Feeling hippie girl dresses


Summer and hippie girl dresses go together like a cheeseburger and fries, but you want to be careful not to look too much like an extra from Hair, and that can be easily accomplished. Just look for dress shapes that are relatively clean-lined, and keep your accessories sharp. I like that this cute pink number is essentially a shirtdress, but with interesting—but not too interesting—sleeves.

Such a feminine and flattering shape.

This dress is from Matta, which is a good resource for chic hippie girl garb (and they’ve got a store near my apartment and also in Sag Harbor, so I find them very nearly unavoidable). It’s a more traditional hippie girl shape than most of what’s here, but the subtle color palette keeps it sophisticated.

This is longer than I typically go, but it looks so flowy and comfortable.

Likewise, this J Crew dress is pretty maxi, which I don’t always think is flattering, but the fact that it’s fitted up top makes it work.

Just a cute sundress with a touch of matchy-clashiness at the hem.

This is rather low-cut so probably not best for busty gals, but I think it is quite graceful.

The contrast of embroidery and a floral print on this Free People dress appeals.


In the mood for: bright stripes


You’ve got to be careful with bright stripes—if they’re too bright or the color combination isn’t quite right, they can skew slightly Candy Man—but I think they can be so fun and chic, especially this time of year. I love the red-on-red of this Frame Denim blazer: it almost looks like corduroy, but is much lighter.

This bag features a really unlikely—but highly appealing—combination of hues.

OK, this navy-and-white dress isn’t especially bright, but it’s so damned snappy.

Pink and red really pops, and even though I usually don’t like such a high neckline, I think this is really cool. Also: here is a similar pink and white tee that’s super-cheap.

You know I’ve got a thing for yellow these days, but it’s not a color that everyone can pull off, and for those people, I suggest this Excellent Clare V tote.

The silhouette of this skirt is just so graceful.

This blazer is so English Schoolboy. It’s also extremely well-priced.

I dig the way the black and grey are integrated with brighter colors on this sweater, and believe this makes it a highly versatile piece.

This cape is so Euro-preppy.

Any lover of stripes must check out Kule, because they have some of the best striped tees and tee dresses I’ve seen anywhere. This  red, white, and blue specimen is very nearly perfect.

And I adore the striped detail on these Nili Lotan French military pants.

This Everlane dress appears to be on the shorter side, but the model is 5’9″, so it might hit closer to the knee on some of you. For you tall types, it might make an excellent beach coverup.

This furry mule from Rachel Comey is just a delight.

And finally: this tank dress is an ideal piece for kicking around on the weekend: it’s as easy as it could possibly be, but still rather put-together.

Feeling summer preppy


When I was 15 or so, I used to study my older brother’s high school yearbook for style tips. He went to a fancy WASP-y private school in River Oaks, which is where all of the people with old money in Houston lived, and the girls dressed differently than they did at my big public school, where the aesthetic was very more is more. I was drawn to how understated and elegant the girls at my brother’s school were, and how cool they looked in jeans and a simple  Lacoste shirt, like this one.

A seersucker blazer in grey is a little chicer and less obvious than blue.

Classic khaki chinos in a just-right dark hue.

Embroidered belts are a preppy mainstay, but this one with skulls has a bit of edge.

I like this anchor belt too.

Tretorns are classics, and they’re so well-priced.

I’d wear this Madras shirt with cutoffs, or over my swimsuit at the beach.

All the preppy girls in Houston wore Mexican dresses like this one, and they’re so good for tooling around on hot days, and this purplish-blue embroidery is pretty good.

This wicker bag, with black skinny pants and a white tee would be aces.

And this wicker clutch is pretty good too.

Jack Rogers sandals are another preppy mainstay, and they get slightly edgy in gold.

Ray Ban Wayfarers suddenly feel really right to me again.

This tee dress has black and white stripes, which is somewhat more sophisticated than if they were blue or red.



Kim France

I was born in Houston, Texas in 1964 and have lived in New York City since 1988. I had a long career in magazines, working at Sassy, Elle, New York, and Spin, and in 2000, I founded Lucky magazine, which I edited for ten years.

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