Ruly Ruth on Spring/Summer 2011 Women’s Fashion Trends

To give you a brief respite from the seriousness of this month’s theme on retirement planning, we bring in Ruly Ruth to the rescue.

It was so much fun last fall discussing fall fashion trends with Ruly Ruth that I thought we would do it again for Spring/Summer 2011 Fashion.  As usual, our inspiration comes from Vogue’s style guides.  Based on Vogue’s guidance, we then take a look at affordable versions of the major trends available at

So what’s in style for spring/summer 2011?


White, a classic spring and summer color, is back.  Vogue emphasizes that the new whites are simple with modern, clean lines.  They are worn with almost no accessories except for a nude-toned belt and shoes.

Spiegel button-front shirtdress at
A white shirtdress with simple belt, great for the office or at-home.

Ruly Ruth says:

“LOVE THIS! SUPER SUPER chic and classic and conservative and stylish. Love it!”

Max Studio Notch Collar Fitted Jacket at
A classic white jacket, great for the office or for Sunday brunch.

Ruly Ruth says:

“This being linen and cotton will wrinkle like crazy. That aside–fantastic piece! Ellen Degeneres wears a version of this–usually Dolce & Gabbana–in a silk or something….with a blouse under it. Fantastic piece!!”

Mango Women's Dress at
A classic white sheath-style dress with modern lines.

Ruly Ruth says:

“I think if it were longer it would be perfect for any woman!! With this particular length the under-35 set only, please!!! And watch it at work–definitely not an east-coast piece for work!! But white dresses can wash some women out…tread carefully!”

bebe Lilia Wide Leg Trouser at
Simple, flat-front, boot cut trousers. Again, would work for the office or for casual wear.

Ruly Ruth says:

FANTASTIQUE!! I have a girlfriend who owns over 100 pairs of black slacks–she lives in them–these in black would be a lovely addition to hers–or any of our–collections!! Love it! White can be hard esp. if see-through–no VPLs please! (visual panty lines!!)


It’s hot so you might as well look naked if you can’t be naked! Nude is coming back as another classic summer color. It’s a great color because it is universally flattering. Just choose a shade close to your own skin tone. Vogue says head-to-toe nude outfits, complete with nude shoes are in.

Lands' End Women's Regular Polished Knit Tank Top in Desert Khaki at
A very simple cotton tank at a great price!

Ruly Ruth says:

“Classic, perfect for work or a luncheon.”

Adi Designs A-line skirt in Tan at
A long, cotton skirt in an easy-to-wear color.

Ruly Ruth says:

The great thing about these skirts is that they are flattering on almost any figure!!! With a white top, can’t go wrong–and I’d love to see a big floppy hat at lunch with it and heels!!

Lauren Jones Women's Franci Ankle-Strap Sandal in Nude at
Simple, strappy, heeled sandal, looks almost invisible on.

Ruly Ruth says:
“Classically beautiful for a daytime event, or possible early cocktail party. Thinking summer formal event!”

GUESS Women's Aero4 Slingback Pump in Light Natural at
A sexy pump with small toe cut-out that you can probably still get away with at the office.

Ruly Ruth says:

“The peep-toe is hot! And the color doesn’t get more classic than that. PERFECT for work!!! Easy way to be extremely fashionable and can show up to a client meeting in these and look respectable. I also like the price for the quality!”

Bright Colorblock Colors

Vogue says this season’s big trend is lots of bright color, especially jewel tones of blue, purple, orange and red worn together in colorblocked patterns.

Ellen Tracy Colorblock Stretch Satin Sheath at
A simple dress with bold hues of blue accented by black.

Ruly Ruth says:
“Peacock colors are hot right now–and the style is very chic and ‘in’! Very very wearable.”


We saw last fall that orange makeup was in and this spring/summer the trend continues into the clothes. Vogue says spicy orange dresses, blouses and skirts are hot this summer.

Mossimo® Women's Strapless Essential Dress - Hot Orange at
An easy-to-wear strapless dress. Great for a hot summer night or even a cover-up at the pool.

Ruly Ruth says:

“I think this is a hard color for a lot of women to wear. Darker tones will shine in this!! The strapless dress idea is more for those with a) no breasts; b) those with boob jobs that stand alone–literally; but for most of us–it takes an effort and an amazing strapless bra to get into this. And I’d say more for the under 30 set.”


Ultra-feminine lace accents are in but with a modern twist. The lace is not frilly and has a cleaner line to it. It is worth looking at the Vogue photos here for inspiration. Hard to find a budget equivalent but the two below were as close as I could come.

Newport News Empire Waist Lace Dress at
Elegant, flowing, romantic off-white lace dress. Beautiful for a spring/summer wedding or date night.

