The Budget Babe | Affordable Fashion & Style Blog

What's Your Summer Uniform?

Street style in Boston and Manhattan. (The Sartorialist, I am not.)

One of the good things about living on the East Coast is that everything is relatively close together. You can be in Boston one weekend and New York City the next without the hassle of flying. This is all rather new and exciting for a girl who grew up in Chicago, and of course, my favorite part about traveling is scoping out the local fashions.

So what is everyone wearing?
  • For locals and tourists alike, the summer wardrobe across the board seems to be dresses, dresses and more dresses!
  • Footwear is largely flip-flops or gladiator sandals (yay!).
  • Metallic handbags are ridiculously popular for day and night. But the more stylish ladies seem to gravitate toward slouchy tan leather bags, cross-body bags or supple woven styles.
  • Tank tops of every color and short shorts are also ubiquitous.
  • Maxi dresses are another very popular trend, everywhere I turn I seem to see women of all ages in floor-length frocks, usually styled with a laid-back bohemian vibe.
  • Skin is also in: When temperatures soar, no one hesitates to show lots of it.
  • Prints run the gamut from florals and paisley to ombre, ethnic prints, checks, stripes, eyelet and everything in between!

So what makes certain women stand out in a crowd when just about anything goes?
  • A great fit coupled with good posture, no visible bra straps or pantylines and nothing overly tight all contribute to making a gal look fab.
  • Despite my support of bright colors, women in neutral hues (black, white, tan, gray and/or navy) tend to look especially classy and put-together.
  • Natural fibers like cotton and fabrics that move and drape effortlessly, such as modal. All polyester is not good for hot weather (itchy and hot).
  • A look that conveys a message. This is perhaps one of the most difficult things to achieve or mindful of your accessories and avoid wearing trends head-to-toe.
  • Traveling light. Overstuffed handbags, or my least favorite trend - carrying multiple bags - makes one appear encumbered and uncool.

What's your summer "uniform"? What are the best and worst trends in your town?

I absolutely LOVE the maxi dresses.. I bought 5 of them this summer! so i guess thats my uniform this summer, even though its extremely trendy, i think its so flattering and when i find something that looks good ill wear it! this summer I just fell in love with the dresses, especially the maxi.. French Connection is having this huge sale and I got one for 60.00 and it used to be 168.00.. so yea definitely a bargain... go and see the sale!

Maybe im the only girl in this world that thinks the leggings thing has got to go. Everyone and their mother wears it.. Leggings should be worn in the WINTER with a nice dress and boots. Not with any shirt put on balllet flats and call yourself fashionable.
So yea that trend in the summer has got to go.
#1 Neira on 2008-07-28 05:10 (Reply)
Gosh! I miss The City!!!! Houston = Fashion Wasteland. Sigh Ok enough lamenting about my move back here. My summer uniform is definitely wrap dresses or sundresses.

Dresses are wonderful at masking any weight gain and in my case, weight loss, without having to buy a new wardrobe. Wrap dresses are great for work or night-time play because with a broach in the right spot, hides over abundance of cleavage and remove it for night-time fun. They are also cooler options for these hotter than hades days commuting to/from work.

Right now, I have two fav wrap dresses. 1 with a black/cream pattern and the other (I'm wearing today) with a blue, white and black pattern.

Have a wonderful summer.
#2 TexNYQueen on 2008-07-28 09:28 (Reply)
I most definitely agree with Neira...Leggings must go. It was trendy when I was a kid, so were stirrup pants and "hammer" pants - but I'm wearing either of those now.

Burn, leggings, burn!!!!!!
#3 TexNYQueen on 2008-07-28 09:30 (Reply)
leggings - face it, nobody but ballet dancers and elle mcpherson look good in them (and now that she's like 40 and has a couple of kids even that is dubious). really. no exceptions. plus, in summer, with all that heat, they absorb all your sweat. need i say more?
they've had their day.
let's move on.
they keep trying to reintroduce them. why?
while we're on the subject, let's forget that whole 80's thing, shall we? it was a decade of fashion disasters, for whatever reason. some things, like hoop skirts from the civil war era, and big shouldered outfits with leggings and big hair from the 80's, should stay extinct. there's a reason we don't wear 3 foot tall wigs or bind our feet - it was a BAD IDEA in the first place. so please let's not try to bring fashion mistakes back.
going back to the dresses, great idea - loose, cool, colorful - love'em.
#4 maggie z on 2008-07-28 09:53 (Reply)
For summer , I always feel great with either short skirts or shorts. That's my casual. For church, special events and dates with my hubby, I prefer summer dresses.
I don't like anything that covers my arms or legs. So no tights or leggings. no jeans , no pants, no long dresses for me.
#5 bingkee on 2008-07-28 10:44 (Reply)
Sundresses! I also love to pair my summer tops with pressed chino shorts of various colors - They give an instantly pulled together look jean shorts just can't achieve.
#6 Katie on 2008-07-28 11:02 (Reply)
Pft! All these people bashing leggings for summer, I prefer leggings over looking at everybody wearing short shorts! vile. I would rather know that you're at least not sticking to every seat and sweating it up with skin to whatever contact then complain about you wearing some tight pants. And leggings done with a tunic are stylish. Hello, Vera Wang? Anything done wrong looks stupid, but I'm not gonna knock an item because of a few poorly styled fashionista wannabes.

I'm a fan of bermudas, capris and longer shorts for everyone. Unless you're at the beach or walking around a park all day short shorts are not appropriate. Not only do you stick to things (gross) but its just too much to look at. I'm also a fan of layered tank tops (i do 2) this way you have more support when the fabric is thin, you smooth out strange lines and you can wear a tank that maybe too low cut or too high cut when normally you wouldn't.
#7 Peaches on 2008-07-28 11:08 (Reply)
Great post!
#8 anthea (Homepage) on 2008-07-28 12:58 (Reply)
Hmmm. My summer uniform seems to be a-line skirts, tees, long necklaces, and Dansko Nylas. I finally figured out that skirts are just as breezy as shorts, and far more flattering on my figure!
#9 Sal (Homepage) on 2008-07-28 15:57 (Reply)
I'm loving maxi dresses too.

The leggings are a toughie. They are so comfy and they keep a just a teeny bit too short dress from turning into a peep show. I think it's better if they hit at the ankle. The mid-calf length everyone seems to favor doesn't make your gams look particularly appealing.
#10 ML (Homepage) on 2008-07-28 21:44 (Reply)
I'm mad for sundresses & flowy skirts this summer. I have realized I just cannot wear jeans or pants when it's hot & humid. I refuse. I see people with them on and I'm like, how? Aren't you dying?

I have bought at least 15 dresses this summer and about 10 skirts. I wear the skirts with layered tanks.

I cannot stand leggings.
#11 true on 2008-07-28 23:41 (Reply)
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