ll look crisp in the after-ceremony photos. A classic, neutral palette is always right, i.e., white and gold. Wearing pants? Consider dark pants and shoes.    

 

The Dress Under The Grad Gown  

What’s underneath represents you. To help you decide: 

• The A-Line: Flatters every figure and is classic. It’s smooth under a grad gown and is versatile enough for any event. 

Interesting Necklines: Find options that will add style and not compete with the cap and gown. Anything too complicated could be distracting. 

 

• Sheath: The robe is billowy enough. Avoid adding bulk. A sleek-fit dress works perfectly.  

 

•A Loose Midi will move with the robe and be comfortable. Great for all body types. Won’t cling.   

 

 

 

• Prints: Neutral, pastel, or white backgrounds work best. Avoid overwhelming patterns. Printed borders or subtle, classic all-over prints are best. 

 

• Maxi or Jumpsuit: Both are so trendy and will be sleek and comfortable under your robe. Or try a long skirt and cold-shoulder top. They’ll look hot in photos…but may also feel hot while you’re sitting through the ceremony. Check the forecast first.

 

•The Party: Ideally, find one dress that works for ceremony and celebrations. If not, choose a dress for the daytime/ceremony and a more wow-packed dress for partying with friends.  

 

<<The Shoes>> 

With everyone wearing the same grad gown, shoes can define your look. They’ll be visible, especially when you walk to receive your diploma. 

Tips: 

Be able to stand in them for hours.                                                             

Be sure you can walk on grass or dirt. (Or try Solemates heel protectors.)                                                                              

Don’t wear new shoes for the first time that day.                                                     

High heels add elegance and stature and make you feel confident. BUT, in this case, ballet flats or adorned slides may be better. If you want height, try    wedges (won’t sink into grass or sidewalk cracks.)                                                                                                       

<<DO’s>>

 

• Leave bags at home. Wear something with pockets to carry small items, keys, and cell phone. Consider a wristlet or small clutch if you must. 

• Dress comfortably. Graduation ceremonies are a combination of standing and sitting…and are long.

• Consider light layers instead of a jacket.

<<DON’Ts>>

 

• Don’t think that because you’re wearing a robe it doesn’t matter what you’re wearing underneath.     

• Don’t wear new shoes. Avoid shoes you’re not used to walking in (and heels if on grass or climbing stadium steps.) Your walk across the stage should be confident, no worries about slipping or tripping.  

• Don’t spend tons of time styling your hair. You’ll be wearing that cap. Try your hairstyle with your cap prior to graduation.   

 

All fashions at Great Stuff in downtown Rye.

 

• Flats/low heel

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http://www.prepinyourstep.com/2017/05/what-to-wear-to-graduation-dress-shoe.html 

Dimensional floral lace with deep-V back from Sea

Norma Kamali jumpsuit with trench coat details 

True blue Remy Brook lightweight mini 

Remy Brook minis in alternate colors, including a trendy green

 

By Maureen Mancini Amaturo

 

Gain weight, lose weight, shoes stand by you. They are so loyal that they often serve beyond their popular peak. With a little imagination and a sense of personal expression, they can work through shifting trends. 

 

However, fashion is about nothing if it’s not about what’s next. Heel heights alter. Toes taper. The vamp varies. Materials morph. And they have to. Depending on what shape skirts and pants take, the volume or level of linear in silhouettes, the use of color and prints in fabrics, the ever-supportive shoe plays its role in the total look by converting into the perfect complement. 

Maybe that’s why they are so lovable. They do so much for the good of the whole.  

 

And they’ve been doing it for…well, Spanish cave drawings from more than 15,000 years ago show humans with animal skins or furs wrapped around their feet. We’re still wearing the oldest crafted foot covering known to man — sandals. So shoe-lovers, it’s in our DNA. When it comes to style, anyone who even flirts with the idea of dressing well has no choice but to be well-heeled. That’s why throughout history humans have fit their feet into ever-changing configurations.

 

In the ’50s, dresses, jewelry, and hairstyles were bigger. With so much happening from the knees up, shoes went low-key — single color pumps, flats, wedges, and loafers. For the ’60s, anything that once came with a heel was available in a flat to ease the sex-factor impact of mini-skirts. Then there were the giant ’70s platforms playing into empowering new heights for liberated women (and men.) Because ’80s fashion and hair were so big, colorful, and padded, ’80s shoes imitated the ’50s in keeping it on the down low. Dyed-to-match heels, sneakers, flat Capezios, Huaraches. The ’90s revisited the ’70s clunky platforms. And here we are. So what’s ahead?

 

This year’s trends spotlight texture, fabrics, and heels, with glitter and metallic high on the list. 

 

• Satin: mules, evening slides, sneakers, and pumps 

• Kitten heels: slide-ons, pumps, boots, and booties

• Suede and glitter sneakers 

• Soft, square-toe mules 

• Evening slides 

• Embellished: fur, feathers, beads, bows, glitter, graphic prints

 

CAPTIONS

 

Patterned lace heels at Angela’s

 

Suede flats at Walin & Wolff

 

Blue satin heels at Angela’s

 

Suede slip-ons at Walin & Wolff

 

Suede and glitter sneaker at Angela’s

 

 

Suede slide-ons at Walin & Wolff