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Style tips for the summer's toughest trends

Wondering how you can wear this season's leggings? “Today” style contributor Bobbie Thomas offers some advice on trying the latest looks.
/ Source: TODAY

Trendiness can be a trap, and sometimes a popular style may not be right for you. But before you completely give up on a look you secretly wish to conquer, Bobbie Thomas, “Today” style contributor and co-host of “Fashion Police,” offers these tips to help you best balance your silhouette.

Boxy Cropped Jackets
Cropped versions of boxy jackets are popping up everywhere, from boutiques to department stores in everything from denim to cotton zip-ups. While these toppers are tempting to those who are looking for a spring cover-up, heed this advice: you may have the urge to wear one with a fitted stretch fabric to avoid feeling like a linebacker, but the less obvious may be more flattering. Try contrasting the square structure with a softer flowy blouse or loose camisole that falls just below the belt line or longer. Keep the bottom half simple and slim. Yes, this trend is the skinny jeans best friend (just make sure they don’t bunch at the ankle). You can also pair it with classic straight leg pants or slim capris. Last but not least, a cropped jacket will also balance a full skirt or dress beautifully. Twinkle “cowboy” jacket (at select Nordstrom); La Rok “Sonya” top (larok.com); Siwy “Hannah” slim crop jeans, $165 (revolveclothing.com); Kenneth Cole Reaction jacket, $129 (Macy's); Kenneth Cole Reaction top, $79 (Macys); Polo Jean Company cropped stretch jean, $69 (Macy's)

Slim Cropped Bottoms
Just the thought of anything fitted from our hips to our knees can strike fear into the hearts of most women. Don’t panic, and don’t pass this style by! The key to this look is all about proportion. “Cigarette”-style pants can be very chic and flattering if worn with the right pieces. Layer longer-length fitted tees and tanks to keep the eye line moving up and down, while espadrilles and platforms will help balance hips. Dresses are back and more popular than ever, and slim cropped bottoms are the best way to add comfort and versatility. You can dress your dress down with, dare I say — leggings! In fact, for those of us not in our twenties, this is the most sophisticated way to incorporate the leggings trend into our wardrobe this season. Searle dress, $198 (SearleNYC.com); American Apparel leggings, $26 (AmericanApparel.net); Calvin Klein jeans top, $59 (Macy's); Express striped shirt, $24.50 (ExpressFashion.com); Siwy “Baby” clamdigger cropped jeans, $171 (revolveclothing.com); Steven by Steve Madden shoes

Volume
Skintight isn’t always sexy, and the newest “super-sized” shapes hot off the runway are proof. First things first, don’t try to hide behind your clothes. Increase the volume on only half of your body. Pair tulip or bubble skirts with a simple tank, while Bermuda shorts will make a baby doll top look more polished. If you go head to toe, be sure to showcase your frame. Highlighting shoulders, arms, calves, and ankles can make a huge difference in your silhouette. Softer neutral monochromatic color pallets will also help to elongate. While exaggerated cuts are in, baggy, dumpy looks are never stylish. Look for well-draped fabrics, and tailored details such as darts and pleats. Rebecca Taylor baby doll cami (ShopLAstyle.com); Lauren Moffatt cropped pleated gaucho, $179.20 (Shopbop.com); Steven by Steve Madden shoes

Florals and Frills
With the warmer weather, fashion seems to literally bloom. Eyelet, lace, ruffles, ribbons, and florals seem to flood our favorite stores. The challenge? How to not look “girly” — or like you’re wearing wallpaper. Tone down prints with solids, and couple feminine items with tailored masculine pieces. Try layering a solid tank over a floral blouse, or adding a structured vest to a flouncy dress. Keep accessories minimal, and avoid the expected. Instead of accenting a romantic look with a string of pearls, consider a necklace with a skull pendant. Swap the fabric belt you would normally tie into a bow, and cinch a dress with a vintage leather belt. Jill Stuart dress, $495 (212-343-2300); La Rok vest, $148 (shopbop.com); Steven by Steve Madden shoes; Zara sleeveless top, $29 (Zara.com); Park shorts, $168 (SearleNYC.com)

Short ShortsWho wears short shorts? You can. Even Daisy Duke can’t sport her itty bitty shorts in the real world. But here are a few helpful tips that make short shorts a practical reality. Don’t be afraid to go up a size! A comfortable loose fit is best, while pleats and cuffs are also flattering details. Avoid skimpy tops and plunging necklines. Cover up cleavage and let your legs steal the show with chiffon blouses and sleeved tops. Longer-length knit cardigans that skim just below the hemline can also add some extra rear coverage so you don't feel overexposed. Yumi Kim blouse, $136 (girlshop.com); Park shorts, $238 (SearleNYC.com); Poleci tank, (Macy's); Banana Republic cardigan, $88 (BananaRepublic.com); Polo Jeans Company shorts, $59 (Macy's)