Let Summer Inspire Your Look This Fall

By Jasmin, age 16, Indiana
Sweet Designs Featured Writer

Featured Gold Star Writer Bio

It seems that sadly, slowly, summer is unfortunately fading away. Bit by bit, the warm summer breeze is turning into a bit of a chilly waft of autumn. The genuine, out-in-the-sun-all-day tans are subtly wearing off, revealing the paleness of the upcoming season. Seems as if we teenagers are still trying to hold on to that last piece, that last little bit of fun, carefree, all-about-relaxing summer season, when we don't have to worry about the stresses of school or the woes of that daily homework we all despise. Half of us are still in denial of summer being almost over, although school starts either this week or already has, for a girl like me going to an almost year-round school. Heck, I'm still in denial, and I've been attending 11th grade for almost two weeks now!

However, despite all of these monumental responsibilities and the sad, sad truth of the dwindling number of days you'll be able to just lay out in the backyard, summoning the rhythm of summer with your iPod and the barking of dogs next door, noticing the pre-teens playing in the sprinkler one fence over, we must face the truth of summer ending and (don't write me hate mail for saying this, guys) school beginning.

Now, I know how awful that gut-wrenching, stomach dropping feeling is when you start thinking about going back to the place you parted with over two months ago, gladly at that. I know the ache in your brain and shortness of breath you suddenly feel when you start thinking about all of the troubles school brings. You have to worry about so many things, like, aforementioned, homework, those cruel, cruel teachers that never give you a break from work, with whom you're going to sit at lunch, what you're going to do with your hair the first day, and so on, and so on. Everyone knows the list by heart, going to school for years and years.

Nevertheless, I will not fail you guys. I'll find you something to get excited about! Most everyone feels two emotions for my next mentioned tactic to get you all eager to go back to school! They feel either of these (and sometimes both at the same time): so super anxious they may start hyperventilating, or joyous and truly overly happy!

To finally be picking out your first day of school outfit! (And then all the days to follow.) You finally get to spend more than two seconds thinking of what to wear besides your "summer usual," a tank top, short shorts, and flip flops. For some, not all, it gets a tad bit boring to wear pretty much the same thing every day of vacation, just a bit of variation of when it comes to which type of tank - top-racer back, ribbed, or lace? Shorts - the white washed ones, the dark denims, or the super short distressed-pocket pair? Flip flops - black Aeropostales or those striped pink ones?

You get the picture. The most 'dressing up' I personally did all summer was going to the movies or a bonfire where I got to indulge in a little jewelry or some gladiator sandals, and a dab of actual makeup! But, other than that, it was the 'usual summer outfit.' I don't know about you ... maybe it's the inner fashion designer in me that screams BOOOORING!

As much as I love the easiness of not having to rack my brain for what to wear, at the same time, isn't that why we all love fashion? There are just so many options and choices when it comes to clothes and what to wear! You don't have to worry about the answer being 'wrong' or incorrect because, no matter what you choose, it will always be right, as long as you think so! What fun is it to already know exactly what you're going to wear every single day? Don't you want to play around with a few different looks, see how this looks with that, test out stuff and experiment? This is, like I said, the whole point of fashion. So, put away those plain-jane flip flops, and pull out your fashion thinkin' caps, guys! There's a long, yet extremely opportunistic year ahead of you, future fashion designers! ;) And here's a few hopefully helpful hints as to how all of you guys can jump-start those smart little style spotters!

Let the summer inspire your wardrobe!

Now I know you guys must be tired of hearing all about floral patterns, considering they've been a huge hit so far this season. However, there are always new ways to wear a common trend that's unlike anyone else. (Note to yourself, guys: no matter what, you can ALWAYS find a way to be different from everybody else, even if it's just using the same type of things everyone else has, just in a new and different way.) You see practically everyone wearing floral shorts, cardigans, and lots of floral dresses. But, think about smaller pieces, like floral accessories to accent your outfit, not overload it. Even literal 'floral' things, such as flower rings, can work. It will add somewhat of a sweet, yet simple accent to your summer-y outfit.

