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Summer 2012 has a wide variety of trends that all come from different places. Vintage styles are popular right now, as are more bohemian styles and styles that were popular in the 1980s and 1990s. With this handy guide, you can find out the trendiest styles and obtain the information you need to stay chic and cool this summer and into the fall.

The color mint is huge right now. Minty, pastel greens are everywhere, from shirts, to pants, to shorts, to nail polish, and beyond. You can’t go wrong with a mint-colored item this summer. Try pairing your mint items with other pastel colors and neutrals, including tans, whites, pinks, and blues. If you don’t want to wear such a strong concentration of mint, try adding mint accessories, like bracelets, necklaces, and earrings.

Peplum is an old fashion trend that is popular again this year. Peplum tops flare out at the waist for additional embellishments and interest. You can find peplum tops or dresses. Choose a smaller flair if you don’t want to attract attention to your midsection but still want to try the trend.

Colored jeans/shorts
Colored pants scream summer, and this year they are hotter than ever. Jeans and shorts in vibrant colors, including blue, red, hot pink, and yellow are everywhere this year. Pair your colored pants with neutral tops and accessories to tone down the bright colors, or embrace the trend fully and pair your clothing with other bright colors.

Bold prints
This summer is all about bold prints on dresses, tops, and even pants. Everywhere you go you can find bold floral patterns, abstract prints, crazy designs, and fun patterns to match any taste. If you love patterns, then you will love embracing this summer’s bold print trend. Pair your bold prints with solid pieces and neutral colors to avoid the bag lady look and keep your outfits looking classy.

Everywhere you turn this summer, something neon is staring you in the face. This summer is all about the brightest brights, and nothing is brighter than neon. You can find neon purses, pants, shorts, tops, accessories, nail polish, shoes, and hair accessories. If you want to try neon but don’t want to look like a traffic light, try incorporating small pieces of neon into your wardrobe such as by wearing bright earrings or a bright belt to the office.

Color blocking
Color blocking has been going strong for the past few seasons, and this summer the look isn’t going anywhere. The concept of color blocking is very simple. All you have to do is wear two or more bold, solid colors together, such as blue pants with an orange top. Many dresses embrace the color block trend as well. Color blocking is one of the few office-friendly trends this summer, and it works for nearly every occasion from casual weekends to weddings.

Blousy tops
This summer is all about casual comfort. Blousy tops provide the ultimate comfort and cool during the hottest months. Blousy tops can work in casual environments or at the office, depending on how they are worn. Wear your tops with shorts or a cute skirt for weekend wear, or tuck it into a pencil skirt for the office.

Crop tops
Crop tops are another fashion trend popular for summer 2012. Crop tops are cut off at the waist, and work well as companion tops for high-waisted shorts and jeans. Wear your crop tops with a tank underneath to keep your skin covered, or if you want to look even more casual, keep your skin bare and celebrate the freedom that summer brings.

Dressing trendy is easy this summer because there are so many choices. There is something for everyone this summer from casual styles to styles that can work in professional environments. Since there are so many trends to choose from, choose two or three favorites and ignore the rest until next time to avoid looking like a slave to trendy fashion.

  • photo from shutterstock

This is a guest post by Liz Conaty, full time fashionista and part time blogger.  Liz currently works with a great source for womens dresses.