Fashion: Subtle for Sultry Days

At The Loft: ruffles, drapey necklines and subtle animal prints herald summer

Story and photos by Lindsey Chester

Cary, NC- I took a quick tour of Cary Towne Center Mall this week and I saw summer style that will be pretty and comfortable for our sweltering summer days ahead.

Summer Fashion Trends 2011

As was evident last fall and all through spring, ruffles and sparkle are still a main styling staple. Fabrics include lightweight knits and sheer illusions printed mesh for tops and washed rayons and cotton twill for bottoms.

Details continue to include unfinished edges, drawstrings, mini pleating, Dyed to match lace and the return to a natural waistline that can be accented with a belt.

The dominant print themes are abstract and subtle animal prints – cow, pony, snake, zebra, but tonal- not to high contrast which gives a more relaxing feeling in murky greens, grey-blues, and taupey-browns.

Slight ruffles at the neck dress up a knit tee worn with an animal print slim skirt


The above photo sums up a put-together look for summer that can go to lunch with friends a backyard picinic or the office, depending on the shoes and other accessories you wear. And I saw lots of very simple straight pencil skirts in prints and solids.

Dominant colors were a pale peachy pink, all shades of grey from pale to dark paired with pinks or white looked very fresh instead of black.

New York and Co and lots of drapey tops in shades of grey and pink

A Whole Lot of Draping Going On

Drapey cardigans go sleeveless for summer as a great layer over a more revealing tank. The flyaway neckline that we saw in fall continues and looks great with capris or over a dress.

There’s a whole lot of draping going on! If you do not have much of a defined waist- these silhouettes are for you. The fabrics creates the illusion of a waistline and the draping also helps define a barely there bustline. If you layer with a swing cardigan, the illusion of curves is created.

At the Gap, natural waistlines and pale pinks prevail

Scarves in Cary?

Another recurring theme in every store was scarf-wearing mannequins. I love scarves, but I cannot believe that in Cary, North Carolina, anyone will be wearing something warm around their neck when the temperatures head above 80 degrees. In the mall air conditioning it looked fine – I’ll let you know if I see anyone actually exhibiting this trend outdoors in July.

Lindsey Chester spent fifteen years as a womens’ clothing designer in Manhattan’s Garment Center, working for Leslie Fay, Harve Benard, Norton Mc Naughton and others. She contributes a seasonal fashion column for CaryCitizen.