Max & Min: Go to Extremes with Your Summer Look

BREAKING NEWS: It's really hot outside. That's right, the temperatures are rising and the humidity level is creeping up, up, upward. It would be completely depressing, if it weren't yet another opportunity to shop for new clothes. As far as I'm concerned, there is really only one option for summer wear between June and September in Houston: skirts. Okay, two options if you count dresses, but I'm counting skirts and dresses in one category. It's just too freaking hot to wear pants, or even shorts. Skirts let the breeze skim your knees (and then some) and just feel cooler to wear. Dresses are even better -- throw one garment over your head and run out the door. Fashion win.

Some girls swear by the mini route, minimizing the amount of fabric touching their skin with super-short skirts, while others prefer the maximum amount of coverage while simultaneously enjoying maximum ventilation. No matter your preference, we have some cute options in both categories.


Fashion rule: Pick one, boobs or legs. Choose both and you run the risk of looking trashy. Very few women can pull that off, and even they can only do that sometimes. (I'm looking at you, Heidi Klum.) If you are going to wear a miniskirt, keep the top conservative. Not like Amish conservative, but less than three inches of cleavage is a good rule of thumb.

Miniskirt: Spend: Catherine Malandrino cut-out miniskirt in black, $225. Love the cut-outs, love the clean lines -- great for date night.

Miniskirt: Save: Gap Scalloped lace miniskirt, $89.95. This Gap skirt is neutral, so pair it with a crisp white top or something extra-bright, like coral.

Mini-dress: Spend: Herve Leger Metallic Bandage Dress from Nordstrom, $809.00. Herve Leger is the bandage dress. If you're going to splurge, splurge big and invest in the original.

Mini-dress: Save: French Connection Ribbon-Knit Bandage Dress from Dillard's, $112.80. This version from French Connection has a wide-open neck that's daring without going overboard.


Fashion rule: Short girls should never wear long skirts. Only this time, break the rule. Maxi-dresses are so comfortable, and they are great for casual wear. They may not be the most elongating item of clothing in your wardrobe, but for lounging by the pool, reading a book or running errands, is looking tall that important? Throw on a pair of sky-high wedge sandals and get to it.

Spend: Maxi-skirt: Mason by Michelle Mason, $324. Who can resist this bright, sunshine-yellow color? It's perfect for summer and pairs with the best colors of summer: white, coral and turquoise.

Save: Maxi-skirt: Ann Taylor Ballet Maxi-Skirt, $178. A pretty, neutral skirt that is very versatile; you'll pack it on every weekend trip you take, all summer long.

Spend: Maxi-dress: Diane von Furstenberg "Mirina" Maxi-Dress, $598. It's Diane von Furstenberg -- c'mon. Her maxi-dress is a little retro-Florida, but in a good way, and the rolled neckline is beautiful. It's one wide, woven belt away from being perfect for dining beachside.

Save: Maxi-dress: MICHAEL by Michael Kors Maxi-Dress in White Eyelet from Macy's, $109.99. Fresh, bright summer white with an eyelet; youthful without being twee.

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Christina Uticone