Conquering lace, florals, dainty off-shoulder tops
Ahh June- time for some lace, dainty off-shoulder tops, florals, everything sweet and generally impractical. Nothing I ever wear on a daily basis.
In fact, things that I usually avoid given my love for an edgier, boyish style.
But do I still fall for the many cute summer outfits I've pinned on Pinterest?
Oh man, all the time.
I never pegged myself as someone who followed trends. But the first time I actually did, was before a trip with one of my best friends, just the 2 of us, the summer of my first year in university. It was incredibly exciting!
In pinning summer outfit inspirations, I fell instantly for one of the most popular summer trends of all time :
the white off-shoulder top.
It really was the rage, especially in 2017. My friend and I - we hunted passionately for it, despite my inner voice grumbling against this decision. So when I wore it for the first time, it was AWKWARD. I was not sure how to style it and unfortunately, I hadn't the time to shop for the bottoms! I wore it with ripped jeans and despaired slightly to see Pinterest churning up ideas with light floral skirts and dainty shorts. Oh dear, was I wearing it all wrong? Was I a walking off-shoulder DISASTER?
But really, there is no such thing as right or wrong in fashion. And frankly, life is too short to not wear anything you truly want to. It took a few years of experimenting, but I've found a way to "edgy-fy" that lace and add my personality into it when styling these trends!
So, I've compiled some tips on how I style some popular summer trends to fit my personality and mood. And doing so with things already in my wardrobe!
Let's get started!
Styling a summer outfit is like making yourself a latte.
Or iced latte.
Ok, hear me out. I've found that all those cute ruffles and lacy summer tops are unexpectedly, very versatile. They are like the milk of any latte- they may differ slightly in type and brand, but ultimately, they match anything! Even edgy fashion if you love it!
- Step 1: Choose your favourite expresso base -
I used to be so concerned over the fact that I couldn't style these summer tops because I didn't own that particular pair of jeans or skirt that I saw that YouTuber or blogger wear. But like choosing your choice of coffee, an outfit boils down to you. I think that our wardrobe, subconsciously, is a reflection of ourselves. And any outfit just starts with what we feel comfortable in!
So, are you team pants or team skirt?
- Step 2: Pick your favourite trending summer top -
They generally go with anything!
- Step 3: Accessorise! -
Do you like bandanas? Or caps? Belts maybe?
Do you prefer sandals or sneakers? Or do you like to edge it up with boots?
I think accessories are the finishing cream of any latte... *ahem* outfit.
They are the subtle nuances that scream you!
Top 1 :
The off-shoulder top -
The first summer trend I fell for.
A venture that started off as a very uncharacteristically girlish outcry turned wardrobe staple. A rather comfortable one too.
- Ruffle off-shoulder top + ripped boyfriend jeans + sneakers -
I bought this top from Brandy Melville and it is actually so comfortable! I think this is a cute outfit, and a no-fuss one too perfect for travelling. I'd wear this on short flights or road trips. Plus, I can arrive at my destination ready to explore or meet friends immediately!
- Ruffle off-shoulder top + floral skirt + belt + sandals -
A lightweight outfit for those girly summer days AND nights ;) I think this outfit can easily be worn throughout the day to dinners or nightly strolls - especially with the comfort of sandals instead of heels. I added a thin faux leather belt underneath the folds of the top because I think that it adds more structure to the outfit with all the overflowing fabric from the top and skirt.
Top 2 :
Tackling Lace Tops -
It has been oddly liberating to mix lace with my favourite, edgier clothes. A wonderful balance of girly with a hint of rebellion.
I was a tomboy for most of my childhood. And I loved it - I felt stronger, kind of like Georgina from Famous Five. Or Mulan (technically). It was indirectly, my way of rebelling against the male favouritism in Asian culture. So as I grew to love more girly items, I started to worry that this would somehow undermine everything I'd worked for.
Looking back, in fighting for 'validity', I'd unknowingly discriminated against myself for my own gender. Which is SO ironic considering how much I am against gender inequality. I now believe that skills, actions and personality is what would push a person to success. And not because one simply chooses to wear a lacy top. If a girl wants to wear a lace top, why not?
Mixing girly lace with an edgy twist - that is a statement I love because I think it reflects me as a person now: someone who still doesn't quite know her style, but wants to maintain a little kick-ass spice while trying different things on this road of self-discovery.
- Lace off-shoulder top + ripped denim skirt + cap +sneakers -
This is my favourite ripped denim skirt. I love the contrast between the rips and the floral embroidery - it reflects the rebellious lace meets edge vibe I'm going for.
And if it isn't already obvious, I LOVE caps. Sorry, I know I've featured them in many outfits before, but every time I think 'edgy', I can't help but reach for a studded cap!
- Lace off-shoulder top + leopard-print skirt + military boots -
I'd wear this outfit to any dinner or any occasion really. I think the long leopard-print skirt adds drama to the outfit. Pair it with some statement military boots and there you go! An edgy-fied lace top outfit!
Fun fact: this picture was not planned. I just went through my photos and noticed myself ceaselessly harassing my lamp out of EXTREME modelling awkwardness. Hence, inspiring this photoshop collage.
Style tip :
I am NOT a fan of strapless bras. To be honest, I find them... fickle. And frankly, a hassle. So for days when I simply can't be bothered, I like to wear a strappy bralette like this one from Hollister. I think the straps add some nice details to the off-shoulder top. And, they are so much easier to wear, more reliable, and very comfortable!
Top 3 :
The Camisole -
Ahh. The ultimate summer trend born simply because summer is too hot for t-shirts.
But for the very old-fashioned kid I was, it was a challenge that I was so itching to try despite being uncomfortable in spaghetti straps.
- Floral camisole + floral skirt + wide belt + sneakers -
An outfit for those girly summer days when I'm catching up with friends. Because camisoles are so wide at the bottom, when I'm wearing it with an elastic band floral skirt, I like having a wide leather belt over it to cinch in the waist.
I think it makes the outfit look better tailored to me, and more put together.
On edgier days, I like tucking the camisole into a high-waisted denim skirt like hoho this same denim skirt I featured above!
Style tip :
Like aforementioned, I was not the most comfortable in camisoles. So for a while, I'd layer an oversized shirt or denim jacket atop it - kind of like my training wheels to spaghetti strap freedom.
Somewhere along the way (maybe because it started getting too hot for denim jackets), I just got comfortable in camisoles. When I was younger, for the sake of fashion, I made a lot of bad shopping choices - buying clothes I felt extremely uncomfortable in but were deemed trendy. If there's anything I've learned from years of mistakes: don't force it. It takes time to get comfortable in those 'challenging' summer pieces. And wearing these pieces when I'm truly comfortable in them is what makes the outfit!
I tend to overthink my outfits - especially when it came to summer outfits because I don't have a winter jacket to cover what I was wearing. Other than my generic t-shirts and shorts, stepping up my summer outfits with girly ruffles and lace really intimidated me. Big time. I am, by no means, a fashion expert, but I'm glad that I have gained more confidence in conquering these pieces and am slowly trying to style them with existing things in my wardrobe.
And for this coffeeholic, telling myself that I'm just customising an iced latte to my tastes while styling these outfits has made it a lot easier. :)
Well, I hope this helped. Please let me know if you found this useful- and I hope you enjoyed this article as much as I did writing it!
Anyway, have a great summer! Stay safe and thank you for reading!