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July 9, 2010 > Summer style guide: eight ways to update your look

Summer style guide: eight ways to update your look

By Marla Tomazin

For most women, summer is the dreaded season of bathing suits and bare legs-a time when hiding behind your wardrobe isn't an easy option. If you're tired of your summer staples and want to heat up those balmy nights out with a look that screams summer, you're in luck. The transition from bulkier cool-weather clothes to slim-downed summer sleek is easier than you think.

In all actuality, summer is the perfect opportunity to blend classic pieces with trendier looks. And you don't have to bare it all to do it. Read on for eight simple tips that will create lovely summer looks from now until Labor Day (and beyond):

Say hello to summer with sun-kissed skin. Nothing says summer like a sun-kissed glow. But relying on the harmful UV rays that come with sunbathing just isn't smart. Embrace sunless tanning as an integral part of your summer look. Whether you pay a professional or use an at-home self-tanning product, there are plenty of options for every budget. I recommend using Neutrogena MicroMist or Jergens Natural Glow Foam. Both will give you a healthy glow and allow you to embrace your bare legs in short dresses and cropped pants.

It's in the bag. Don't just swap long sleeves for short; update your accessories as well. Trade in your black suede handbag for either a metallic, pale leather or neutral straw bag. A simple switch of your handbag can go a long way in summer-izing any outfit.

White hot. Say good-bye to winter white and hello to a pair of crisp white bottoms-a must for every summer wardrobe. Pairing almost anything with white bottoms creates a look that is very fresh for the season. Buy a pair of white jeans, cropped pants, shorts, or even a skirt. You'll look crisp and fresh, and your tops will pop against the white base.

Make a little wiggle room. If your shoes are looking a little worse-for-the-wear after spring's torrential downpours, worry no more! This season, you can switch out those restrictive closed-toe pumps and flats for open-toe shoes and sandals. But don't forget to properly primp your toes! Pedicures are a must during the warmer-weather months. Think twice before you slide on sandals for work-not all offices deem open-toe as office-appropriate. Instead, try slipping a dressier pair in your handbag that you can slip on later before heading out to happy hour!

Polish it off. Summer is a great time to experiment with fun new shades of nail polish. Try a new bright pink or coral polish on your toes and consider a pale pink or nude shade for your fingertips. These cool colors will be sure to complement any summer outfit you throw on.

Lighten up. (Your locks, that is!) If you've been sporting a dark 'do all winter, it may be time to try something new. If the darker hue of your hair is bringing you down, you may want to try to brighten your hair color for the season. Subtle highlights can pack a big punch and make you look like you've spent a weekend on the beach (and not a day in the salon!).

Minimize when you accessorize. For the summer months, it's best to lighten up on your accessories. Choose lighter jewelry such as crystals and select other accessories in lighter hues to get you through the hot summer months. You'll not only look better, you'll feel much better in the hot sun!

Shop for one special top. Whether it is a cute t-shirt, flowing tunic, or a simple white shirt, choose something that will work with all of the bottoms you have from last season. Remembering the cute pieces you already own certainly makes updating your summer look easier.

The summer season is the perfect opportunity to try out new trends and flirty looks that you may otherwise shy away from. Embrace the attitude of summer: the vibrant colors, the relaxed atmosphere, and the buzzing excitement of those unforgettable summer nights. It will show on your face and in your attitude-and no matter what clothes you may wear, you'll look and feel simply fabulous.

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