Published on July 3rd, 2014 | by gatsbyadmin


The Not So Basic Bitch’s Guide to Summer Fashion

Women’s fashion trends change so frequently that its often hard to keep up with what’s in style and what went out with last week’s trash. Making it even more difficult is the fact that some styles remain popular for a long time while others are trendy for a brief moment before being consigned to the ash-heap of fashion failures. I’m not so sure about other parts of the country, but here in appearance-driven Los Angeles, get caught wearing one of the latter styles after its had its hey-day or not being at the top of your fashion game and you could be risking your reputation. As if that were not enough, you must also appear effortlessly put together because try too hard and you run the possibility of being though of as desperate; nobody here likes a hard-sell. And don’t even get me started on what a faux-pas it is to be wearing the same outfit as someone else at the same time; it’s the kiss of death. Seriously, with all of these factors combined, its enough to make a girl swear off clothes completely. (I often wonder if this is why some women here wear so little clothing year-round; yes, it’s pretty warm most of the time in California, but damn it we’re in L.A., not Death Valley, ladies). Now I am far from a fashion maven myself and in fact, my standard uniform when I’m not at the office consists of some form of jeans, a tank top and sandals. But being your average California girl, I do like to change it up and can’t help but be conscious of what’s going on around me clothing-wise. With that, I present to you my tips on how to survive the summer (and beyond) fashionably without looking like every other woman around you.

Pay attention to the bigger picture

A Brandy Melville outfit

A Free People dress

Instead of focusing on specific trends, pay attention to the over-all style going on at the time. There are always a few key pieces, but studying all of them too much or wearing them all at the same time can lead to that undesirable place known as trying too hard. At the moment, it seems to me that women’s summer fashion is really being driven by festival-friendly clothing in a look that combines high-end hippie with a bit of 1990’s grunge. (I could have sworn the 90’s Courtney Love look wouldn’t be back for a long time, if ever). Obviously you can put this kind of outfit together by shopping at most stores/brands, but there are a couple that I love for a few reasons. Brandy Melville makes incredibly simple clothing that is, for the most part, completely anonymous. Almost all of their tops come in a variety of colors, they are usually one size fits all (catering to that “I don’t give a shit” grunge factor without, in fact, being grungy), and since most of them are available in several different cuts, pretty much everyone can find something to suit them, no matter their body type. However, the items that they do carry with images and/or slogans on them are pretty distinctive, so I stick to the plain styles to avoid being caught in the same “Gangster Rap Made Me Do It” tee as 5 other girls around me. I also love the Free People brand. Theirs is the more high-end hippie look with tons of flowy and/or sheer tops and dresses that are perfect for layering or combining with pieces from what you already have in your closet to create your own unique version of the look you’re going for. Bonus: since many of the pieces are made to be layered, they make the transition from season to season effortlessly just by adding or subtracting other articles of clothing.

 Dress to impress (yourself)

     Not all trends look good on all bodies. Something that looks fabulous on one of your friends may look strange on you or vice versa. I really like the long tunics or oversized tops over jeans, but on me the impression is that of a child playing dress up and those low cut tops and backless dresses fall flat (literally) when I try to rock them. I’m typically more concerned with finding items that fit well and suit my body than wearing exactly what’s at the height of fashion. Wearing clothing that you feel is flattering is one of the most important aspects of being well-dressed; because there is nothing more attractive than being comfortable and confident in the way you look.

In with the old, out with the new

A popular vintage/thrift store on Melrose

If there is one thing I’ve learned from the recent (and unexpected) resurgence of the grunge look, it’s that almost every style makes some sort of comeback. Rather than looking for new items that replicate old styles, why not just go back to the originals? Vintage stores and thrift shops abound in my area and I’ve found that they’re a great source for unique clothing. Often you’re able to find items that are the original versions of what is in style at the moment while drastically narrowing the odds that you’ll find someone else wearing the same thing as you. If the thought of wearing previously worn clothes bothers you, I wouldn’t let it. Most reputable vintage and thrift shops have pretty high standards concerning the quality of the items that they sell and many of them even carry clothing that has never been worn before. As a bonus, you’re usually able to get fashionable articles without having to pay new retail prices.

Sew do it yourself

     Learning how to sew and making some of your own clothing is probably the best possible way to be unique in your style. There have been so many times while shopping where I will look at something and think “I would like that so much better if…” Knowing how to sew gives you the ability to find inspiration and create something yourself that is both fashionable and more to your personal taste than what is being mass produced. Even if you’re not a master seamstress, there is something to be said about knowing the basics and at least being able to make alterations, whether the goal is to make an item fit you better or to change the styling of it a bit. Creating something for yourself is the best possible guarantee that you’re not going to show up at the next event wearing the same printed leggings or dress that every other basic bitch has on.

Hopefully these tips help you get through summer in a fashionable and, more importantly, stress-free way. Above all, make sure you’re comfortable and happy with the way you look. Less time spent on worrying about clothes means more time to spend enjoying the warm weather and the fun that comes with it.


Written By: Danielle Erin

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