Beyond Words

Words, Wit and Wisdom for Today's Style and Decision Makers

Summer Style Do’s and Don’ts June 4, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — carlawordsmithblog @ 6:36 pm



Summer is upon us, which means summer clothes and swimsuits. It’s the time for shorts, miniskirts, sun dresses and bikinis, right? Well, according to a new survey, it all depends not only on how in shape you are, but on how old you are.


If you’ve got it, flaunt it, right? Wrong! Instead, if you’re over a certain age, cover up! I’m not saying no swimsuits and long pants all summer long, I’m saying, and 2,000 women surveyed said, act your age!


Two Piece or One Piece?
Let’s start with pool and beach attire. Being a full-figured girl myself, a two-piece would never “suit” me. In fact, I’m more prone to sport a skirted suit then a two-piece anything. What about you? You may work out, you may watch what you eat, and you may fit in size 6 clothing but according to those polled, if you are over age 40 you shouldn’t wear a bikini.


I tend to agree for the most part. Nothing irks me more than a pool or beach-full of women wearing bikinis that do nothing for them. Yes, they fit but unless you have abs of steel they are not flattering on you.  Legs and arms are often the easiest to tone, but bellies are a whole different beast, even if you consider yourself in shape.  By research consensus, fit does not mean you work out at the gym and attend yoga or dance classes. Fit means you teach those classes and have a six pack rather than drink one. Once you hit a certain age or have kids of a certain age, unless you have a banging body…and by that I don’t mean simply thin or surgically enhanced, a sexy and classy one-piece will be much more flattering on you. It’s time to leave the strings to the younger set.  Still wondering if you should put on that bikini if you’re a mature woman?  Here’s a tried and true test:  sit down in one.  If any of your tummy moves at all, buy a one piece.




Stop With the Crops
Crop tops are all the fashion rage right now but apparently not everyone should be wearing them. Yes, Jennifer Aniston, Kate Hudson and other stars do so, but when has anything Hollywood been considered reality? Instead, here’s what the survey said: if you’re over 35 you should put away the crop tops, short shorts, and miniskirts. Belly rings? Don’t even go there!


Again, I tend to agree. I’ve always been a big fan of Bermuda shorts, and thankfully they are staging a huge return this summer. They are a great substitute for short skirts and with heels they are a casual alternative to a pencil skirt. Paired with neutral sandals, they give the illusion of legs for miles. Save shorter shorts for the golf course, tennis court, or track.



Skirting the Issue
In general, skirts to the knee and pants above the ankle make your legs look longer. Another good fashion canon is petite women look best in skirts that hit just above the knee while taller women should wear knee length or longer.


If you do love skirts, consider these rules of thumb:


Pencil skirts define the waist and can show off a curvy figure in a good way but if you have a pear or hourglass figure think about balancing the tapered hemline with volume on top and height on your feet. Two darts in the front will also make your hips and legs look leaner


Miniskirts work best on boyish builds. You also have to be young (under 30) or have great legs to pull off a mini with class and style. The most flattering minis are slightly A-line, are not tight, and never ride up. Looser tops match best with them and think long and hard about your undergarments!  Boots and flats are your shoe best bets.


Full skirts flatter wide hips, create curves, and camouflage thicker thighs. They are best paired with a fitted top or chunky sweater. Avoid boxy tops and jackets with them. They should hit right at your knee. Anything shorter will look juvenile.


Trumpet skirts show off you backside best, which is something to embrace or something to eschew. Avoid wearing anything tucked in with them and the length should never be below the knee lest you look like a Flamenco dancer. There’s a lot going on with a trumpet skirt so keep everything else simple. Shoe-wise, save any style that ties around the ankle for other skirts.


Maxi skirts were everywhere last fall and winter, but in the right fabric, are nice summer wardrobe staples as well. Maxis aren’t only for tall women and in fact, can actually make you look taller regardless of how short you may be, just make sure the hem of the top you wear with one doesn’t hit lower than your waistline. Any of the new or one of your favorite flats work well with maxis, however pointy stilettos or super dressy shoes don’t.


Pleated skirts flatter almost every body type but be sure to choose a fabric that flows and moves. If you’re short don’t wear one shorter then knee-length. This is the skirt to bring out your stilettos for!




The Eyes Have It
To compliment your swimwear or summer attire, add a dash of fun with a playful pair of sunglasses. Keep in mind you should go for styles that are the opposite of your face shape. If you have a round or heart-shaped face, go for square frames and if you have a square or rectangle face, look for more rounded styles. You ladies with oval faces can wear any shape! This summer candy colors, oversize frames in black, and animal prints are all the rage, as are mirrored lenses in gold and metallic. Have fun with them!


Summer is the time to shed those bulky sweaters and boots and show a little skin. Just remember to do so with class and style.


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