Sizzle from A to Z...
A is for Acrylics
Spring cleaning may have come and gone, but there's no better time to spice up your décor. Bright acrylics will do wonders for your home - try some bright acrylic dishes or candle holders for a funky, whimsical look.
B is for Bronze
As in bronze goddess, which is what you will be with this summer's hottest shade. To get this sun-kissed look without damaging your skin, skip the tanning and head straight for the self-tanner. Also look for bronze-tinged make up at your local counter to add a glow to your features.
C is for Classic Cardigans
Making a comeback in 2004, but it's not quite what your mother wore. Update the look by pairing cardigans with print tops, jeans, and some strappy sandals.
D is for Dotted Dresses
As worn by some of Hollywood's up-and-coming trendsetters like actress Eva Mendes, who was spotted (no pun intended, seriously) in a white, beige-dotted strapless number. Dots will add a fun touch to a borin' old dress, but remember, don't overdo it or you'll end up looking like a walking connect-the-dots game.
E is for Eclectic Mixes
Mixing is still in, so don't be afraid to dare a little. A flowered tank top and army-inspired skirt get the green light. Lil' Kim's I-got-dressed-in-the-dark style, not so much. I did say a little, right?
F is for Florals
And the bolder, the better.
G is for (the) Glorious 20's
The latest era to get a trend boost is the 1920's, when flapper chic was all the rage. Now, over 80 years later, the flappers are heading to a runway near you (Luis Vuitton, Giorgio Armani, and Stella McCartney all support the look). To participate in your own revival, look for a sophisticated silk slip dress to make your own. And no outfit would be complete without pearl strands. Wear them long and loose or wrapped around your neck.
H is for Handbags
The diminutive tote is back, but with a twist. The little black bag has been, like its counterpart little black dress, updated for a more bold, flirty look. Hit the parks or the beach with your own printed handbag. The wilder the print, the better.
I is for Initial
Although it came and went like a passing fad, initials are still a fun way to personalize your belongings. Whether it's hanging on a necklace or on your luggage tag, show off what you've got.
J is for Jelly Sandals
Ah, remember the jellies from childhood pasts? The shoe is back in time for the beach, but this time around there's no boys pulling your hair or lineups for the sandbox.
K is for Kill Bill Couture
The movie that launched a thousand looks (next to The Matrix, of course) is getting its own fashion treatment. Look for Bruce Lee/The Bride-inspired jumpsuits, as well as Elle Driver nurse outfits (eye patch not included). We can only imagine what next Halloween's going to be like.
L is for Layering
But now that the weather is getting warmer, trade in the sweaters for light camisoles and slips.
M is for Metallic
The latest trend in make-up comes straight off the runways. Dare to shine in bronzes, golds, silvers, and blues. But no, not all at once.
N is for Nails
Short, clean, and manicured is back in business. Go for a short, squared tip followed by a French manicure, or paint them a startling red. Leave the extraneous decoratives in the drawer.
O is for (the great) Outdoors
Now that flowers are blooming every which way, it's time to capitalize on the summer love and all that good stuff by heading outdoors for some entertaining. You don't have to own a barbecue to throw a successful bash; just grab some of your closest friends and head for the nearest picnic bench. If the inner hostess in you is dying to get out, focus on the smaller details and leave everything informal. For instance, clean pastel-coloured wastebaskets can double as ice-buckets, fish tanks full of water become perfect for floating candles, and custard bowls filled with petals and lemon become delectable finger bowls.
P is for Pointed-Toe Pumps
The pointed-toe boot is hibernating. Grab a pair of these shoes for the summer.
Q is for Quite Mini(skirt)
This season, the leg-bearing skirts are pleated and patterned, but still just as short as ever.
R is for Rosy
If you're not into bronze and taupe, try a splash of pink on the cheeks for a fresh, eye-catching look.
S is for Side Ponytails
And it's not just for kids anymore. But for a more, ahem, mature style, pull back hair and tie it closer to the base at the neck, letting a few face-framing tendrils fall loose. Last seen on Beyoncé, so you know it works.
T is for Tweed
Yes, girls can wear tweed too! The itchy material gets girly with fitted, cropped jackets, and is great over a tank top or camisole.
U is for Underwear as Outerwear
Not for the faint of heart. And didn't we vote Britney's patented look as cheesy? Alas, now it's hit the runways, and the bra peeking out from the slip is actually on purpose! If you're looking to add some excitement to your summer wardrobe, look no further than a corset.
V is for Vintage Bathing Suits
Suits are borrowing heavily from the 1940's and 1950's, but are no longer the uncomfortable, constricting maillots our mothers used to wear. Invest in a brief-cut bathing suit - great for any body type, and sexy as hell.
W is for Waves
On and off the beach, if you catch my drift. Wavy hair is perfect for those warm summer nights, and the best part is that there's no fuss. For best results, crinkle hair while blow-drying, and skip the brush.
X is for (e)Xotic
Fashion is still getting a boost from the east. From dresses to tops to make-up, you'll find that cross-cultural inspiration is heading to a mall near you.
Y is for Yellow
The new black of the summer.
Z is for Zoolander
Yes, Zoolander is hot! Now go out and buy the DVD. (The author regretfully does not have an actual category for the letter Z, and so had to make something up.) ¤ C.Ho.