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Must-Haves for Your Summer Wardrobe
Judy Hartman

Are you ready? It is time to shed our winter coats, heavy sweaters and boots and get into those fun light, bright fabrics and celebrate. While updating my wardrobe for warmer weather I have found some "must-haves" of trendy and classy styles in a wide price range. Since I shop on a regular basis (otherwise known as being a shopaholic) in numerous malls, small independent and vintage shops, and through catalogues I hope that my research will benefit others as well. It helps me to feel that my habit is justified.

This summer speaks of very feminine dresses and skirts with asymmetrical and ruffled hemlines in a variety of fabrics. Soft and drapey, lacey and crocheted, and mixed fabrics in the same garment are some good choices. I say the more unique the better. Hem length can vary, with the most popular lengths being at the knee and slightly above or below. Minis are very in now and are often shown as a suit with a short fitted jacket. Pants for summer are great. They are cool and can be worn anywhere. Often chosen over skirts, they work for dressy or casual events. A huge plus for pants is that no panty hose is required, offering a comfort factor as well. The styles are varied this season so there is something for every figure. They come in flared, tapered, wide-leg and with a variety of waist or no waistbands. And speaking of pants --- jeans are everywhere! There are so many different styles and cuts that it can be overwhelming trying to find that perfect fit. Although the low rise is still very in, many more options are becoming available. Shop around and talk to sales people who can offer you some great ideas. My advice is when shopping for jeans go to several stores and try on more than one style. Allow yourself some time. It may take more than one shopping day, but it will be worth it when you find the pair that you will wear again and again. Cargo pants - Comfortable and trendy. While not typical office attire, they are a nice look for going out or hanging out. You can find them in almost any fabric ranging from cotton to silk and in several different lengths. Try a silky pair in either capri’s or with a drawstring at the ankle to wear with a strappy sandal & a nice top. You are set for a cocktail event or even a wedding. Try something else for comfort -Typical exercise wear it is not. Yoga pants, tops and hoodies are worn outside of the gym and look great in the many types of fabric. Wear with a pair of sporty shoes and you will feel good and look good! Colors to suit your style - Khaki - a good standby that always works. Buy it in pants and skirts for the office, capri’s for more casual wear and shorts for your summer activities. White - Clean, crisp white Anything white reminds us of summer and we wait all year to wear it en masse. Even white shoes are making a comeback. No need to wait until after Memorial Day any more. Black - Don’t we all love black? It is the be-all and end-all of most wardrobes. Black works in all seasons and for all occasions. How many pairs of black pants do you have in your closet? Brown - Chocolate anyone? Rich browns such as chocolate and rust are a good choice for summer. Paired with a top in a brighter color like orange or turquoise you will have moved nicely from fall into spring. Garden bright - Bring our classics to life! Bright yellows, lime greens, pinks, oranges, turquoise, blues and multi-colored stripes and prints are great choices Try adding some of these colors in tops and scarves to wear with your more classic suits. Denim - Not only blue, not only jeans Denim is skirts, dresses, pants and jackets in a variety of different styles, colors and washes. And---denim goes with almost anything. Try wearing a jean jacket with a feminine dress or skirt - very cute. The best thing about fashion is that it is so individual. Although it often takes time and experimenting, we all have our own style. Find what works for you and Make It Happen! About the author: For as long as she can remember, Judy Hartman has had a passion for fashion. Her mother taught her to sew when she was eleven, and she has been designing and sewing her own clothes since then. She is a member of Fashion Group International - an organization comprised of professionals involved in the many facets of fashion. She is coordinator for the group’s student mentoring program. As a volunteer for Dress for Success, she serves as a personal shopper helping women who are re-entering the workplace. They select appropriate business clothing from the donated items they receive. She also helps with fund-raising event planning. Hartman is currently employed as a sales associate in contemporary women’s apparel for a large national department store. Hartman also does consulting and custom sewing. She may be reached at (303) 864-1909.