In Part 3 of our Summer Solutions series, chief editor John McGran takes a look at looking your best while wearing less.
When you're overweight, you can be put off by the thought of baring your body at the pool or beach... heck, even at the office or mall.
Sweats and long-sleeved shirts do not work well as summer fashion staples.
So, what's an overweight gal or guy supposed to do when faced with the frightening prospect that there are only four weeks left until summer?
Take a few deep breaths and read on.
Tip #1: Finding the Right Swimsuit
Diet.com blogger Wendie Pett believes in a mind, body and spirit approach to a healthy lifestyle. She also knows there are times a woman needs to cut a few corners to look her best.
Case in point: Finding the right swimsuit to flatter a figure that's still a work in progress!
Her top 5 tips for choosing the right look for your body shape:
Busty: If itâ€™s the Sports Illustrated look youâ€™re aiming for, triangle-top bikinis are a must. For added support in a flattering style, try the classic look of a halter-top bikini or one-piece.
Not so busty: No need to rush out for implants. Select the enhancer bra top for your triangle, halter, or tankini swimwear. Rule of thumb: if you reach up and the suit does the same, itâ€™s not for you.
Larger thighs and backside: Take advantage of sassy skirts and bloused tops that offer a more proportionate look. High-cut bottoms give the illusion of longer legs while accentuating the waist. Tip: Notice where your eyes are drawn when trying on swimsuits. Where your eyes go, so does everyone elseâ€™s.
Thin, shapely legs: Ideal for most swimsuit styles, this body type can get away with the boy short.
Belly-buster: One-piece swimsuits offering tummy control panels perform wonders, and sarongs offer additional coverage with a touch of pizzazz.
Keep these tips in mind and youâ€™ll be on your way to discovering the suit that fits your personality, your body type and your comfort level as well.
For the rest of Wendie's feature, Looking Good in a Swimsuit: Tips 'n Tricks, click here.
Tip #2: Cheap Chic!
The experts say this summer's fashions offer a wealth of versatility in everything from dresses to shoes. The good news: relying on fashion staples that are affordable and practical in the summer months is the best way to be chic and cheap.
Tanks tops can be worn as a focal piece with jeans or used for layering. They're a classic example of an inexpensive clothing staple. These cotton tops are no-fuss garments that flatter and highlight a multitude of female figures.
Make use of these affordable and readily available tank tops by glamorizing with jewelry or keeping it fun and casual when paired with denim or a skirt. Whatever the style concept may be, the tank top is a signature garment of summer than can be taken from the hot daytime into the cooler nighttime with the help of a little fashion imagination.
Shorts are a summer staple... a blank fashion canvas that can be styled into an assortment of ways. They also provide relief in the summer heat.
In a plethora of materials that range from basic cotton to traditional denim, this year's summer shorts offerings include refined linen that can be worn with an evening outfit.
The sandal has been given new life with a variety of styles. Gladiator style sandals are the dominant summer fashion trend. These sandals, which are flat and tie or buckle low around the ankle, are a great investment for its durable leather material that can be worn with anything from shorts to dresses effortlessly.
This summer offers an eclectic mix of trends that range from bohemian-inspired styles to retro prints.
One of the biggest summer trends: Bright hues and bold neon colors that serve as accent pieces.
An example of this: an electric blue skirt paired with a solid white tank top. Bright colors allow for an individual to draw attention to areas they feel most comfortable with and in this case of the example, electric blue draws attention to legs.
Bohemian, or better known as boho, has been a fashion style that has captured the closets of many women.
Ethnic prints and paisley found on maxi dresses, which flow loosely to the ground and is a garment that can be daring, can also lead to fashion disaster when paired with two many boho elements such as big bags and ornate jewelry all worn together.
To prevent an overload, focus on wearing one boho-inspired garment at a time. For example, try a tunic with shorts, a printed maxi dress with little jewelry or a paisley dress with flats.
Despite the high temperatures of summer, denim jeans continue to be a staple that has been reworked to include some trend elements. Banish the dark denim jeans and skinny jeans and look for their polar opposites. Light colored jeans and wide-leg denim styles from spring are still relevant purchases for summer while providing a refreshing and lighter take on denim.
Summer is about fun and carefree living. Allow your fashion imagination to run free... without burning through your bank account.
Tip #3: What's In Store?
Who would've thunk it: Cheap clothing is the rage!
Long Islanders Steve Shore and Barry Prevor have built one of the fastest-growing fashion empires in the country. And they've done it by selling clothes cheap.
Everything in every store costs less than $10!
Haven't heard of Steve and Barry's? No wonder. They don't advertise. Instead, they join with celebrities to create lines, create buzz and make cheap chic.
Tennis star Venus Williams wears the $10 shoes she designed every time she hits the court. And now surfer Laird Hamilton has launched a line.
A bad economy has been good for business. It's not unusual to see lines of 10 or 20 people deep.
Unlike the recent Days of Excess, shoppers now brag about how much they saved, not how much they spent.
And that includes "Sex and the City" star Sarah Jessica Parker, who recently introduced her own fashion line and everything in it -- from pants to pumps -- costs less than $10.
Tip #4: The Hottest Summer Hairstyles
The pony tail and bob continue to be hot looks, with new slick-sleek or soft looks at the forefront this year as the summer of '08 heats up.
In 2008, the accent continues to be on nuanced soft fusion of tones. Look for subtle shading as slightly different colors blend harmoniously to add depth and texture.
The main idea is mixing different shades to create a pure blend of texture and movement that doesn't give away the secret of why the sun picks up so many different highlights in your silky hair. Keep it light and natural -- not heavy handed. Your summer hair is a canvas and the blending of color brings you glamorously sexy hair that is healthy and alive with vibrant undertones.
SUMMER '08: CUTS FROM THE CATWALK
Styles, lengths and cuts were all over the place at the Spring-Summer '08 fashion events, including brash dirty blonde and platinum to a continuation of last summer's natural and feminine look. You can't always predict hot fashions by what the models are wearing, but a few standouts are going to be seen off the runway.
Back again this summer, the cut for the bob is strong graphic outlines. This is not a cookie cutter look. Incorporate curves and sharp lines. Go for asymmetry - try one side longer or raise the back and lower the front. Mix lengths gradually, add volume with layers or stick to one length cuts. This is a cut that you can tailor to your face and lifestyle -- a look for the individual. Soften it with wisps or a bit of back combing.
Suggestion for a bob look while still keeping your lovely length is the timeless roll. Just roll your hair from the bottom with the ends on the inside of the roll. Bring the roll to the nape of your neck (where your back meets your neck) and pin it in place. Very sophisticated and very cool... and still long and glamorous when you pull out the pins.
Still very hot for summer '08, fringe cuts were tops on many of the runway's top models. Fringe can add elegance or make a bold statement. Look for variations with fringe cuts to bring out your personality and facial structure. Soft and wispy fringes, casual choppy edges and strong bold lines will all be hot. You'll find fringe cuts that go full length, others flowing mid length or brought forward into the eye. It's all about having fun, being sexy and being yourself
The cut that complements all the others in high fashion circles this season is lengths of layers with casual textures. The natural look is easy to create with layers ... Continue
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