Available for $4.80 at or your local store. Also available in purple.

How perfect is this? Just what you need for the first day back! A cute backpack that has the ideal touch of a little floral for your outfit!
Available for $34.80 at or your local store.

Next in line is a HOT, HOT trend that's been going crazy all summer - those great bandage skirts! They're practically a triple threat. First, they flatter a nice hourglass shape, even if it's not a size zero. Personally, I think they look best on a young lady with some curves and hips. Second, they are casual, professional, and cute enough to dress up or down, depending on what style you're going for that particular day. Plus, they come in all types of colors and patterns! I've seen bandage skirts ranging from plain black to cheetah print! Adding to the awesome features of the bandage skirt, they are very comfortable, and you won't feel awkward or insecure, as some do in certain skirts that ride up or pull when you walk down the hallway.

A most classic bandage skirt.
Available for $12.50 at or your local store.

I especially like this one since it looks so cool and edgy with the zipper! You could definitely rock this with a black leather jacket and some cool jewelry and biker boots!
Available for $22.99 at or your local store.

Adds a little twist with the leopard print!
Available for $12.99 at or your local store.

Now I know you guys are wondering, "what in the world am I going to pair up with this bandage skirt!?" Well, no worries. I've got you covered! The cutest tops you can wear with a bandage skirt (or anything more tightly fitting on the bottom in general) is just a cute, flowy top! The more draped it is, the better. It can even be cropped; those usually make the most fashionable outfits! The flow-ier it is, the better. Then it can sort of hang out over the top of the skirt, making for a very sophisticated, but still all-you outfit. You can even try tucking in a looser tank into the skirt and let it fold over just a bit.

Confused about what I mean? No problem. I've got some pictures to demonstrate. Oh, and by the way, if you can't tell, the 80's have definitely come back! These loose-fitting, flowy, cropped tops aren't exactly a new idea in fashion. Just coming back ten times more fierce!

Available for $17.80 at or your local store.

A little tie-dye for my hipsters out there!
Available for $17.80 at or your local store.

This would be nice with just a classic, solid colored bandage skirt!
Available for $17.80 at or your local store.

This one's a little more dressy, for maybe a formal type of event, with a plain black skirt and simple black patent leather heels or flats.
Available for $27.80 at or your local store.

Moving down to shoes, already! This almost-ended season is still all about sandals. However, less is more! It honestly irks me to see so many girls walking around with 'sandals' that go practically to their knees with all that extra fabric that doesn't serve a purpose. considering their feet and toes are still out. So, this is why I'm proposing the less-is-more theory. The simpler the sandal, the better, girls! (Plus, I'll make fun of you a lot less. ;)

Go for uncomplicated, tie-free, even buckle-free, if you can find a pair with none! Because just like with the floral concept, your sandals should accent your adorable outfit, not overpower it! Your gorgeous summer clothes are going to shine all by themselves - no need to blind people with your sandals' bling or leave them wondering why exactly you are wearing sandals that look like boots with the toes cut out. So, try to follow these guidelines, gals! You'll thank me later when your teachers are all looking at your friend, not you, with that crazed, confused stare at her 'boot-sandals.'

Available for $19.99 at or your local store.

These have a little bit of a pattern design on the T-strap, but there's nothing wrong with a little intricacy, just no extra actual fabric.
Available for $17.97 at or your local store.

Available for $14.50 at or your local store.

These are about as simple as you can get, without wearing normal flip flops! But, they do obviously have a bit more interest than normal flip flops with their pretty braided straps. This specific pair comes in quite a few different colors, such as brown, gold, red, turquoise, and white! Since they're on sale, maybe you should buy two pair! One crazy color and one neutral, so you can be prepared for any outfit!

Now, last but most certainly not least, ladies, is my favorite part: Purses! And there's only one type I want to share with you guys as the best type of purse of the whole summer-into-fall season (and maybe ever!)

