Summer ’11: Seven steps to fashion heaven

With the sun shining and exams finally drawing to an end, summer is in full swing and it’s time to hit the shops for post-exam party outfits, holiday essentials and clothes that reflect the new, relaxed you. Many of us will be on a bit of a budget, however, at the end of our final term loan. To counter this minor setback, we have compiled a list of seven essential items every girl should own to be fashion fabulous this summer.

**ANYTHING DENIM** – Denim made its comeback in 2010 and this summer it’s bigger than ever. Boyfriend style denim shirts and denim jackets are both comfortable and stylish, and are perfect for dressing down a maxi dress for a laidback summer style. For the more daring fashonista, dungarees are a must have for tomboy or festival chic. Wear with skyhigh wedges and accessorize with boho bangles for a glam look with absolutely no associations with toddlers or 1970s pregnant women.

**THE MAXI** – Sophisticated, summery and stylish, maxi dresses are an absolute must have for any occasion, whether it be cocktail parties, dinner dates or even casual beach or shopping trips. Team with sunnies and strappy sandals for a day-time look or wedges and statement jewellery for an evening occasion. Topshop have a great range of plain and patterned maxis (in petite as well as regular size range) starting from £26.

**THE WEDGE** – The time has officially come to throw away those black stilettos that you religiously wore through the winter months in exchange for some brightly coloured, insanely comfortable platform wedges. Love or hate them, you cannot deny the comfort factor and not to mention the versatility: tan, taupe or nude wedges can be worn with virtually any summer outfit: daytime or nights out. Cameron Diaz has been seen sporting Chloe wedges but for the cheapskate student, Dorothy Perkins stock an excellent range.

**THE PRINTED TRO– USER** – Known as ‘power pants’, printed trousers are a key statement piece this summer. From leggings to high-waisted palazzo trousers, with patterns ranging from polka dot to urban aztec, you’re certain to make your mark sporting one of the guaranteed hottest fashion trends. Wear with a simple vest and understated accessories and work your strut, knowing your sexy slacks will be catching the eye of every passer-by. River Island has an excellent assortment from paisley to floral prints.

**THE STATEMENT NAIL POLISH** – Let your hands (or feet) do the talking with one of summer’s hottest styles: neon bright nails. Natalie Portman and Katy Perry have been seen sporting banana yellow nails, whilst Rihanna is a fan of tangerine orange. Vivid indigo, bubblegum pink, fuchsia, turquoise and mint green are also bang on trend for noticeable nails. Barry M have over 50 shades, in metallic pearls, matts and shimmering finishes to suit every mood and taste, all priced at £2.99.

**THE CROP TOP** – Crop tops are huge for the summer, however they are also a rather restricting trend as the majority of body-conscious fashionistas don’t dare to bare their stomachs. If you’ve got it, flaunt it and embrace the trend in a bralette (Republic have a pretty Navy checked one). However, if in doubt do not fear as there is a solution: High waisted skirts, trousers or shorts keep belly baring to a minimum and expose only the waist.

**THE PLAYSUIT** – On a par with the wedge for versatility, the playsuit serves a variety of fashion functions: perfect for wearing over a bikini at the beach, with wellies and a straw hat at a festival or with platforms and statement jewellery for a night on the town. From floral prints for the cute factor to tribal patterns for boho cool, many different styles and cuts can be found to suit different shapes and sizes. H&M have polka dot, floral and nautical playsuits from £14.99.


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