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Fashionably Fresh

By: Kate Hamilton
Posted: June 23, 2008, from the April 2006 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.

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Other dynamic, rich muted tones enhance the palette with a sense of playful spirit. Juicy, tangy Melon, and fresh botanical tones of grassy Lily Green and pinched-cheek Cameo Pink mingle as an accent or a primary. Retro florals, embellished tops, plaid dresses and patterned jackets mix and match any number of these subdued hues for a soothing, elegant combination. Inspired by the light colors of the season, designers are using airy, washed fabrics, such as crepes, chiffons, easy-to-wear cottons, silks, taffetas, linens and laces.

Minimize to accessorize. The trend of muted colors is underscored with a minimalist approach to accessories. Straying away from the “more-is-more” philosophy of layers of beaded necklaces, bracelets and scarves enables wearers to make a statement with one signature piece. String-strand necklaces, personalized charm bracelets and earrings, and plastic pins add a bit of funk to dressed-down accessories.

Belts saunter the runway in all forms. Thick leather with a silver buckle adds a hint of toughness to a sleek white pantsuit. Layer three thin belts over a chiffon skirt, or add a braided wrap that hangs with a tassel. Bags get bigger as carryalls haul life’s treasures. Pair a bolero jacket and jeans with a pretty-in-pink clutch, also in this season. Out the window goes mom’s old adage that your purse should match your shoes. Go wedge in platforms and heels that match—or don’t match—the outfit. Flats and miniwedges in metallic, glitter and rhinestone are a hit.

Take a hint. Dressing up truly is the style. From baby doll and shift to empire-waisted and strapless, everybody’s body will have something to wear. A tunic and a flowing skirt also say “dress” in two pieces. Try some other suggestions to create a unique look this season.

• Match a bolero jacket with lace trim and a full-skirted dress in tomato red.