Peekaboo: Summer styles that cover up yet show some skin
Cut-outs, capes and sheer fabrics like organza, tulle and silk mul keep you cool, comfortable and chic.Updated: May 17, 2018 17:46 IST
You’ll be pulling out your light floral dresses, palazzos and crop tops this summer anyway. But designers say there’s more to the season’s styles. They’re mixing up silk mul, organza and tulle for formal wear. And for every day, there are lighter georgettes and chiffons.
Sheer fabrics and panels of contrasting textures are all the rage. So are capes. “Cut-outs or panels work well on the shoulders, neckline or back,” says designer Payal Singhal. “To add a touch of modesty, choose a style with lace or organza sheer to the panels, or pair your clothes with tunics or capes.”
Just avoid them with pants, warns designer Sunaina Khera. “You need a free flowing silhouette underneath to avoid too many elements and to let the cape really shine.”
Keep the colours soft: ice blue, lilac, blush-pink tones and mint. Designer Nachiket Barve believes layering can help. “Offices are freezing even in summer. Add a stole or scarf and swap fitted tights, jeans and churidars for palazzos,” he says.
- Add light-weight chains, stylish bracelets and elegant stud earrings to complement your outfit.
- Add a spot of colour to your overall look with embroidered flat shoes.
- Stay away from oversized belts when it’s hot.
- Stay airy with small scarves and avoid metal accessories. Choose light dangler or feathery earrings instead.
- Earthy raw leather and jute bags and espadrilles work for a rustic style, neutral tan totes and pumps work for a structured look and bright quirky accessories work for a trendy look.With inputs from designers Anita Dongre, Nachiket Barve and Payal Khandwala
Singhal’s summer collection is sheer and panelled. Jaali and antique zardosi embroidery get a lightweight look in delicate fabrics like organza, chanderi mul, tulle, chiffons and crepes with cut-out panels in the right places. “So you are showing off but not showing off,” she says.
Designer Payal Khandwala’s summerwear is big on colour blocking, pleats and some sheer panels. “Tops with sheer sides or dresses with a deep neck but covered in sheer fabric are perfect for balmy weather,” she says.
Ensure that the cut-outs aren’t too big or on the hips. Most designers say that they should be on the waist and preferably go for a high-neck and avoid too much cleavage because it can go wrong. “It is easy to lose the sophistication of an outfit by showing off the wrong curves,” says Saaksha of the designer label Saaksha and Kinni.
Transparent, translucent or see-through fabrics are a big trend too. Making rounds this year are sheer skirts paired with solid hot pants or a skirt underneath. Or a see-through blouse worn over a bandeau or bustier paired with denims. Try a sheer dress with solid separates such as a bandeau and hot pants underneath for date night. “Dresses are the perfect wardrobe staple for summer. A sheer section adds a lightness that is perfect for soaring temperatures, and a sexiness that can take an outfit for day to night,” says Kinni.
Consider the mini cape (which looks like a fitted poncho) as an update on shrugs and stoles. Singhal has created a bralette with dhoti pants and cape, that seems apt for a sangeet night. “Pair them with pallazzos and you have a perfect summer wedding dress,” she says. They pair well with a lehenga too. Saaksha and Kinni suggest an outfit bold stripes with a colourful cape for a brunch.
We all know that linen is a go-to summer fabric. “Khadi is making a comeback too,” says Gaurav Mahajan, president of apparel at Raymond. While small graphic prints add depth, printed shirts in earthy and pastel hues are a relaxed but vibrant option for afternoons and evenings. “Layer them with waistcoats or jackets if you want a more dressed up look,” says Mahajan. Pastel-coloured shirts could be paired with pale-coloured trousers for your office. Loose khadi pants, asymmetrical shirts or waistcoats are a big yes too.