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Lake fashion: Summer outfits boast vibrant colors and a touch of flair

This summer's outfits boast just the right dose of subversion to make them seductively edgy yet breezily laidback. Guys are experimenting with bold, confident colors - good old pink doesn't always cut it any more - and artsy blends of dressy and ...

This summer's outfits boast just the right dose of subversion to make them seductively edgy yet breezily laidback.

Guys are experimenting with bold, confident colors - good old pink doesn't always cut it any more - and artsy blends of dressy and casual.

Ladies embrace the flowing shapes and vibrant prints of the bohemian look or dressing up unfussy getups with show-stopping accessories.

And with the tantalizing proximity of lake country, you might be just an hour's drive away from the perfect backdrop to this season's beachy, nonchalant looks.

Four trends


for her

1) Brights and white

This summer is all about color, and this summer's key colors are anything but boring. "We're seeing bright colors, pretty much the whole rainbow," says Karissa Newby, owner of Lena K in downtown Fargo.

Standouts in the season's dazzling palette include turquoise, coral, lime and green. Make a bold color statement by layering tank tops and Ts in flashy combinations: purple and lemon, orange and green. "Don't be afraid to mix color," urges Newby.

Pair intense hues with pristine white pieces, especially on the bottom. White jeans are red-hot, as are ankle-length white skirts and shorts.

2) The loose and fitted combo

This summer's most radical makeover happens to the skirt, which, in its hottest reincarnation is loose, free-flowing, even billowy at times, adding swing and volume to the lower body. Lengths hit at just above the knee or lower. The outcome: liberation from the confines of tight-fitting jeans and the stern pencil skirt.

"The mood is fun, fun, fun, and girlie-girlie," says Newby.


Most figures, though, are overpowered by volume on the bottom and on top, so the No. 1 rule of getting the trend toward looser fits is do loose either on top or bottom, and pair up with a fitted piece.

A free-flowing skirt will add flair to the extremely trendy cropped, fitted jackets or a fitted blazer. Or, match up a slack tunic with cropped jeans.

3) Bohemian chic

Boho chic brings together a variety of fun elements - hippie floral and paisley prints, peasant dresses, flowing tunics with an ethnic feel, crochet tops - but its essence are outfits that look pulled together on a whim and on the spur of the moment to highlight your laidback personality.

"Our customers are already loving this trend, with ankle-length prairie skirts, embellished tunic tops, gaucho pants and tie-front crop sweaters being some of our fastest-selling items," says Kaydee Stanford, fashion director at Vanity.

4) Eye-catching accessories

This summer's two must-have accessories are a couple of very different belts: the scarf belt, a gossamer sash of fabric you can wear around the waist, neck or hair, and the chunky leather belt you can use to accentuate your waist or - lounging loosely on your hips - to anchor a flowing dress or tunic.

The boho chic look ushers in a horde of fun accessories, says Standford: cuff bracelets, oversize chandelier earrings, extra long necklaces. If you don't have the nerve to pull off the trend toward metallics in an outfit, go for a shimmery gold bag.


This season's shoe frontrunners are the flats: from funky bejeweled flip-flops to beaded ballet flats. Or, choose the more feet-friendly version of the high-heel sandal - the very trendy wedge.

Four trends for him

1) Color explosion

OK, maybe you never quite caved in to last year's onslaught of pink - "We always had trouble with pink in this area," says Straus Clothing co-owner John Stern - but this summer you'll be hard pressed to resist the pull of traditionally not-so-manly hues. Purple, green and turquoise are huge, and orange is most definitely the new pink. Instead of resisting, rejoice. "It was getting pretty dull with all this black and tan," says Stern.

2) Casual meets dressy

This season, even casual shirts have French cuffs, and sporty deconstructed jeans are dressed up with ultra trendy linen blazers. Experts say decreased workplace patience for slack looks is spilling over into casual wear and glamming it up a notch or two.

"Casual isn't sloppy any more," says Samantha Larson, manager of a.k.a. in downtown Fargo. "Men want to look good. They don't just roll out of bed in the morning and slap on a baseball cap and a pair of jeans."

As a result, the cargo look might be losing some ground, says Stern, so bulging pockets and an overload of zippers are giving way to a more streamlined look, even the advent of silk slacks. Shirts at The Buckle have flattering fits and a bit of Spandex. "They are almost tailor-fitted so they cling to the body," says manager Heighlos Riser.


3) Fun fabrics and patterns

Just as no color is now strictly girls' territory, no pattern is too unmanly for the fashion-forward guy. Polka dots and floral prints are just some of the acquisitions in guys' wardrobes, says Larson. At Strauss, striped and tropical print shirts by Tommy Bahama are a hit.

The seersucker coat and pants are back, but they come in not-so-retro color combinations, such as yellow and blue.

Fabrics are also getting softer, more touchy-feely, with silk and linen rivaling the stiffer denim and cotton for popularity.

4) More than swimwear

This summer's approach to men's swimwear calls for outfits that work beyond the shoreline. "Nobody wears swim shorts any more," says Riser. Instead, guys go for the hipper board shorts, which hit just above the knee and come in stylish designs. "You are not restricted to wearing them only as you walk through the beach," Riser says.

Pair those up with layered T-shirts in this season's trendy bold colors, and an early-morning romp on the sand can take you just about anywhere, no clothes change required.

Readers can reach Forum reporter


Mila Koumpilova at (701) 241-5529

Must-haves for her

1) white jeans

2) flowing prairie skirt

3) ethnic print tunic

4) cropped and fitted jacket

5) embroidered flats or wedges

Must-haves for him


1) silk slacks

2) shirt in a bold print

3) basic polo shirt in a not-so-basic color, like orange

4) linen blazer

5) board shorts

Laidback lake-side

Sarah is wearing sunglasses, necklace, checkered swim top, denim mini and beaded sash belt. Everything by Maurices, Moorhead Center Mall, (218) 236-6864.

Casey is wearing sunglasses, layered "Hurley" T-shirts, double necklace and board shorts. Everything by The Buckle, West Acres Shopping Center, (701) 277-1621.

Slacking in the park

Sarah is wearing chandelier earrings, floral print tunic, chunky leather belt, ankle-length prairie skirt and beaded ballet flats. Everything by Vanity, West Acres Shopping Center, (701) 282-0486.

Casey is wearing a white T-shirt, beachy necklace, Le Tirge polo shirt, cargo shorts and flip-flops. Everything by The Buckle.

Brunch rendezvous

Sarah is wearing a bejeweled necklace, tank top, striped cami, cropped cotton jacket, chunky belt and jeans. Everything by The Buckle.

Casey is wearing a linen blazer, striped "Kenneth Cole" shirt, leather belt and premium denim by "7 for all Mankind." Everything by a.k.a, downtown Fargo, (701) 232-2501.

Dinner date deluxe

Sarah is wearing beaded crochet cardigan, silk dress and high-heel sandals. Everything by Lena K, downtown Fargo, (701) 364-0850.

Casey is wearing two-piece silk suit, striped shirt and leather belt. Everything by Straus Clothing, 13th Avenue South in Fargo, (701) 235-7593.

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