Upgrade Your Summer Look for Less

Real Style on 06.27.11
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Photo: Dr. Scholl's Shoes

Summer's here, in full force, and no matter what you're doing -- running kids around all day or racing to the office and back -- you're probably falling into a wardrobe rut. It can be hard to get motivated to look good when it's hot, and the lazy days of summer are no incentive. But instead of giving up and giving in and tossing on that same tee-and-shorts outfit again, look for simple ways to upgrade your wardrobe. I've got three suggestions, which will cost you under $100 -- total -- and will work with what you're already wearing. Ready?

Statement sandals: When I was a kid, my mom wore Dr. Scholl's sandals -- the "original exercise sandals." I remember borrowing them during the summer and wearing them with everything. I also remember that while they were super cool, they weren't particularly comfortable. Dr. Scholl's shoes have come a long way since then; they're still making that same retro-70s design, but they're also carrying some amazing statement sandals. I'm totally smitten by the Candid (pictured above). I'm not a heels girl, but these are surprisingly wearable -- and comfortable. The four-inch heel is balanced out by the one-inch platform, which means that you get the height without the teeter factor. But even better, the insole is padded, to cushion your feet, and the outsole has a traction cover, which means that inexperienced heel-wearers like me don't go clomping around. Wear these with a dress or skirt for super long legs, or pair them with jeans (cuff the jeans just over your ankle, to show off the shoes). Dr. Scholl's Shoes Candid sandals, $69.99

A trendy hat: I spend the whole summer trying to keep the sun off my face, but I don't really want to wear a baseball cap or full-on sun hat when I'm running errands. A lightweight fedora is the perfect solution -- practical and understated, but still just trendy enough to be fun. My favorite fedora is from mark; it's made of 100% linen, so it's light enough for even the hottest summer day, and it comes with three interchangeable bands, in black, coral, and a blue floral print, to go with every outfit. A fedora is a perfect solution to a sleepless night or bad hair day, too -- pair with some cool sunglasses and you'll look less like a tired mom and more like a chic celebrity. mark Fierce Fedora, $16.00

A bold pedicure: Summer is all about being barefoot, and if you're going to have your toes out there every day, you might as well make them pretty. For summer, I'm all about the classic red pedicure, but I tend to steer clear of the usual fire engine shades, which can be a little harsh. My go-to is OPI's Dutch Tulips, which is a pink-tinted red (a little softer than a classic red). I only paint my toe nails, because my hands are constantly covered in sunscreen and bug spray, which will kill a manicure. This summer, I'm doing my own pedicures, rather than going to the salon -- there's something so decadent and restful about having to put your feet up to let your toenails dry. A DIY pedicure is simple, if you just follow a few basic steps. OPI Dutch Tulips nail lacquer, $8.99.

How are you upping the style ante this summer? Or are you just spending the next ten weeks in your swimsuit?

More ways to upgrade your summer look.
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Summer Style Quiz
10 Ways to Develop Your Personal Style