Hot as a June Day In Toronto-Summer Trends

Summer in Toronto is a wonderful time for retailers. Because we have such an array of seasons, every few months or so Toronto consumers will update their wardrobes, sometime with an almost complete overhaul of last seasons looks. As a former retail manager, I know what a wonderful time this is. As an avid shopper, I know how expensive this can be. The trick then, is to know what you are after, and snatch up those key pieces. My job here will be to educate you on what these key pieces and hot looks are for this summer, 2005.

First of all, lets narrow down the looks of the season. I will cover three main ones. The first, and probably most important for summer 2005 is the Bohemian Look. Also know as BoHo chic or the Gypsy look, I am sure you have all seen it. It involves big skirts, flowing tops, bandanas, slouchy bags, and trying to blend in as an Olsen sister. If you do not have a clear picture in your mind, think, "hobo chic". Or if you want it toned down a little, stick with the similar and simpler Volume Look. Just big comfy skirts and wavy, sexy hair. Key pieces to this look include wedge sandals, lots of bracelets, cuffs, and bangles, beaded necklaces and big, oversized bags. Go into any main stream retail store right now and you will have no problem finding these key items.

For those who prefer a more classic style and are not interested in the chic-messy trend, there is a solution: the Skinny Look. Do not start fuming, this is in terms of clothing, not figure. Fitted clothes will always be in style, no matter what time of year. Pencil skirts have made a big come back, are easy to find, and flattering on those with boyish curves (I quite enjoy them on myself). Burnt out on skirts? Try a fitted pair of Bermuda shorts, this summers answer to capris. Instead of big bags, try a metallic clutch with this look.

The Ethnic Look is out in a big way this summer, and has so much variety! From African tribal or safari to the ancient Rome and Greece Empire waists, the world can be your oyster. Try Spadina for great slip on Asian inspired shoes and bags, but buyer beware: If you have feet above about a women's 8 (as I do) you may not find that the shoe fits. Key looks if you are interested in this style are anything tribal, colourful, sparkly and imported. Wooden jewelry completes this look.

Just remember a few little tips on this summers look when out indulging in a little retail therapy: Big is in. What's old is new. The wrist should have more attention then ever before. Bags should be oversized shoulder bags or tiny clutches. Above all, be thankful you secretly never got over the comfort of wedge heels because now you can break them out again! Your feet will thank you once they regain their shape and stop unnaturally pointing at the toes. Hit Queen, hit Spadina, hit Bloor, hop on the subway and hit the "new" Yorkdale, but be sure to check out local vintage and thrift stores to complete your look without making to many retailers too happy.

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