Posted by Charlene Dunbar on

Suakoko Betty at African Fashion Week 2011, demonstrating mixed prints with striped blouse and printed pants.

Alas! Warm breeze, sizzling BBQ’s, beautifully bronzed skin and of course, enchanting fashion. This summer I’m ecstatic about so many fashion pieces. Like many others, summer has always been a very inspiring season for me, partly because of the gorgeous weather, the adventures that I dare not explore in the blistering cold, and the festivities. Although I adore the winter months for the knits, layering and wedged booties, nothing can compete with mid May through August. This year my love affair with summer leads me to any and all prints, pastels, lace, print blazers, printed sunglasses, textured clutches, pleated skirts, statement jewelry, and loads of color!

First off –prints. Something about floral, African, checkered, cheetah and polka dot –to name a few – that has me in awe; its complete genius, and mixing them? Einstein. Celebrities like Solange, Rihanna and June Ambrose execute this trend effortlessly. Mixing prints is a rejuvenating trend because it not only showcases an individual’s personal style and creativity but also challenges the notion that pieces always have to match.

Romance is in the air with this pleated maxi skirt from Zara.

Secondly, mint and blush color trends, and lace and pleated skirts just oozes romance. Although classic, it helps soften the edginess of the summer by reverting back to soft colors, breathable tunics, flowing maxi skirts and lace embroidered blouses. Romantic date night anyone?

Beyond the clothing, accessories have a special place in my heart this season. This summer I am opting to put down the carry-on luggage formally known as my tote and duffle handbags, and reach for more clutches. Besides being extremely cute and well safer, (nowadays carrying an excessively heavy bag like mine is a health hazard for me and whoever I knock down with it –I’m just saying) clutches are versatile and more ideal for summer occasions and events.

Textured clutches especially, have become a favorite of mine, simply because they add an extra edge to any ensemble. Faux crocodile skin, studded, and bowery or woven clutches can offer justice to any outfit. This summer fashion is all about having fun, mixing it up, remaining comfortable and traveling through each and every fashion avenue. Whether you’re exploring a trend or inventing one, be confident, be creative and be you! What summer trends are you looking forward to exploring?

Studded clutch from Zara 2012 Summer collection.

Pleated lace prom skirt from top Shop

Floro embroidered shell top from top Shop.

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