Au Naturale

Basics to Build a Wardrobe Around

With summertime trends often pointing toward bright colors and flashy fabrics, sometimes our eyes can use a break. Consider this: the harshness of the winter cold and the thick layers you’ve had to pile on were tough, weren’t they? Some softness might be a lovely alternative, a reprieve that will allow your senses to relax as you indulge in some sunny euphoria. The gentle sea air and the billowing breeze don’t have to be the only things that are floating by this season. Best of all? Everything matches. It’s hard to misfire when pairing pieces with natural tones. From accessories to swimwear, we have some delicate neutrals that are tender alternatives to the vivid colors that normally permeate summertime wardrobes.

SWIMWEAR

When you’re looking for something flattering for laying out on the sand or for kicking it poolside, natural tones can sometimes be the best way to go. If you’re showing some skin it can be incredibly elegant to wear something parallel to your own natural hues, putting the focus on you rather than detracting from you with something garish.

BECCA by Rebecca Virtue’s Desert Vibes Swim Cover-Up Pants in Natural are like something out of the Arabian Nights, complete with a pair of enchanting beads and tassels at the ends of the waist draw- strings. These sheer, embroidered pants are perfect to slip over your swimsuit, leaving a tastefully sexy silhouette for a walk around the pool. For a swimsuit that embodies the natural approach, 6 Shore Road’s Cabana One Piece is a 70’s throwback, complete with crisscrossed halter. The stunning draping up top is highlighted by two things: the deep sand pigment and your beautiful face.

 

TOPS

 Tops are always the first thing we notice about any ensemble. While we’re exploring the advantages of natural hues, it’s important to remember that one of the great advantages to neutral and natural pieces are that they pair exquisitely with everything. A blazer, a sweater, a cute pair of shorts, or any piece that is a bit more adventurous can shine brighter when working alongside something a bit more subdued or understated. That said, sometimes understated has its own flavor of gorgeous drama. Case in point, Loup Charmant’s Rabat Kaftan Top in Natural, a vacation must-have for anyone looking to add some Japanese flair to their poolside stay. Fashioned from lightweight imported Japanese seersucker cotton, it features a slit neck- line and a flowy, kimono-esque shape, all done up with earthy pinstripes.

On the other end of the breezy spectrum, Anthropologie’s Shoshanna Floral Open-Shoulder Blouse is a more girly option for your summer getaway. Designed by native New Yorker, Shoshanna Gruss, the flattering shapes and elegant details of this white number are where adorable and astonishing meet. With bare-shouldered sleeves that taper down to tied ends and a watercolor floral print, it’ll make you the epitome of effortless charm on your way to meet friends for brunch.

 

ACCESSORIES

Understated elegance can be the order of the day this season. Zara’s Cage Bag is a great example of this sort of refinement. A natural-colored and sturdy straw bag, it’s a celebration of the easygoing and comfortable while still presenting a dose of earthy chic. The ribbed-knit inner bag holds all your odds and ends.

Naturally, you’ll want to pick up a pair of sunglasses while you’re heading out East. Oliver Peoples MP-3 30th are specs that can go as industrial or as natural as you like. Depending on the colors (of which there are six), you can lean to the severity of the black or the calm serenity of the BS/Workman Grey and Ash Blue Wash with Photochromic Glass. Why not give your eyes some easy and natural summer love?

 

SHOES

The marvelous thing about wear- ing shoes in natural tones is that they complete your look with streamlined finesse. Whether we’re talking pumps, sneakers, or boots, going au naturale for your feet roots you to the earth with soft glamour. Dolce Vita’s Rafia Mules are precisely what the doctor ordered for a comfortable walkabout. They can add a bit of natural grace to jeans and a tee or give you an excuse to toss those old rubber flip flops for the beach.

Raye’s sensational collection of shoes has got some vintage oomf this season with their Aurora Ankle Wrap Block Heel Sandals. Suede-wrapped block heels and knotted crisscross straps harmonize with the open-toe fronts. Picture yourself as an old-fashioned Hollywood starlet strutting your stuff in these this summer.