Color Theory: Summer Edition

When I went back to school for fashion, the one course I really wanted to take was Color Theory. Because, while I can choose silhouettes for clients and kind of just know what colors look good on them, I was interested to learn the reasons WHY. Unfortunately, the program track I chose didn’t offer that course and my electives were already completed. So I did the next best thing: I read Pantone’s Color: Messages and Meanings book. I still would like to take a course on Color Theory someday but for now I’ll share a little of what I learned.

In fashion, designers often will punt to the colorways from the changing seasons: soft muted pastels for spring taking a cue from budding flowers, bronze and deep orange for summer from gorgeous summer sunsets, jewel tones and leaf-colors in fall and grays, black for winter plus some metallics and rich holiday reds, greens and blues. I typically follow this formula as well, along with my beloved neutrals carrying over for EVERY season!.

So I've shared one of my favorite summer color pairings, along with some other great warm weather palettes and outfit ideas. Let me know which one is your favorite!

color theory: summer edition

Gap flutter sleeve peplum top - also in white & black AND 40% off right now! | Old Navy linen pants | Sam Edelman leopard sandals | Magnolia Market leather drop earrings | fedora (old) similar and similar - Peter Grimm/Kohls collaboration

Other colors that work well for summer are ocean blues and greens paired with white denim, bright yellow with tan sandals or black pants for the office and of course,  the classic black and white color combo - in just about any pattern (stripes, polkadots, etc.) or solid together. 

green and blue swatch
summer blues
summer green, white and stripes
striped skirt blue and green summer
yellow dress tan sandals
classic black and white summer outfit
black and white work outfit

All images via Pinterest. Follow me for more styling inspiration!

Trending: Cutouts

The cutout trend has been around for a while now. First seen in athletic wear, it has since migrated onto tops, swimwear, dresses and even red-carpet wear. What's great about it is that each season has its own iteration; after my strappy-backed swimsuit has been put away for the season, I'll be wearing one of my favorite buys from this year's #NSale (seen here on Instagram): a navy long-sleeved cutout detail top. Women of any age can wear this trend; you can find strappy neckline tops,  multiple straps on swimwear and bras and dresses with geometric waistline cutouts. I personally love the trend, especially on tops where the extra detail can stand-in for a necklace and make getting dressed that much simpler! Here are some ideas on how you can wear the trend  - for work, play AND going out. 

In your 20's: Young and carefree, you are more than likely in the best shape of your life. So live it up! Rock this trend all you want. One caviat: you are also probably just starting out in your career so don't make the mistake of going too far with this at your job. Stick to small details on tops only or skip it altogether for the 8-5. Weekends and evenings however are yours for the taking.

Lush cream strappy dress

Wear this now with heeled sandals. Wear later with a leather jacket plus booties! 

Wear this now with heeled sandals. Wear later with a leather jacket plus booties! 


In your 30's: Busy carving out your place in the corporate world, making a daydream happen, starting a family or a combination of these aspirations, your cutouts should be a little more conservative than the 20's gal, but you can still have fun with it. Keep hemlines appropriate during the day but show your style with some shoulder details like this little number from Nordstrom Rack.

Crepe A-line cutout dress

Dress this up with a tan blazer for work or a dark denim jacket for a casual event. 

Dress this up with a tan blazer for work or a dark denim jacket for a casual event. 


In your 40's: You are finally comfortable in your own skin, but need to be presentable at those client meetings or for Meet the Teacher Night. Pair your cutout top like this cute one from Target with wide-legged trousers or jeans, a pencil skirt or dark denim. On weekends, however - if you have the confidence to wear it, then wear it! 

Jealous Tomato cutout dress

This closet staple can go from desk to drinks to dinner in no time. Just add a blazer, leather jacket or cardigan. 

This closet staple can go from desk to drinks to dinner in no time. Just add a blazer, leather jacket or cardigan. 

In your 50's: You are finally at the top of your game, both personally and professionally. You can rock a cutout dress to that fundraiser dinner or wear a backless top like this cute one from Lulu's to a weekend brunch. As long as the rest of your outfit is well-tailored and smart (read: no other trends that might feel too "young" for you), you can pull off this look with ease.

Make a statement while walking away by adding a strappy-back bra in a fun color under this open back top

In your 60's: These are your Golden Years! You should be enjoying life and having fun doing what you want with your time. Depending on your line of work (if you're still working), keep your cutouts subtle and sophisticated - try a top with a detailed neckline or a workout bra like this cute one under a backless long-sleeved top. If none of these options float your boat, another easy way to wear this trend is in a lace-up shoe. Are these burgundy flats not the cutest you've ever seen?! They might need to #getinmycloset immediately.

Pair these gorgeous lace up flats from LOFT with a tailored pants, dark jeans or a floral skirt. 

 I'm a firm believer that any woman can wear the trend she wants, regardless of size or age. Sometimes just knowing how to tweak it or translate it for what works for your lifestyle is the key. If you would like styling help, have fashion questions or just want to chat, please email me... I'd love to hear from you!