NEW YORK — Gap has transformed dramatically since the San Francisco-based company started in 1969. But this season, the design team went back to the brand's heritage — there is denim in every wash, shade and silhouette, as well as cool graphic Ts inspired by the music and artwork of the summer of '69. Looking to outfit its customer from head to toe, Gap provides all the basic essentials and a wide range of accessories, such as rubber sandals, large cotton tote bags and fun necklaces. But for those beach-loving girls who want to amp up their wardrobe, there's plenty of cute reversible skirts and eyelet dresses that city girls crave.

Meanwhile, at Old Navy, natural looks dominate the vibe for summer. Neutral colors such as brown, cream and beige serve as the base palette, but in the second delivery in early May, things brighten up, as everything from Bermuda shorts to cropped blazers are cut in Madras plaid. Colorful swimwear pieces sold as top and bottom separates are also keys for the season.

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