The Romantic's Guide To Summer Dressing

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It's no coincidence that so many of history's top iconic fashion looks have involved a dramatic, head-turning, whirlwind moment — everyone lives for romance (at least as it pertains to clothing). From early examples like Victorian ruffled necks and 19th-century corset gowns, to cinematic highlights like Audrey Hepburn's black dress and pearl strands in Breakfast at Tiffany's and Grace Kelly's white tulle number in Hitchcock's Rear Window. There are countless examples of why sartorial romance is always a good idea. This summer, dressing in a romantic style is all about adding thoughtful, delicate embellishments into your look. Instead of slipping into your tee and cutoffs straight away, consider an outfit with some elements of dreaminess, instead.

Details that give off an air of romance usually possess some sort of transformative quality — ruffles, lace, pearls, and bows all play into this. While perhaps more traditionally, these delicate add-ons are referred to as "ladylike," in 2019 they don't have to feel so fussy. Brands like Brock Collection, Dior, and Zimmermann have proven that romance can be easygoing and fun. “Wearing white in the summer is all I want to do, and adding a romantic touch like a pretty ruffle or lace takes it away from the everyday and into a dreamier look and feel,” Esby Founder and Designer Stephanie Beard tells TZR. Her Austin-based brand is a mainstay for pared-down separates with delicate details. Ahead, see how a few of your favorite street-style trendsetters incorporate seven key romantic touches into their personal style. Depending on which one resonates the most with you, shop the picks to feel whisked away.

Chantilly Lace

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Ah, lace — a romantic accoutrement that spans back centuries. Though most lace textures will do, a sheer chantilly iteration of the dainty fabric makes for an especially romantic look. For summer, grab a camisole with a delicate trim or floral dress with lace detailing woven throughout.

Bow Embellishments


When in doubt, a big bow embellishment is an easy way to transform a look. The best part about this romantic detail is it also gives the piece of clothing an artistic, artisanal quality due to the added dimension. Contrast your bow with a cool metal belt or the season's sporty sandals trend if it otherwise feels like a bit too much for you.

Feather Trim


Feathers are one of those often-overlooked details that have the power to make an outfit better. Wearing a jacket? It would be cooler with feathers. Jeans? Why not give them a feathery trim? The addition of feathers adds a sense of movement and lightness to even the most basic of ensembles.

Puff Sleeves

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If you tend to lean toward Victorian-inspired trends, then a puff sleeve is sure to be up your alley. Voluminous shoulders and room through the sleeve are the keys to this dramatic style. If you're looking for a more subtle approach to the genre, this is a great place to start.

Sheer And Tulle


Contrast your favorite pair of jeans with a colorful sheer blouse or a dress layered over the top. The denim helps to mellow the confectionary tulle, though feel free to make a bold statement and try a ballet-inspired finish instead.

Ruffled Blouse


Sometimes the smallest details can make the biggest statement; such is the case with the ruffled white blouse (as witnessed above). Look for a collared neck or delicate ruffles at the shoulders or bottom of the sleeve for a particularly standout look.


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There's no requirement that your go-to sparkle comes courtesy of diamonds (wouldn't that be nice). Instead, look for fun, costume-y crystal jewelry — a little glistening quality is a safe bet for instant romance.