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Tuesday, May 12th 2009

Beach Meets Street

05_12_09_edgeofsummer 

Bronzed beach bunnies, sailboating preppies clad in striped tees, patrician types in tennis whites, and ethereal hippies in gauze-n-crochet getups. They all say one thing: it’s hard for downtown girls to find a suitable summer style icon. So where does that leave ladies whose look is more Lily Allen than Lilly Pulitzer? Do we just go underground with our little leather jackets and big studded bags until fall?

For guidance, I turned to those edgy chicks that spend their time in a summery SoCal clime: Venice, California. Home to the queen of beach-meets-street style herself, Erin Wasson, it’s no surprise this anything-goes L.A. enclave has cornered the market on cool hot-weather dressing. (P.S. Check out Wasson’s nifty tree house. Built in true green fashion, its suspended-from-the-branches design doesn’t harm the tree.)

A few take-away points on edgy summer style from our friends to the West:

1. Summery basics (see shorts, tanks, and tees) need not be boring.
Mixing them with something a little unexpected (old-school running shorts with a fringy suede jacket, for example) relieves these styles of their too-casual connotations.
2. Light colors are not the enemy.
Pale plaid zippered skinnies are both punk-rock and summer-perfect.
3. Contrary to what your mom says, trends can be practical.
Shredded leggings and destroyed denim (two mainstays of downtown style) offer the added bonus of built-in ventilation.
4. Find a bikini with fashion-forward attitude. (They do exist.)
Slick styles with an ’80s sensibility from Camilla and Marc swimwear are up to the task. (Score one for a song in our swimwear sale section.)
5. Diminutive jewelry doesn’t have to be twee.
On hot days when a big, heavy piece feels like overkill, Helen Ficalora fits the bill. I’m stringing a bunch of random letters on a chain to wear all summer.

Want more inspiration? Check out our Venice-inspired lookbook.

--Maureen

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