Summer Style A-Z

Z is for Zigzags
Photo: Owen Beiny / WENN.com, INF Photo

Summer Style A-Z

01 of 23

A is for American in Paris

A is for American in Paris
NATIONAL PHOTO GROUP, KCSPresse / Splash News

Kate Moss and Eva Mendes know that one needn't be French to adopt a soupcon of Gallic style: The classic Breton striped shirt looks utterly chic and easy when paired with good old American denim—skinny or trouser-cut—and a pair of dark sunglasses.

02 of 23

B is for Braids

B is for Braids
Retna Ltd, Planet Photos/ZUMApress.com, Jerod Harris / Polaris

The low, loose side braid is the new ponytail; it's pretty without being too polished. From left, Rachel McAdams, Leona Lewis, and Kate Bosworth sport the look.

03 of 23

C is for Cutouts

C is for Cutouts
Casey Rodgers/AP, Angela Weiss/Getty Images

Peek-a-boo cutouts are the perfect way to show a little skin. Go for solid colors and streamlined silhouettes to maximize the drama; as Malin Akerman and Halle Berry demonstrate, the greater the contrast between the dress's shade and your skin tone, the sexier the reveal.

04 of 23

D is for Denim Top

D is for Denim Top
Dean/Peter/NPG.com, Brian Ach/Getty Images

Denim button-downs aren't just for cowhands anymore: Paired with high-heeled sandals and a pencil skirt—as seen on Ginnifer Goodwin, far left, and Hilary Duff—a chambray shirt is well-suited to both a business meeting or a laid-back afternoon stroll.

05 of 23

E is for Elaborate Earrings

E is for Elaborate Earrings
Tuukka Jantti, PacificCoastNews.com, Argoimages/jpistudios.com, Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images for Vogue Magazine

Swap out the statement necklace for a pair of ornate danglers—they elongate the neck, draw attention to your face, and work with both updos, as seen on Kate Beckinsale and Nelly Furtado, and loose, beachy waves a la Sienna Miller.

06 of 23

F is for Full Length with Flats

F is for Full Length with Flats
Jason Merritt/FilmMagic, Christopher Peterson/BuzzFoto/FilmMagic.com

A flowing maxi-dress looks positively ethereal with a delicate pair of flat sandals; take a tip from Charlize Theron and add big-night jewelery to make it evening-appropriate, or dress the look down, like Jennifer Aniston, for a stroll by the beach.

07 of 23

G is for Gingham

G is for Gingham
Adrian Varnedoe, PacificCoastNews.com, Dimitrios Kambouris/WireImage for G Star

The quintessential picnic pattern is surprisingly versatile: Dita Von Teese goes retro with a fifties silhouette and a headkerchief, while Katrina Bowden looks modern—even sexy—in a checkered minidress paired with platforms.

08 of 23

H is for Hip-Slung Belts

H is for Hip-Slung Belts
Albert Michael/startraksphoto.com, Right/ Fame Pictures

In winter, a cinched waist is where it's at, but the heat of summer sometimes calls for a breezier silhouette: A low-hanging belt adds definition but still looks laid back. Chanel Iman, far left, chooses an ethnic style for her basic cutoffs, while Fergie opts for a more polished effect.

09 of 23

I is for Isabel Marant

I is for Isabel Marant
Steve Granitz/WireImage, Richard Young/startraksphoto.com

It's no wonder that the coolest girls in New York and L.A. will wear literally anything by this Parisian designer—Marant makes basics anything but. The must-have piece, as seen on Zoe Saldana and Natalie Portman, is a petite, ladylike jacket that works with dark jeans or a bright minidress.

10 of 23

J is for Jean Shorts

J is for Jean Shorts
Splash News, Hector Vallenilla, PacificCoastNews.com

Abbreviated denim is a summer staple, but this season a rolled-up hemline looks best—it's easier to dress up than a messy cutoff. Rachel Bilson gives her casual pair some polish by adding a chain-strap bag and metallic sandals, while Whitney Port goes elegantly bright with a patterned blouse and flats.

11 of 23

K is for Khaki

K is for Khaki
GSI Media, Christopher Peterson/BuzzFoto/FilmMagic

These dust-colored trousers work well with dark leather and denim. Make the menswear basic more female-friendly by cuffing them—to reveal a flash of delicate ankle—and strapping on a pair of neutral-colored sandals like Heidi Klum and Jennifer Aniston.

12 of 23

L and M are for Lace and Military

L and M are for Lace and Military
Axel Schmidt/Colourpress/jpistudios.com, Jamie McCarthy/WireImage

Diane Kruger and Alexa Chung both opt for this unexpected mixture of rugged and soft: A stretch of elegant lace is a surprisingly apt complement to standard-issue military style. Add high heeled sandals or a structure bag to create a look worth saluting.

