We've officially cleared Memorial Day, had our first day of good-god-how-does-one-even-wear-clothes-in-this-heat, and safely entered the land of linen pants and white dresses. (This writer has even had her first sweltering night with the AC busted—a true harbinger of the city's long summer nights to come.) While spring and fall may have weeks of runway collections devoted to them, make no mistake: Summer is its own season. Here's what to wear.
Horizontal Striped Shirts
There exist, in the fashion world (and sometimes outside of it), people who really do create little collage mood boards for each season and stick to its overall theme religiously, creating spin-off ensembles of "St. Tropez casual" or "safari prepster" or what-have-you. Whether or not you know you're in the middle of a "French nautical" moment, you should know: A striped shirt is this year's white V-neck. If you're smart, you buy more than one—perhaps one slouchy tank, one Parisian-inspired long-sleeve style with a boat neck collar.
A nod to summer's music festival season (with a dash of west coast nostalgia), this summer's iterations are higher-cut and seriously short for girls (paired with an unexpectedly formal silk shirt, perhaps), and faded and worn for gents, cut off a couple inches above the knee.
Eye-catching Printed Dresses
The prints, prints, and more prints theme has made a strong transition from spring to summer, with florals, of course, becoming the most pervasive frontrunner, running the gamut from delicate Liberty-inspired flowers to big, brassy watercolor patterns. If a little floral vintage-y dress seems a bit too prissy for you, give the season's sporty, surfer-inspired tie-dyes a spin (take Proenza Schouler's spring 2010 collection as a jump-off), or else something a bit more graphic and tribal. We'd suggest looking into up-and-coming label Suno, which takes many of its prints from Kenyan kangas.
Ok, so yes, it's true, clogs are a huge trend right now. It started on the spring runway of none other than Chanel, if you can believe it. No. 6 (a great boutique on Centre Street) has a brilliantly versatile clog (that you can actually customize in different fabrics), or you can go for the closest thing to the original from Swedish Hasbeens at Kaight on the LES. If you're clog-averse (and who could blame you), you can play halfsies with the trend by incorporating a wooden sole into your footwear—from Rachel Comey's tied-up-and-tasseled platforms (they're comfy, I swear) to Belle by Sigerson Morrison's simple wooden-soled sandals.
Pants: Silk, Tap, and Pegleg
Pants are back! Sure, when it's 100 degrees out, covering one's entire leg doesn't seem like the most tantalizing notion, but a pair of navy silk pants that tapers toward the ankle is surprisingly lightweight and breezy, and rolled-up trousers telegraph summer picnic like few other things. The most curious trend of this season, however, has got to be tap pants: little flimsy silk shorts that seem better suited to a retro lingerie photo shoot than a trip to the Brooklyn Flea. Yet, somehow, these have morphed into rather charming silk shorts with scalloped edges and fitted waists. Not always flattering (to be perfectly candid, I look ridiculous in them), but when worn right, rather dashing.