So while everyone else is busy wearing shatter nail polish, maxi dresses, and tinsel and rooster-feather hair extensions this summer (by the way, it's recently come to light those roosters are euthanized for their feathers—now in high, high, high demand), here's your chance at standing out juuuust a little more.
Remember: Coral always comes back with the warm weather; stay minimal with the crazy nail art; when in doubt, throw on the denim cut-offs; and black is always okay. Always.
EDDIE BORGO AT J.CREW
The first few pieces are now available for purchase in stores and on JCrew.com, and I'm already in love: The collection reflects jewelry designer Eddie Borgo's eponymous line, in which edgy meets ultra-femme detailing. Borgo left out one little detail for his J.Crew line, though: The high price tags. These Borgo X J.Crew pieces range from $38 to $175. Who knew a CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund Award runner-up could be so affordable?
A favorite of the collection is the studded leather bow pin ($38), fashioned out of a thin black or ivory-colored leather strap and finished off with a dotting of small, gold-plated brass studs. But the most coveted accessory has to be the cone-and-pearl belt ($125), which J.Crew describes as "spiky-pretty '70s-era New York punk meets Paris-streetwear glam." It takes that same studded-leather aesthetic, but somehow makes it elegant and soft.
Also, students and teachers, present a valid ID at the register and receive 15 percent off. The discount is valid in-stores only and can't be honored over the telephone or on JCrew.com. Now available at J.Crew stores and online.
BOLD EYEWEAR FROM KAREN WALKER
Sure, crazy-colored Wayfarers (and Wayfarer knockoffs) have been in style for some time now, but it's time to ditch those for more adult eyewear that still manages to maintain some playfulness.
Australian designer Karen Walker has been a longtime favorite, but it's her sunglasses line that has really helped her gain cred here stateside. Known for her slightly off-kilter eyewear, Walker's newest collection ranges from some seriously oversized, rounded mad-scientist-type specs to something that looks like a more stylized, larger pair of Wayfarers. Bold, light-colored tortoise-shell prints are big again this summer (called "Crazy Tort" in the Karen Walker line), but if you're feeling more adventurous, she also offers some sculpted, geometric shades in candy colors.
The best part? Walker avoids any unnecessary logo flashiness (a favorite pastime here in Orange County) with a simple, mono-colored arrow design that starts at the temples and stretches across the arms. Available on ShopBop.com.
ROLLING UP MEN'S PANT LEGS
Even The New York Times extolled the virtues of this one last year, but it's as strong as ever and, as usual, still not too prevalent around these parts.
Ankles first started peering out around 2009, when dudes—especially on the East Coast—decided a neat, rolled-up cuff was the best way to show off the fancy (-ish—in guy terms) kicks (boat shoes, loafers, plimsoles, etc.) that have been popular for the past few years or so. Now the cuff has kind of devolved into a messy, nonchalant roll, but the idea has remained the same.
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Guys, this one's easy. Stick with a fitted, narrow-legged pant (not too tight, unless you want to look like you're wearing ladies' clam diggers à la 1999), either in a cotton canvas (think the colors Dockers are available in: khaki, dark gray, green) or a dark denim. Give it an inch-thick cuff—I wouldn't push it more than three rolls.
Wear colored socks underneath, or just show ankle. Casual, casual shoes. Casual tops. Casual everything. Don't be scared. And hey, if you don't like it, just roll them back down. Noncommittal!
This column appeared in print as "Summer's Must-Wears: From spikes and shades to cuffs and stuff."