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Summer essentials

From print dresses to cool blazers to sunscreen, things to get you vacation-ready

As soon as the rainy season ends, sweltering heat blankets the nation, prompting those who haven’t gone on vacation to head to the beaches, go camping or enjoy the quiet, empty city.

August is the best time for summer shopping as some summer essential items go on sale. Before getting ready for the long-awaited vacation, some trends are worth keeping in mind. They may help you score some items that will make your holiday a blast. 
Silk jersey print dress by Tory Burch (Cheil Industries)
Silk jersey print dress by Tory Burch (Cheil Industries)

Exotic prints for beach-goers

Bold prints are in style for this season as they make for a complete look without having to wear many accessories to stand out on a beach.

“If you are going to a resort for summer vacation, a print dress in bold colors is a must-have. The print dress from Tory Burch’s 2013 resort collection can be worn over a swimsuit or can become a sophisticated piece suitable for special occasions like dinner at an upscale restaurant or beach parties,” said Lee Eun-joo, director of Tory Burch.

For an edgier look, exotic prints and geometric patterns are another option.

Korean fashion brand Epitaph suggests print dresses, jumpsuits and rompers in exotic and geometric prints. 
Models show Epitaph’s romper (left) and jersey print dress.(Cheil Industries)
Models show Epitaph’s romper (left) and jersey print dress.(Cheil Industries)

Epitaph suggests a top and a long skirt in natural, exotic patterns inspired by a tree trunk. The separate pieces can look like a dress when they are worn together with a belt. The separates are useful in creating diverse looks with limited items while on vacation. Matching them with a pair of shorts or other accessories can polish your look for any occasion.

The rompers in geometric patterns can be effortlessly stylish and easy to wear on the beach.

“Bold and intense prints are gaining attention this summer, more than ever. When you wear the bold print dress, you should keep accessories minimal, unnoticed in neutral colors so that all the attention can go to your dress,” said Lim Soo-hyun, director of the design division of Epitaph.

Versatile pieces for camping

Camping has grown in popularity as a leisure activity in summer. Outdoor activities seem remote from anything fashionable, but the recent surge in sales of camping gear has prompted outdoor camping brands to release attire that appeals to those who want to look good while roughing it out in the wild.

Bean Pole Outdoor’s shorts for women satisfy both campers and urbanites with its wrap-skirt-like feature. The shorts are functional in both the sweaty urban environment and for light outdoor activities such as biking and walking on a trail, adding a feminine touch to camping looks dominated by boyish items.

Another signature pair of camping shorts, “Logo Stretch Shorts,” made with comfortable stretch cotton, is fast rising as the favorite outdoor shorts for both men and women as they match perfectly with almost any T-shirt and lightweight jumper.

To accessorize the basic look, one can add a skinny belt or a colorful baseball cap.

“Bean Pole Outdoor has proposed several looks that anyone can find useful and follow with simple items. As the heat wave is expected to continue, shorts and shirts are going to be popular items for campers,” said a designer from Bean Pole Outdoor’s design team. 
A model wears a casual shirt and shorts from 8 Seconds. (Cheil Industries)
A model wears a casual shirt and shorts from 8 Seconds. (Cheil Industries)

How to stay cool in the city: tips for men

Socks, dress shoes and dress shirts are some of the key items for men for formal looks, but in summer, they become nuisances that raise the body temperature.

“We can make a chic summer look without the typical three pieces,” said Lee Eun-mi, creative director of the men’s fashion brand Pal Zileri.

The essential pieces in men’s summer look are shorts, linen blazers and cool shoes.

As more young men opt for the slim and stylish look, they go for shirts that are tight-fitting. Popular colors are white and beige that go well with almost any blazer or shirt.

Fabrics are the second-most important element when it comes to staying cool in the summer. Natural fabrics such as cotton and linen or seersucker ― the thin, light and crinkled fabric popularly worn in summer ― are used for jackets and shirts in cool colors like navy and white.

Rather than traditional dress shoes, summer is the season to try a variety of shoe styles such as loafers, boat shoes and slip-ons.

By Lee Woo-young (