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[Weekender] Perfect your summer look

From neon to tie-dye, this summer’s fashion is all about vibrant colors and beach vibes

June 14, 2019 - 11:45 By Lee Sun-young
Summer is here, which means it is time to update your wardrobe to match the warmer weather.

From neon colors to tie-dye, summer 2019 is going to be a season of bright colors and playful fun. Here are some style tips, from runways, concept stores and local brands’ catalogs, for you to perfect your look this summer. 

Clockwise from top left: Prada, H&M, R13 and Zara


The retro megatrend has brought the hippie era’s tie-dye prints back to life this season.

From Prada to R13 and Stella McCartney, 2019 spring-summer runways marked the grand comeback of spinning, psychedelic colors. Expect to see some major tie-dye obsessions in street fashion here as well.

Handsome, a local fashion house that owns brands TIME, MINE, System and SJSJ, has put forward a range of items with colorful tie-dye patterns -- bags, swimsuits, T-shirts and dresses.

“If there’s one item to buy this season, it’s tie-dye,” says the company’s online fashion magazine. “It is actually quite versatile.”

10 Corso Como Seoul, a Korean outpost of the celebrated Milan-based fashion-and-art concept shop, matches a trendy tie-dye T-shirt from Stella McCartney with R13’s cutoff denim shorts in its one and only suggestion for a casual summer look.

Globally, the newfound popularity of tie-dye is linked to what is called “California cool,” which Net-a-Porter’s Global Buying Director Elizabeth von der Goltz describes as “summer escapism with a refreshing and cool California vibe.”

“We are loving a California cool vibe for the warmer months, including upbeat and casual trends such as Hawaiian shirts, bucket hats, racer back tank tops, and anything tie-dye,” she told US fashion magazine Elle.

Gmarket, the nation’s largest online marketplace, has plenty of affordable tie-dye T-shirts, and H&M has a decent collection of dresses, skirts and tops in chic tie-dye tones. 

Neon brights 

Fluorescent shades of lime green, lemon yellow and coral orange turned up on the 2019 spring-summer runways of Balenciaga, Prada, Balmain and more. And they look set to brighten up the fashion scene here in South Korea. 
From top: H&M, Marc Jacobs and Belenciaga

The neon trend has been around in past seasons, as part of a throwback to 1980s fashion, but it is growing this season.

“Having started in women’s fashion, neon colors are now spreading to menswear,” says Kim Young-ye of local fashion house LF.

Korean celebrities seem to be loving it, too. Comedian Park Na-rae flaunted an all neon-green suit at the Baeksang Arts Awards on May 1. Fashion influencers on Instagram are showcasing daily styles incorporating bright, vivid and eye-catching colors.

Neon green or yellow appears to be the most popular.

For those less courageous, experts advise starting with a T-shirt, shoes, or even socks.

How to accessorize

For summer sandals, check out square-toed ones. In a departure from the pointed tips of past seasons, square soles with clean and modern looks are making a comeback. Bottega Veneta is the brand to check out for this trend.

And there is good news for those preferring practicality: The “ugly shoe” trend has made chunky dad sandals fashionable. Go for easy, comfortable and breathable ones that you like. From outdoor equipment brands to fancier shoemakers, there are plenty of options.

Among sneaker lovers here, slip-on mules are a hit. Led by Vans, which has sold out its two lines of the sneaker mule collection this season, a variety of footwear brands have churned out sneakers that have no backs and therefore are easy to slip on and off like slippers. 

Clockwise from top left: Loewe, Bottega Veneta, Zara and Vans

For summer bags, the popularity of woven straw continues this season, but with more focus on details such as crochet, soft leather and fringes.

Loewe’s raffia totes with leather straps look nice not just as a seasonal item, but as a potential daily bag. Zara has affordable alternatives like woven paper bags. 

By Lee Sun-young