Fashion & Beauty : Subdued Summer Style 

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Summer fashions are typically filled with flowy fabrics, lots of soft colors, and printed patterns galore. The exception to this rule is when national [or global] outlook is in question. Enter summer 2024. Months ago, as snow was in the forecast, designers gave us a first peak at a different summer aesthetic – one that reflects the economic and political uncertainty that is 2024.

This is the season of muted colors and minimalist design. Don’t expect a palette of pastels for this season’s wardrobe. Instead, anticipate flax, white, grey, and black. The bold color for summer from nearly every fashion house is vivid, blood red. Metallics, particularly gold, are in demand this season, with bold pieces, such as a chunky solid earring sitting on the lobe or an equally bold, yet simply designed bracelet to enhance your outfit. Dresses are long, lean, and cut on the bias – in metallic shades for special evenings out. 

Designers are particularly taken with dramatic asymmetrical lines this season. Expect necklines or dress or skirt hems with one side significantly longer than its mate. Denim from head to toe is another popular style for the season, but don’t expect the look to be solely blue. White and black denim are options for this look. High rise trousers are quite on trend, typically paired with a cropped or fitted and tucked top. Suits are experiencing a 90s reboot with pencil skirts or high-waisted trousers and oversized blazers. White blouses, popular in their own right this summer, pair perfectly with one of these suits or a pair of summer capris. 

For the season’s softer side, you’ll find crocheted designs in muted colors, but with beautiful, seemingly hand-woven details as well as flapper fringe on everything from dresses to jackets. Picture a simple, long white dress with fringe detail across the bottom. Each step flows like a summer breeze. The overall effect is both gentle and playful. Rose detail is another popular trend this season, from a simple applique on a blouse to a handbag with rose detail from front to back.

Accessories this season are timeless. Footwear favorites include low, open-styled, minimalist leather sandals with a European vibe. Butterfly sunglasses are a top style, paired with patterned scarves (among the only patterns to be found) worn in the hair or tied to a handbag strap. Mini handbags in very clean lines abound as do woven and raffia bags in flax, black, or white for those needing more room. Gold jewelry, as noted earlier, is very on-trend but choose only one piece for your ensemble. All in all, accessories are simple and harken to earlier decades. They will finish any outfit beautifully so long as you don’t overdo it. Keep it to one or two pieces with any ensemble.

No one knows when bursts of color will appear in the next fashion palette. Perhaps it will coincide with the nation’s mood. Let this season be the one to add pieces to your wardrobe that can stay with you for years to come. Enjoy the sunshine.

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Tammy Severino
Tammy Severino is the CEO of Girl Scouts of Suffolk County the largest girl-serving organization in the country. She is also President of RPC Development, LLC, a boutique consulting firm specializing in small businesses and nonprofits. She has more than 20 years of experience as a writer, and is a speaker on women’s empowerment issues and philanthropy in America. In her spare time, this fashionista follows and writes about fashion, travel, parenting, and other lifestyle topics.