6 Unconventional Trends to Try This Summer Because It's Too Hot to Care What Anyone Thinks

These fresh, weird-as-hell looks will get you through the dog days of summer.
Publish date:
July 27, 2016
shoppables, fashion, summer beauty



A photo posted by Kathleen Braine (@braine_child) on

I definitely have a love-hate relationship with New York fashion trends. I can remember being 23 and positively salivating over the prospect of putting together outfits that mimicked what I saw cool girls wearing on the streets of Manhattan. I would document my favorites on Pinterest, rip pages out of magazines, and desperately sift through the racks at thrift stores and boutiques on my weekends off. However, after a few years of working in marketing and publishing, I began to tire of the trend whirlwind that inevitably comes around every season. Part of this fatigue stemmed from financial limitations, but the other part of it came from my desire to try out even crazier things. I was feeling constrained by trends and wanted to break free with some new, weird-as-hell stuff.

Fashion editors do have a tendency to wax rhapsodic about Fashion Week looks and celeb-anointed styles that are almost impossible to implement in daily life (unless you're an avant garde artist or, like, Lady Gaga), so I purposefully made sure that these looks are at least (mostly) possible to accomplish IRL. And, as someone who lives in Williamsburg and often feels woefully inadequate in terms of sartorial swagger, I can attest to the fact that I've seen all of these looks pulled off successfully by non-celebrity, non-model types on the streets of Brooklyn.

This year — because summer is already almost over and I've already figured out most of what I'm wearing to beat the heat — I decided to purposefully seek out some of the more ridiculous and difficult fashion and beauty looks of #Summer2016, try them, and share them with all of you. Seriously, in the dog days of summer, why the heck not?

Try them (if you dare)!

Victorian-Inspired Dresses

I will admit that I was skeptical of this idea at first. When I think "summer" I don't usually think lace, ruffles, and velvet, but that's exactly what the Victorian-inspired trends of this year require. While some iterations lean towards a refined vintage feel (see: Alexa Chung in Alessandra Rich at the Tarzan Premiere) others take their cues from a far-easier-to-style boho festival vein (like Jourdan Dunn's breezy Victorian shirt). Here are my faves:

Dark Lips

I personally think this is one of the easiest "high fashion" trends to achieve IRL. This year, Rodarte, Fenty x Puma, and Nicholas K all styled their NYFW models with super dark statement lips. Naturally, celebrities followed suit and now everyone from Beyonce to Taylor Swift has been spotted rocking this summer's dark lip.

To start this trend out casually, I recommend trying Tom Ford Lips and Boys Lip Color in Guillermo, a medium dark brown plum. It's a nice "starter" shade. When you're ready to up the ante, I'm a huge fan of Urban Decay Matte Revolution Lipstick in Shame.

This is noticeably darker, with a shade that leans more berry than brown, and if you like the look you can kick it up even more by pairing it with grunge hair.

Wide Leg Cropped Jeans (and Pants!)

This trend may not be a particularly weird one, but it is a definite switch-up from the looks I've grown accustomed to in summers of yore. I've talked about how much I love wide leg loose pants in the past, but the move towards arguably more extreme wide leg jeans and structured pants has been one that I have had trouble adopting (especially the cropped version that has also experienced a summer spike in popularity). No longer!

This summer, I'm doing it; I'm going for intense wide leg jeans with pure abandon.


I know what you're thinking: Is it 2003 again? Can I pull my Juicy Couture Sweatsuits out of storage and ride this trend into the ground? Well first of all, of course you can, you can do whatever you'd like, but I will tell you that the tracksuits of this season are far shinier and lighter than their early-aughts terrycloth counterparts. This trend has been spearheaded by (who else?) Rihanna, with celebs like Suki Waterhouse and Cara Delevingne following suit.

Though I'm not sure that tracksuits are the most appropriate for NYC heat, I can't deny that I love the idea of wearing my pajamas all day long.

Separates and Suits

I'm not usually down for doing the matchy-matchy thing. I don't match my shoes to my purse ever, I hate when people wear matching hats and scarves, and I think matching mani-pedis are boring as hell. Yet, this summer's trend towards deliberately extreme matching separates and suits immediately had me intrigued. Here are some ways to try the look out yourself:

I think it's the fact that so many of these looks are almost ugly in their steadfast commitment to matching, which makes them avant-garde and badass in the best way possible.

Metallic Glitter

This year, glitter made a comeback in a few modern — and definitely not preteen — iterations. Namely Marissa Webb, Opening Ceremony, and Saint Laurent all had models with various levels of glittering eye makeup, contour and hair glitter at this Spring's NYFW, and celebrities such as Charlotte Ronson and Miley Cyrus have quickly jumped on the trend. Because I secretly still like wearing glitter, I'm pretty excited to see how this trend can be passably modified for everyday wear. To create your own version, I recommend Stila Magnificent Metals Foil Finish Eye Shadow in Comex Platinum and applying with a small eyeshadow brush around your eyes and in the contours of your cheeks.