Standout Summer Style

Our guide to staying cool as the mercury rises—at any event

Backyard BBQ

Pair something loose and flowy (a maxi dress, a silk blouse) with something a little harder-edged (leather, studs, structured handbag or shoes) for a smokin’ combination. Prints of all kinds will add life to the outfit and keep it from straying into treacly tea-party territory.

(On Model Above): Pueblo print maxi dress, $425; Rebecca Minkoff three-ring stack, $78, both @ Bluebird Boutique, 3909 W. 50th St., Edina, 952-746-8675, Orange martini glasses, $9 @ Motto, 3105 Hennepin Ave. S., Mpls., 612-545-5636, (Flat Shot): Diane Von Furstenberg ruffle top, $175; IRO print denim shorts, $220, both @ Bumbershute, 5014 France Ave. S., Edina, 952-475-2684, Inherent belt, $48 @ Bluebird Boutique. Joan & David white heels, $170 @ Nordstrom, Mall of America, 952-883-2121,

The Graduation Celebration

Remember that rule about glasses always making a person look smarter? So do jackets. Get honor-roll marks in lightweight blazers with lots of color and texture. Pair with opposing prints or pieces that share the same tonal family for visual interest and a modern twist. Lightweight, pastel-colored leather, such as the skirt below, is all the rage. No one will confuse that wardrobe with a uniform.

(On Model Below):  Carven Poppy jacket, $1,190; Lanvin handbag, $1,987, both @ Nordstrom. Halter cami, $66; Citizens of Humanity denim, $168, both @ Bluebird Boutique. Tory Burch wedges, $375 @ Nordstrom. Rebecca Minkoff gold-studded ID plate necklace, $88 @ Bluebird Boutique. (Flat Shot): Motorcycle jacket, $429 @ Motto. Striped boatneck sweater, $155; Alice & Olivia leather skirt, $495, both @ Bluebird Boutique. Tory Burch wedge, $375 @ Nordstrom.

graduation party outfit


Wedding Wardrobe

Don’t be afraid to up the style quotient a notch at weddings—you’ll never outshine the bride, but you will look fabulous on the dance floor. When we think wedding, we immediately go to dresses. Whether you don a lovely ballet-inspired lace dress (inset photo) or a hot mod shift depends on the type of wedding you’re attending. Take your cue from the style of the invitation.

(On Model): Shrunken motorcycle jacket, $297 @ Bluebird Boutique. Ted Baker lace dress, $275 @ Nordstrom. Rebecca Minkoff pave ID ring, $128; three-ring stack, $78, both @ Bluebird Boutique. (Flat Shot): Diane Von Furstenberg Glam Pink minidress, $325 @ Nordstrom. Vince Camuto gold-and-black clutch, $98 @ Nordstrom. Jimmy Choo heels, $895 @ Nordstrom.

wedding outfit


A Grand Gala

Surprise them all in a peplum top and shorts, complete with Cleopatra styling—and make sure the fabrics are extra special to add formality. Or, rock out a sweet frock with after-hours accessories.

(On Model): Elizabeth & James matelasse Yumi top, $363; Tristan short, $363, both @ Bluebird Boutique. Vintage large gold necklace, $148; teal-and-black necklace, $198, both @ Bluebird Boutique. Jimmy Choo heels, $895; YSL New Havana handbag, $1,995, both @ Nordstrom. (Flat Shot): Ted Baker skater dress, $248 @ Nordstrom. Silver necklace, $248; studded leather cuff, $78, both @ Bluebird Boutique. Red Valentino bow clutch, $345; Stuart Weitzman heels, $425, both @ Nordstrom.

gala outfit