How to | Summerize a Simple Frock


Tuesday, August 16th, 2011

by 2 comments

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Fall may be fast approaching, sure, but summer is still here.  Starting with a simple dress, even a black one, here are 5 ways to bring some Summer into your life, and your remaining wardrobe, without busting the bank.

1. Add Stripes

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Nautical stripes (blue and white) is the most widely associated with spring and summer, but really any sort of stripes will do. A striped canvas bag/ tote, striped espadrilles, a striped headband – anything striped will work.

Prada’s multicoloured stripes were most popular this spring/ summer season, perhaps evidenced by the fact that it has been so widely duplicated from anyone from H&M to the chinee shop down the road, and everyone in between.

2. Add Shimmer

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Replace your customary blush with a bronzer, which you can layer under your blush when you re-introduce it in the Fall.

Mix a bit of loose golden/ bronze pigment/ shimmer powder/ loose shimmer eyeshadow – whatever you have, with a dab of your normal lotion and apply it to your skin – particularly your arms, legs and whatever else you will be baring. Blend well. Of course you can just buy shimmer lotion if you want to, but I try to find ways to use the ridiculous amount of coloured cosmetics that I own, don’t use and have a difficult time throwing away for whatever reason.

I find that moisturized skin that shimmers looks instantly healthier and toned. Seeing that I haven’t been to the gym all summer, that’s an optical illusion that I can work with.

3. Add Colour

Colour can come from anywhere really

- Makeup

Coloured lips, either lipgloss or lipstick – your preference, is the easiest way to add some colour to your makeup. Pink and coral tones are most widely used, largely because these tones are easiest to wear and most flattering on most skin types. Coral lip colour will carry you through fall, so feel free to still cop one that flatters your skin tone.

Adding a coloured eyeliner, like a teal, turquoise, forest green… can up the ante on your summer nights look, as would coloured mascara. But please, unless the  eyeliner and mascara are the exact colour, do either or.

- Shoes

Pumps, moccasins, sandals, wedges, Keds, Vans, whatever you choose to wear, add some colour or patterns to the mix.

Please, flip-flops are for the beach and belong nowhere near an office.

- Bag

Choose whatever style of bag matches your personality. A fanny pack if you are a no-fuss minimalist. A tote if you have a kazillion must haves. A knapsack. A messenger bag if you are more the ‘ready, set, gone’ type. Whatever bag your personality craves, get a coloured/ patterned one.

- Accessories

Add hair accessories like bandeaus, flower pins/ clips, stack statement tatement bangles/ necklaces OR add brightly coloured earrings. Choose one and work it.

One thing to make sure when earring shopping – most bold earrings tend to be heavy so make sure to check out the weight of them before purchasing. 5lb laptops are near passe, why would you want to carry a 10lb earring? Stretched earlobes, much like a back injury, cannot be reversed.

- Belts

Thick/ thin/ woven/ metallic/ leather/ pleather or otherwise, a coloured belt can take your wardrobe up a summer notch.

Tip: Let your physical size, both girth and height, be your guide to choosing the width of your belt. The more petite your are, the more flattering slimmer belts will look. Likewise, the taller and/or wider you are, the more flattering a wider, brighter, coloured belt will appear.

4. Add Sandals

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I’m a stiletto girl myself eh, but even against the fushia-est, peep-toe, stiletto pump, there’s really no mistaking the ability of  the simplest, nude-leather, thong, flat sandals, to make even the blah-est dress feel like summer. Perhaps it’s because, unlike the pump, there’s no thought of wearing thong sandals in any other season without risking a dread frostbite in ya tail.

If you must go tall, wedges are a lot more summer-y than stilettos. Throw in cork, or the woven espadrille typed soles and you’re even more in the mix. Also, peep-toe (rather than closed-toe) or sling-back, styled wedges, look more like you consciously opted to wear wedges, and less like needing to wear them for orthopedic reasons.

5. Smile

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It’s summer for crying out loud. Longer days, ripe for patio dinners and sangria with friends and family over a never-ending, ever-amorphous convo. Festivals. The beach. BBQs. Road trips. No  jackets.

*Spoiler Alert*: If you can’t find a reason to smile now, then your life would really suck in a few months.

Carry on.

b Freakin’Fabulous


  1. Latoya Virgo says:

    I have a few plain dresses that will appreciate these notes…they’ve just been sitting in my closet…not anymore! thanks for the tips…..

    [Reply]

  2. Supernova says:

    Re-purpose we seh! The name of the game.

    [Reply]

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