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Hot or not? How to wear 4 summer's trends without regrets

by Julia Curley / / Source: TODAY

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Let's face it: Sometimes even the trendiest trends aren't great in retrospect. Shutter shades? Yes, everyone wore them in 2010, but they're still the strangest glasses ever. Ugg boots with a jean skirt? As much as we may want to deny it, we tried that trend, too.

To make sure we don't look back and cringe at the fashions of the moment, fashion expert Patrice Williams stopped by TODAY Friday to assess this summer's most-popular looks and how to wear them in a timeless way.

Trend No. 1: The cold shoulder

The off-the-shoulder trend has really shown some staying power in the fashion world, and Williams says it's cool in all the right ways (we even saw Kate Middleton wearing the style on her recent tour to Germany and Poland). But if you're a little hesitant about showing too much skin, try a style with a larger proportion on the bottom. This top pairs the revealed shoulder with an equally summery gingham pattern and baby-doll silhouette.

A TODAY model rocks this Boohoo top.
A TODAY model rocks this Boohoo top.Nathan Congleton

Off-the-shoulder top, $40, Boohoo

Sally Gingham Cold Shoulder Cotton Top
Boohoo.com

RELATED: The best fashion, home and beauty finds at Nordstrom's 2017 Anniversary Sale

Trend No. 2: Bright yellow

Yellow is the color of summer (just ask these newscasters) but it has many shoppers wondering if they look hip or more like Big Bird. There's no way to be subtle in bright yellow, but Williams says it can still be cute. The key is to look for a shade of yellow that works with your skin tone and style. When you fully embrace the look, you'll feel sunny and sweet.

A bright yellow outfit only works with a bright summer mood.
A bright yellow outfit only works with a bright summer mood.Nathan Congleton

Yellow shirt, $14, Burlington Coat Factory

Sleeveless Button-Front Blouse
Burlingtoncoatfactory.com

Yellow shirt, $13, Burlington Coat Factory

Keyhole Bar Sleeveless Chiffon Top
Burlingtoncoatfactory.com

Yellow skirt, $10, Burlington Coat Factory

Solid Ribbed Pencil Skirt
Burlingtoncoatfactory.com

Yellow skirt, $10, Burlington Coat Factory

Crochet Waist Gauzy A-Line Midi Skirt
Burlingtoncoatfactory.com

Trend No. 3: Frayed denim

Sometimes, distressed denim challenges the boundary between a trendy look and something that may have been attacked by a bear. This season's frayed denim can look a little messy, Williams admits, so it may not be for everyone.

When paired with a simple top and heels, however, you can feel put-together even if your jeans are a little rough around the edges. Hemline details, like fringes or the equally popular tassel trend, should hit around the lower calf and can add some fun to your look without too much drama.

With the right complimentary pieces, the frayed denim trend can still look clean cut.
With the right complimentary pieces, the frayed denim trend can still look clean cut.Nathan Congleton

Frayed hem jeans, $39, Charlotte Russe

Frayed hem jeans
Charlotterusse.com

Black bodysuit, $28, Lulu's

KINSHIP BLACK BODYSUIT
Lulus.com

High heels, $36, Lulu's

Gold heels
Lulus.com

RELATED: Want style like the stars? 4 celeb-approved trends at wallet-friendly prices

Trend No. 4: Floral prints (for guys)

Most brands don't put florals on men's clothes unless it's a tropical swim trunk. This season, however, fashionistos (if you will) are trying out some floral designs. The bold, funky trend can be found on dress shirts, jackets, blazers and everything in between. So if there was ever a time for your guy to try the floral look ... it's now! He's sure to be the life of the party, just beware of any pesky, late summer bees.

Guys can rock the floral trend just as well as women!
Guys can rock the floral trend just as well as women!Nathan Congleton

Floral suit jacket, $94, Asos

Floral jacket
Asos.com

Slim fit pants, $70, Perry Ellis

SLIM FIT SOLID SATEEN 5 POCKET PANT
Perryellis.com

RELATED: 19 ways to wear ruffles so they feel modern and fresh

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