The Five Top Trends for Summer 2012 Vacation Wear

Whether vacationing in a luxury villa rental in St. Tropez or Miami these trends will serve you well this summer

Planning a summer vacation can be daunting enough–where to go, what to do, where to stay–but once that’s all settled, what remains is what to pack, which can be equally problematic. Depending on your destination and the duration of your stay, you may require quite a few outfit changes for any one luxury vacation. If you’re undecided about accommodation in the South of France or Miami this summer, we’d definitely suggest the privacy and exclusivity of a luxury villa rental. If what to bring is more the problem then we think a mix of the following trends will hit just the right note no matter what your vacation plans.

BIG, BOLD PRINTS – Nothing says vacation like a loud Hawaiian patterned shirt, right? Well, not exactly, although high end designers from New York to Milan have embraced the graphic nature of Hawaiian and floral prints and modernized them for 2012. calls the look “techno tropics” and relates how this season from “graphic Hawaiian florals at Altuzarra to Peter Pilotto’s hothouse stems, kaleidoscopic prints reign supreme…[these] blown up florals and oceanic motifs mean instant drama.”

Brightly hued and bold prints will serve you well from day (like the Alberta Ferretti shorts seen above) to night (when you can make good use of Matthew Williamson’s easy breezy belted kimono-style maxidress). A look like Roberto Cavalli’s floaty red and white maxi is a perfect vacation piece, because it can do double duty between day and night depending on your choice of accessories.

JET SET GYPSY – Boho is a trend that never really goes away, but every so often more than just the usual designers like Cavalli and Pucci’s Peter Dundas revisit the style. This season flowing skirts, lace, wedges and chunky statement jewelry are perfect pieces to pack to complete that luxe boho look.

Cavalli, Pucci, Dolce and Gabbana, and Missoni and Versace, as seen above, seem to do the luxe gypsy style particularly well. Perhaps it’s something about the romance of the Mediterranean that inspires these designers, either way these items are perfect for any luxury getaway. Missoni’s cobalt silk-chiffon Haydee skirt or Versace’s printed chiffon top are just two great options for incorporating the gypsy look into your vacation wardrobe.

PRETTY PASTELS – This spring there’s a little bit of dichotomy when it comes to color. On the one hand soft and feminine pastels were all over the runways, on the other the trend of bold colorblocking and neon brights (we’ll get to that next) seems to be hanging around for the foreseeable future. One look at the pastels designers are churning out and it’s easy to see why these pieces could easily become vacation staples.

A cropped skinny jean in a cotton candy shade, like the apricot pair from MiH seen above, is one of the must-have items this summer (add a pair of red and white pants to the mix and you’re half way to being vacation ready), one that can easily be accessorized from totally casual to acceptable for balmy evenings eating al fresco. Mixing different shades of pastels is also a great way to add visual interest to a softly feminine outfit. Of course, you’ll never go wrong packing a classic shift dress like the lavender Jil Sander seen here, which is made uber feminine by adding the floral bag from Reed Krakoff.

BLOCK IT OUT – Nothing says summer like bright hues, which is why colourblocking is one of those trends that just seems to work best with bright summer days and long summer nights. During your luxury villa rental vacation do as net-a-porter suggests and “pep up your palette with bold primary colors” like “fuchsia, mint, emerald and orange – electric block color is so bright now!”

Emilio Pucci’s colorblock sweater looks so chic paired with skinny white pants, perfect for a daytime stroll or some time on a yacht. Gucci’s colorblock silk crepe de chine top looks fabulous with their purple pants and nude heels, a versatile look that can easily take you from day to night.

GO SHORT – It seems like a no brainer when heading on vacation to a sunny and hot destination, but this summer shorts really are all the rage. From denim cut offs to smart and preppy printed versions we recommend packing at least a few to get you through the hot days and warm nights.

Reminiscent of a deck chair, Stella McCartney’s cotton and silk-blend shorts pretty much scream vacation, while who wouldn’t love Yves Sant Laurent’s red shorts paired with their lively floral blouse (you can also get shorts in the same floral print)? Meanwhile, Michael Kors’ leopard print short shorts are glamorous and exotic.

Where accessories are concerned, think about a Two Part Bag, which will work for both day and night. This printed canvas and leather clutch from Proenza Schouler comes in both a clutch and a tote, the smaller of which can easily be slipped into the larger when traveling.

As for shoes, wedge sandals are uber hot at the moment, but don’t forget a pair or two of what net-a-porter is calling the “ready to wear heel” (like Brian Atwood’s Claudia embroidered suede pumps above), which will instantly become the focus of any outfit. Of course, another option is to embrace the flat-for-night trend by choosing a pair or two of embellished flats that are easily packed and perfect for your vacation evenings.

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