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Summer style is synonymous with bright colors, breezy cuts and showing a little skin. For many, this translates into cropped tops, short shorts and flirtatiously cut sundresses, give or take minor embellishments and a few tweaks to tailoring. While those foolproof ensembles are all good, why not up the stakes with some major inspo from five classic personas – all with radically different takes on summer glam? Whether you’re a secret femme fatale, a budding Miss Popular or a closet punk rock siren, we’ve got you covered with a range of styles ranging from left-field glamor to red-lipped vampiness to tough sexiness.
I’ve tailored five summer looks for the queen bee, the rock chick, the boss babe, the art babe and the femme fatale. For these new takes on classic ensembles, I’ve introduced retro details as well as post-modern touches, be it preppy chic with kawaii twists or high-powered luxe infused with experimental edge. Read on for some serious mixing and matching!
Taking inspiration from the uptown chic of Clueless’s Cher, whose ditzy-but-nice persona is an enduring antithesis to the acid-tongued dramatics of Mean Girls’ Regina George, I’ve assembled a summer wardrobe that combines cutesy touches with preppy shapes, all rendered in soft pastels. Cher would approve of this green-and-white, retro-style blazer-and-mini set, which is fun and sassy without losing edge. Extend the positive, summer-soaked vibes with mesh scrunchies dotted with allover daisies, which come in unicorn shades like pale blue and light purple. In need of some grown-up glamor and party-girl energy to cement your queen bee status? Accessorize with this soft, vintage-style handbag in grayish blue that’s roomy enough to hold your wallet, smartphone and, of course, the hottest lip accessory of the season – romand’s Glasting Water Gloss, which gives your lips a glossy, plumping wash of color that’s fit for any teen queen.
Into sexy all-black ensembles, distressed fabrics and a hint of heavy metal à la rock chick Nana Osaki from Japanese anime Nana? Harness her punk-rock style with this casual yet still dramatic outfit that reconfigures goth energy for summer days. Stay true to the goth rock tradition by staying within a pitch-black palette but with added stylistic twists: a boxy tee with a distressed, back-baring design half-tucked into an artfully ripped pair of loose-fit black jeans; a silver-tone choker-style necklace that’s half cable chain and half bead chain; and a sleek yet spiky pair of studded strappy sandals in black faux leather that’s perfect for showing off your freshly painted toenails (in black or dark blue, of course).
The art babe loves sitting alone in cafes working on her next graphic novel, but she also loves showing off her quirky fashion sense. Blend kawai, Lolita-lite vibes with laid-back sexiness by pairing a red, lace-trimmed angel print tee with a form-fitting denim midi skirt that comes complete with daring side slits. Embrace kidult energy by adding mood-boosting, gummy bear bobby pins in delicious shades to your outfit. Want more pops of color? These block-heel slides dripping with rainbow-colored embellishments will add instant voltage to your ensemble. Super extra and ultra-shiny without drawing attention away from the rest of your outfit, they’re the perfect cross between art kid and unapologetic opulence.
For a dose of alpha-girl energy and CEO-level confidence, go for structured shapes, sharp tailoring and luxurious details while staying true to your sassy self. Anchor your outfit with this black, short-sleeved, blazer-style playsuit, whose playful take on professional chic makes it a great alternative to the standard blazer-and-dress-pants combo. If you’re feeling adventurous (or simply in need of a sartorial boost for that all-important meeting), step into these quilted kitten-heel faux leather slides that show you mean business, especially when it comes to killer style! Soften the ensemble by embellishing your tresses with a large faux pearl snap clipich is girly but still grown-up. As a final touch, remember to sling this boxy, dusty pink quilted handbag over your shoulder. It comes with a luxe buckled clasp, a gold-tone chain shoulder strap and distinct designer vibes.
Be a summer siren in this noirishly sexy black jumpsuit with prominent back cutouts, a silhouette-slimming cinched-in waist and flowing pants. Keep things simple by staying away from busy patterns and girlish embellishments such as lace, bows and ruffles, but liven up the palette by adding a triple-layered gold-tone chain featuring two pendants intricately carved with angels and flowers. For bold contrast, seal your look with a wide-brimmed, structured ivory straw hat that oozes ladylike vibes without veering into vintage or hipster territory. Your look wouldn’t be complete without a slash of matte red lippy – the femme fatale’s calling card. Indulge in this complexion-brightening, orangey-red version! Suitable for any season, it’ll pull your whole outfit together by injecting sharp, scene-stealing energy.