Simple doesn’t always mean boring, and casual lifestyle designers are polishing their less-is-more outlook with styles that exude glamour and romance.
Embroidery, beading, lace and pinstripes are among the featured details that dress up these classic and relaxed silhouettes.
Top looks include drawstring and capri pants, hooded jackets, dusters, wrap sweaters and long, flowing A-line skirts.
The myriad colors run from soft pastels such as yellow and lilac and tropical tones like lime and orange to rich earth tones.
Here’s a peek at what some casual lifestyle vendors have up their sleeves:
Nature is the theme at Bessemer, Ala.-based Earth Creations, and there’s good reason: All of the company’s styles are naturally dyed from dirt, clay, mud and other elements indigenous to the earth. The color palette includes 11 shades, including “yellow maize, green clay and swamp mud,” said sales manager Martha Hunter.
The collection is mostly sewn from cotton, hemp and silk, and even the buttons are recycled from nature: Tagua nuts from Ecuador and coconut shells are among the natural materials used for buttons.
One of Earth Creation’s most popular offerings is a three-piece ensemble that includes a jacket, camisole and skirt or capri pants, said Hunter.
Wholesale prices range from $10 for a tank top to $40 for a silk dress or blouse jacket.
Seersucker is the fabric of the moment at La Mirada, Calif.-based WEK Enterprises, said director of merchandising Joey Evans.
“Seersucker is a fresh, crisp fabric for easy summer styles, and we’re using it for shorts, tanks, jackets and even some sweatpants,” he said. “It’s garment dyed and looks really unique.
Fashion items include flood pants and jackets in bright orange, green and blue. Wholesale prices range from $11 to $28.
Linen, cotton and hemp are shaping spring and summer at Two Star Dog, said Allan Boutrous, vice president of the Berkeley, Calif., company.
“Lightweight natural fabrics are perfect for warm weather and transition,” he said. “And brights and pastels work well on these fabrics.”
Summer styles include wrap sweaters, A-line skirts, V-neck sweaters and tunics.
Two Star Dog is also launching a line of boiled wool jackets in boxy, short and three-quarter lengths in fern green, garnet, ecru and black.
The line’s wholesale prices range from $20 to $64.
Luna Luz is counting on its matte jersey separates and dresses to be a hit with shoppers looking for a simpler way of dressing, said Boyd Babbitt, designer at the 10-year-old New York firm.
“It’s soft dressing,” he said. “They could even be considered dressy separates or items to wear around the pool.”
Prints are expected to be popular with buyers, as are shades of blue, brown and red, he said.
Wholesale prices range from $22 for a rayon tank to $80 to a matte jersey jacket.
Fun, “wearable art” separates that are hand-died and batiked are the focus at Nativewear Designs, a 17-year-old firm based in Carlsbad, Calif.
“People are looking for something they can put on and feel good in,” said president Deanna Farrell.
All hand-dyed and mostly made from rayon, the firm specializes in fitted tops with matching jackets, pants and dresses.
Wholesale prices range from $11 for a cotton tank top to $42 for a jacket.
At Natural Fashions Inc. novelty separates such as printed T-shirts are what the six-year-old firm expects to perform well for fall.
“Based upon what is booking, updated, printed T-shirts are what consumers want,” said owner Punnu Chopra. “They’re tired of these T-shirts which don’t have any structure or shape.”
Subdued colors are also expected to perform well, in shades of green, coral, pink and blue, she said.
Wholesale prices range from $15 for a T-shirt to $250 for an embroidered pashmina-wool jacket.