When Kate Young—a stylist who works with Sienna Miller, Natalie Portman, Rachel Weisz, and pretty much everyone else who dominates best-dressed lists—tells you how to look effortlessly cool this summer, you listen. And you take notes. And then you share everything you learned.
There’s one really good way to look chic with zero thought. And that is a chunky cotton knit or crewneck sweater that’s slightly oversize. “The best ones are in neutral colors, like white, stone, camel, or gray,” says Young, who likes Michael Kors’s summer sweaters. “With white jeans, cutoffs, or sheer white linen trousers, it’s an all-American summer look.” If it’s too hot during the day for a lightweight sweater, however, a black T-shirt with white jeans is very Jackie O.
Choose flats over stilettos—hear that, Cannes? “They have an ease that’s perfect for summer,” says Young. “You want strappy, classic leather sandals.” She likes ones from Ancient Greek Sandals, because “they don’t scream ‘designer.'”
Try a nude pedicure. “People get hung up on being trendy, but an opaque nude pedicure is so clean and chic,” says Young. The trick is finding a nude that’s as smooth as patent leather (no shimmer or glitter), without a hint of yellow or gray. And since it can be hard to tell if a nude is opaque in the bottle, go for one of our favorites: Zoya nail polish in Chantal for fair skin, Jinsoon nail polish in Nostalgia for olive skin, or OPI Nail Lacquer in Going My Way or Estée Lauder nail polish in Diabolique for dark skin.
Pick up a straw bag. “It’s the famous Jane Birkin basket look,” says Young. “She carried a straw bag as a handbag, and that still always looks so chic.” Little Doe makes great straw baskets you can use as bags.
Make your bikini look even hotter. Long necklaces with delicate pendants, like ones by Inez and Vinoodh, work with bikinis and cover-ups because (duh) “they complement your cleavage,” says Young.
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PHOTO: YANNIS VLAMOS/STYLE.COM