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Summer style is all about walking the line between effortless and put together, while still leaving room to experiment with a few new trends.
Who better to coach us through that balancing act than designer and stylist Rachel Zoe?
"I think in summer, people want to break away from their traditional wardrobe go-tos and find pieces that are comfortable, but still polished," said Zoe. She stopped by the show to share a few recommendations on items that fit the bill and are an easy way to try out some new styles.
"Always treat metallics as neutrals," said Zoe. "In the summer, when you might normally buy black or brown handbags or shoes, go for a metallic instead."
Metallic glitz is an easy way to elevate a look. On the show, Zoe used metallics to quickly bolster a simple blouse-and-jeans look.
- Long Sleeve Camden Button-Down, $20, Target
This comfortable top is perfect for a simple summer outfit. With a relaxed fit and classic collar, it's effortless but still stylish, and it's easy to dress up or down depending on what you're looking to do with your day.
- Mid Rise Ava Super Skinny Jeans, $50, Lucky Brand
These super-skinny jeans are perfect for everyday wear. Designed to retain their shape 24/7 and flatter you no matter what, these medium-wash jeans would be a staple in any woman's closet.
- Steve Madden Women's Metallic Belt Bag, $36, Amazon
This metallic belt bag is the glittery, glamorous version of a fanny pack. With quilted material and an adjustable strap, the end result is Instagram worthy, and the lined interior is roomy enough to store all your essentials.
- Tasha Metallic Woven Braid Headband, $24, Nordstrom
Headbands are back in a big way this summer, and this shimmery, textured one is a great way to add some glamour to your standard hairstyle. With a comfortable and secure fit, it's sure to become a new staple in your summer wardrobe.
- Heeled Leather Sandals With Thin Straps, $50, Zara
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Available in multiple colors, these leather heeled sandals can complement any style, and the thin tube straps add just the right amount of flash.
"Metallic sandals or platforms are perfect for summer if you just feel like you need to add a little shine to your look," said Zoe.
Zoe calls ruffles "the perfect summer detail" for clothing and accessories, since they're feminine but not precious. They can be found on everything from blouses to bathing suits — but they don't always have to be fancy, as seen with her picks.
- Jillian Lilac Printed Midi Dress, $525, Rachel Zoe
"I use ruffles in my designs all the time, and I will always love a full ruffle look," said Zoe. "The one-shoulder silhouette of this dress makes it perfect for any summer event or date night."
This dress really does embrace the summer, especially with its flowy silhouette and delicate floral print.
- Icon Denim Jacket, $70, Gap
Prepare for those chillier summer nights by keeping this saddle blue denim jacket on hand. The medium wash is perfect for summer nights, and the long sleeves and spread collar give it a classic silhouette.
- Pack of Faux Pearl Hair Clips, $26, Zara
Speaking of classic style, nothing's more classic than pearls — but these funky clips give them a modern upgrade. The mix-and-match hair accessories add a plenty of sparkle, even if the look itself is kept simple.
"This easily becomes more casual, a look that can really move from day to night," said Zoe.
- Sole/Society Women's Arwen Clutch, $55, Amazon
The ruffle finish on this purse also adds some fun style to any look. The crossbody strap means it can be a clutch or a hands-free bag, and the interior zip pockets are sure to keep you organized all summer long.
- AEO Bow Slide Sandals, $26, American Eagle
While Zoe said she prefers this look with heeled sandals, she wanted to show off how it could be dressed down by styling it with slides (and sneakers are also an option!).
These stylish slides are a perfect match with the dress — the ruffled bows add a feminine touch, and the comfortable fit will have you wearing them all summer long.
Bold colors are also making a resurgence this summer — and there's nothing bolder than a bright, single-color look. Zoe combined this trend with her love of a summer suit to show off a flashy, modern way to dress monochrome.
- Cape With Slits, $90, Zara
Summer is usually too hot to wear a jacket, but this cape-style blazer means you'll be kept cool. With slit sleeves and pronounced shoulders, it creates a dramatic silhouette, and the bright red tone only adds to the effect.
- Culottes, $50, Zara
The cropped pants also mean you won't be in any danger of overheating. Flowy and high-waisted, they're a great contrast to the more structured top.
- Topshop V-Insert Camisole, $15, Nordstrom
"Layering a silk camisole under in a similar red tone is a fresh alternative to picking a contrasting color like white or black," said Zoe. "It just looks so chic."
- Hailey Multi-Strap Leather Mules, $198, Rachel Zoe
These strappy, multicolored sandals are the perfect finishing touch. Available in two color schemes, they conform well to the shape of your foot, and stylish thin straps look great with any outfit.
Grant Summer Blazer, $329, Club Monaco
Of course, men's wardrobes could use a boost as well. Zoe recommended this stylish, lightweight summer blazer, because it's available in four colors and perfect for that day-to-night transition.
For more summer favorites, check out:
- 11 trendy sandals that are actually comfortable
- 8 of the best swimsuit cover-ups
- Here's how to wear flip-flops without ruining your feet
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