13 of 23

N and O are for Nude and Off-White

N and O are for Nude and Off-White
Humberto Carreno/startraksphoto. INFphoto.com

Peaches and cream is a classic combination. But these fair neutrals needn't look staid: Sarah Jessica Parker toughens up her taupe lace dress with a sharp white blazer and layered chains, while Megan Fox's sexy ivory sheath looks elegant when paired with a blush-colored bag.

14 of 23

P is for Print Over Print

P is for Print Over Print
Humberto Carreno/startraksphoto. Roger Wong/INFphoto.com

Mixing prints and patterns is a very modern move, with a high degree of difficulty. But if you're careful to keep all your pieces in the same color family, like Kirsten Stewart and Whitney Port, you should be able to rise to the challenge. The results are thrillingly au courant.

15 of 23

Q is for Quick Hair Fixes

Q is for Quick Hair Fixes
Jamie McCarthy/WireImage, Wu/Lee/Splash, Jon Furniss/WireImage

Summer heat and humidity have conquered many a hairstyle; better to abandon any idea of looking impossibly sleek in favor of a host of quick fixes that will leave your do impossibly chic. Sarah Jessica Parker and Jessica Alba opt for gently mussed topknots that work day and night, while Beyonce caps her beachy waves with a colorful straw hat.

16 of 23

R is for Rope Details

R is for Rope Details
Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for Oceana, Jamie McCarthy/WireImage

Go goddess in a Grecian-gown accented with braided details——January Jones and Eva Amurri show two different takes on the classic look. Draped, flowing fabrics belted with rope are great for accentuating curves, but keep your accessories simple to avoid looking like you're headed to a toga party.

17 of 23

S is for Spice Colors

S is for Spice Colors
John Shearer/WireImage, Carlos Costas, PacificCoastNews.com

Super-bright shades may be sunny-season favorites, but don't overlook the duskier side of the color palette: Cinnamon, sage, and mustard shades can add flavor to your warm-weather clothes. Paula Patton's printed dress is pretty tropical, and Miranda Kerr's seperates make her skin glow.

18 of 23

T is for Tie-Dye

T is for Tie-Dye
Dome, Jones, PacificCoastNews.com, Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic

Tie-dye has come a long way from it's hippie-dippie roots: As recent runway iterations have shown, the technique can be used to achieve very high fashion results. Kate Bosworth pairs her loose-fitting dress with a chicly earthy bag and heels, while Kristen Bell wisely lets her vibrant choice take center stage, sticking with nude, minimalist accessories.

19 of 23

U and V are for UV Protection

U and V are for UV Protection
Jason Kempin/WireImage, Splash New

Coco Chanel may have popularized the suntan, but this century trendsetters are focused on finding stylish ways to avoid burns, skin cancer and wrinkles. Kate Hudson and Vanessa Hudgens strike the right balance, pairing wide-brimmed hats with sweet sun-dresses. Finish the look with strappy sandals and of course, a generous helping of SPF.

20 of 23

W is for White Dress

W is for White Dress
Gene Young/Splash News, Fernando Allende / Broadimage

This summer, set aside your little black dress in favor of a bright white version: In the right silhouette, the shade can suit almost any occasion. Reese Witherspoon's streamlined sheath is perfect for the office, paired with an ivory status bag and metallic heels; Demi Moore tempers the sweetness of her strapless a-line with a black clutch and heels.

21 of 23

X is for Xtra Bright Lips

X is for Xtra Bright Lips
Brian To/Elevation Photos, AJBR/jpistudios.com, Darla Khazei, PacificCoastNews.com

A smoky eye can be too tricky for the sweaty season. But a super-bright lipstick confers the same quantity of pretty polish. If you're fair-skinned, choose hot pinks and reds with blue undertones; the medium-to-dark-skinned should try orange-based reds and vibrant plums.

22 of 23

Y is for Yellow Bag

Y is for Yellow Bag
INFphoto.com, Roger Kisby/Getty Images

Sunshine-y yellow packs a punch, but it definitely doesn't suit everyone's skin tone. Instead, try pairing a bright lemon bag with tailored office-ready separates, like Taylor Swift, or a more boho-style dress, like Joy Bryant.

23 of 23

Z is for Zigzags

Z is for Zigzags
Owen Beiny / WENN.com, INF Photo

Jagged lines are a jaunty alternative to horizontal stripes, and have the added advantage of drawing the eye upwards, rather than out. Try a zigzagged handbag, like Anne Hathaway's, or a copy Milla Jovovich's cool coat.

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