Ruly Ruth says:

“The Victorian era is rebuilding, I see! Pretty dress. Classic, wearable to so many spring and summer events.”

Newport News Sleeveless Ruffled Lace Blouse at
A great lace accent piece without going overboard. Could be worn alone or under a jacket.

Ruly Ruth says:

The lace trim around the collar is very hot right now! And we get the double plus being in the classic nude/beige color range. Great work piece–very very classic.

Modern Craft

This season, accents of homespun crafts like macrame, weaving and crochet are in. As a knitter, I am completely in love with this trend.  If I were to invest in one fashion piece this season, it would be one of these.  The designer pieces are stunning and you need to see Vogue’s pictures.  There isn’t a budget equivalent but the following pieces evoke the trend.

QUPID Agency Sandals at
A touch of crochet on a timeless summer sandal style.

Ruly Ruth says:

“I love it!! A gladiator sandal in macrame!! I live in a desert environment where flip-flops are everyday attire (we call it desert casual). These could be a staple! And anywhere for comfy cute sandals. Like them a lot!!”

Uno Core Macrame Tunic at
Macrame accents on a gauzy white summer top.

Ruly Ruth says:

“LOVE the top—HATE THE ACCENT! It has to go. It’s incomplete, and looks like a craft project gone wrong. Macramed together and glued on—forget it! Skip this one!”

2b by bebe Crochet Back Maxi Dress at
Gorgeous maxi gown in beautiful neutrals with crochet detail on the back and shoulders.

Ruly Ruth says:

“BEAUTIFUL!!! Those of us with boob issues will have to make or fit in our own bra contraption–but the back is HOT HOT HOT!!! Great piece!!”

Bakers Womens Maribel Platform Sandal in green at
Fun, heeled sandal with crochet accents and tassels.

Ruly Ruth says:
“The tassel hanging down–really?? Looks like a drapery is missing its tie-back! The macrame on the sandal/heel part is pretty, but almost craft-projecty. Not loving it. Would like the macrame with a more sophisticated tie-back please!! And a more expensive material for the weaving.”

Animal Motifs

Leopard prints, a trend in fall, are still around but Vogue says this time it is not just animal skin prints but whimsical pictures of animals like parrots, monkeys, giraffes and butterflies.

MW Tankini Boyshorts Swimsuit, Halter, Brown Zebra at
A figure-flattering boyshorts swimsuit with zebra print accent. Spice up the community pool.

Ruly Ruth says:
“I would soooo wear this!! It’s forgiving, great print, classic but fun and funky. Like it a lot!! And the price is right!!”

bebe Silk Butterfly Drape Maxi at
Combining both the jewel tone and animal-print trends, this bright blue gown with butterfly print hem adds a surprising twist.

Ruly Ruth says:

Belongs on a runway for sure! Fun summer dress—but only wear one time! That would get old seeing it over and over….like the detail on it though. You’d have to move or wear it on different coasts so people didn’t keep seeing you in it!

Greek Leopard Inspired Print Satin Feel Beaded Halter Smocked Bodice Handkerchief Hem Dress at
Adding a Greek twist to the animal print trend, a comfortable yet elegant dress with leopards in a bright color.

Ruly Ruth says:

“This, on the other hand, is a classic! It’s timeless, beautiful–loving it!! I could see that over and over forever! And it looks flowy–perfect perfect!!

Sequin Beaded Butterfly Design Slip-on Flats at
A touch of butterfly for your summer sandals.

Ruly Ruth says:
“The price is right! We should all immediately buy a pair! Very, very pretty. Cute accent pieces. Love it–and would be great with the nude skirt, for example. That could be the pop of color with a white wrap blouse, a big white floppy hat, and these flats–love it!!”

Now we know that Vogue Recommends but what are people actually wearing?

Ballet Flats

Here in Fredericksburg, the only trend I am consistently seeing is a lot of black ballet flats, usually with pleating or some other detailing.

Works well with pants in particular. You need great legs to wear these with shorts or skirts.

Ruly Ruth says:

These are so last year but still ‘in’ you could say….I say working their way out slowly. But comfy, and better than blah shoes for a mom on the go, I will say that!!

What trends are you seeing where you are in California?

Roxy Jett T-strap Sandals at

Ruly Ruth says:

People are LOVING my Roxy sandals with silver studs (from this amazing skate shop in town with the best buyer in the world Kool Threadz II). Other than that, we are getting ready for short-shorts on girls, cute cotton tees (NO BELLIES SHOWING PLEASE!), swimsuits and boy board shorts and printed tees for kids. It’s almost summer here, baby!!

Readers, what do you think of Vogue’s spring/summer fashion picks? What trends are hot where you are? Please share in the comments.