Many European women – especially those in Paris and Milan – seem to have a pulled together effortless look that looks so young and fresh. They also almost always manage to look thin and pull off a healthy look. This put together summer look builds basic goof proof staples for your wardrobe. I am just sitting here today in my apartment in LA and I was reflecting on what exactly is really important for me in clothing.

Fit is very important even in casual clothes. Just because you are not at a formal event does not mean that you want to wear a pair of pants that make your butt look big. Casual summer clothes should not be too tight or too loose, but just skimming the body slightly to show a feminine form. Remember when you go out to places like the mall that you almost always run into someone you know -whether from work or social connections, so think about how you want this person to see you. If you run into a colleague or client in the winter, you likely have your coat on and what you are wearing does not matter that much. But in the summer, you can appear sweaty, disheveled, disorganized and sloppy by mixing up casual with sloppy, so think through what looks nicely assembled together without too much fuss.

Look for khakis made of a finer fabric that are a good cut for your body as they will go with almost anything from casual errands to paired with a blazer for a sharper look. Decide if you are tall enough or long legged enough to wear Capri length pants and if so, what length they should be. If you are not that tall but love shorts and Capri’s, some variant of a khaki Capri is your best bet to not visually make you look shorter and fatter like how a pair of cut-offs might. A ballet flat is a more classic look with but espadrilles are a popular choice.

A pale cotton shirtdress is comfortable and when paired with a sandal, mule, or flip flops seems to convey a put together look with very little effort. Attention to details like your pedicure, manicure and simple neat hairstyle match this sort of look that comes together quickly when you are in a rush. A stripped top is classic, and a strappy bare look top works well with a long thin skirt.

Fabrics are important. Certain fabrics are more conducive to this cool and crisp look – linens and cottons can have basic structure while still being very comfortable and easy to care for. Many companies make wrinkle free linen blends that keep their shape well even when packed in a suitcase. Simple natural fabrics look good in any lighting, whereas artificial fibres might look good in store lighting but can look very coarse and unnatural in direct daylight. Some fabrics also look terrible when you perspire, whereas at least cotton and linen blends are a bit more discrete than a polyester blend.

Choose colours that are fool proof. Splashes of colour come and go with seasonal trends and can be added to spruce up and update your wardrobe, but colours like navy blue and white are classics that always look rich and fresh. If you love a bold or bright print fabric, stick to those with a simple shape. For some reason dark and bright fabrics and lots of detailing just appear fussier and too hot a look when you want to look cool and simple. Hope this made clothing selection a bit easy for you ladies and gents. I’ll write to you next week.

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