Cross body bags! Tiny, neutral colored ones are my personal faves. I own a tan/neutral colored 'leather' one. I call them "grandma purses." It has nothing to do with or against actual grandmothers; it is just how I identify small cross body purses. I cannot tell you why this is, however. But anyway, they are the perfect purses for the summer! I mean, think about it ... it's summertime or fall, you don't want to be carrying a lot around, and you want a bag you don't have to worry about leaving behind or forgetting somewhere. So why deal with the hassles of a normally-handled one, when it can easily be left at the fair and you won't even notice until you're back at home?!

So, the perfect solution is obviously a cross body bag, one that you can stuff with your must-haves (wallet, keys, cell phone, lip gloss or Chapstick, this Sweet Designs Magazine article printed out ... you know, the necessities) while also keeping an eye, well, keeping the actual bag on your body at all times! So no need for that fleeting, most terrifying "OMG, where's my purse!?" thought every time you go somewhere.

Now, are you tired of me explaining all the benefits of these super handy purses? Well then, take a look for yourself at some of these potential holders of your prized possessions!

For a little more of a serious, sailor, boat-shoe-and-bermudas type look.
Available for $18.80 at or your local store.

For those of you who need a little bit bigger bag ... room for more of my articles stuffed in there, of course ...
Available for $29.80 at or your local store.

I thought this one was just too adorably simple to not add!
Available for $17.80 at or your local store.

Well, now that I've gone from top to bottom, shoes to outfits to accessories, backwards and forwards, inside and out ...well, you get the picture! Hope I've helped you with that new first day outfit, all you frantic and frenzied panickers, and possibly convinced all you last minute non-planners! But hey, if not, you could always be looked at crazily with your boot-sandals, and have someone say to you, "Oopsie, you should've read that Jasmin SD article ... too bad. Well, I do have mine printed out, and an extra copy in my new nifty Grandma purse. Would you like it?"

Now that's what I would call an interesting kick-off to your year! ;)

Have fun, guys! Thanks. Love ya!

Jasmin C.K. :)

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February & March Magazine Issues

March 15, 2012

The February and March issues of Sweet Designs Magazine are now online, featuring a combined 53 new articles and features!!

- Cover: Stephanie Lynn reflects on 5 years
- Cover: India (of Darn-licious knitwear)
- Life in the dumps (moving in with my bf)
- The difference between men and women
- Angels among us (parts 1 and 2)
- Arts graduates & the dark night of the soul
- Triple threat (how I survived my teen yrs)
- Dating isn't easy (my true story)
- How to turn not-so-great gifts ... (fashion)
- Ten reasons to love being single
- Taking the big leap (college)
- Valentine's Day (not what you'd expect!)
- The last of the cold (hopefully) (fashion)
- A month full of love
- Ten tips for successful airline travel
- Reasons I love writing for SDM
- Who needs love?
- They're not all the same
- The life I'm glad I don't have (fiction)
- Professional dress/ finding Fendi (fashion)
- An airport anniversary: a true story
- Inappropriate Facebook photos
- The perks of a big city (college)
- A night(mare) to forget (part 2)
- The Anita Blake series (book review)
- Saving June by Hannah Harrington (book)
- Under the Mesquite by GG McCall (book)
- The Lullaby by Sarah Dessen (book)
- If I Stay by Gayle Foreman (book review)
- My sweetheart (original poetry)
- Isn't it funny (original poetry)
- The stranger (original poetry)
- A winter wonderland (original poetry)
- One night valentine
- The thick envelopes (college acceptance)
- Southern love
- Healthy hair and vitamins
- It's a date (dating idea alternatives)
- The 30 hour famine
- School's out forever!
- Marching right back into spring? (fashion)
- Dear John
- When TV shows depict your life
- 3 Fun ways to rock spring's hottest trends
- Neglected teeth
- Starting something new
- Guy movies
- To hesitate or dive in?
- Deadly, by Julie Chibbaro (book review)
- Beastly, by Alex Flinn (book review)
- I don't care (poetry)
- Together, alone (poetry)

Sweet Designs Magazine
The Magazine You Can Write For
The Voice of a New Generation


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