Finally!  Both the calendar and the weather are indicating that Summer is here!  I don’t know about you, I have just about switched by wardrobe from winter to summer wear, and started feeding my family lighter meals and snacks.

The folks at McDonald’s have been thinking along the same lines, with the launch of their new salad entrees -  not only perfect for us moms when we stop by our local restaurant with our kids, but also as inspiration for our summer style.

Yes – salad and style! There is a connection. Used to be that both salads and style were the same combination every time.  Our salads were the iceberg lettuce/French dressing standard. Our closets were full of “outfits”.  Today’s salads and closets are more eclectic, founded on crisp basics with variety of items tossed-in and and accented with exotic accessories and dressings. See – am I talking about salads or closets here? Who knew that one day jeans, heels and bling would be acceptable party attire or that far east flavours would spice up our salads?

Let me explain further.  To get this year’s boho style, for example, you need an unexpected mix of colours, patterns and textures that somehow all work together, just like this look from Esprit, and, just like the ingredients of a Mediterranean salad where cubes of feta cheese, work with olives, cucumbers and more to create a light, bright and surprisingly satisfying combination.

esprit med.jpg

 

Love the Boho look, but don’t want it head to toe?  Simply add a Mediterranean accessory or two. These Old Navy thong sandals would add a little Mediterranean zest to denim, whites and shorts. Or, add some large, beaded hoops for a hint of hippie style. 

on sandals.jpg
beaded hoops.jpg
Just like in a salad, spicy far east flavours and colours can turn the everyday into something special. Most maxi dresses this season are in Mediterranean mode, as reviewed above.  But Asian inspiration adds a twist to this summer’s must-have, in this sarong style maxi from Suzy Shier.
 

 

ss spicy.jpg
Asian inspiration does not have to be quite so bold and bright. The beading on this Guess top takes a basic colour and design from ok to interesting.  Wear it with jeans or even under a jacket!

 

guess spice top.jpg
 

Of course, you can always add your  Asian accent with accessories. These gold earrings from Banana Republic remind me of far east gongs and add a glint of glamour, day or night. 

 

br earrings.jpgTropical patterns and prints are superb for making a summer statement.  Take this tote from Payless, for example, which can go from office to the outdoors effortlessly.

payless tote spice.jpgEven the classics have received a personality pick-me-up.  Just as the much-loved garden salad has received a make-over with delicious new dressings, so have floral fashions. Yes, floral fabrics are back big time this summer, but have become much more flirtatious than the Laura Ashley look of the 80s. Take a look at this cute combination from Suzy Shier – not your mother’s peachy pink! and awesome adaptability – wear the top with white jeans or jeans skirt, and team the skirt with plain T’s or tanks in white, green or brown for a more casual look.

ss garden fresh.jpgOr, how about a little garden-party glamour? This dress is ummm… all dressed up, but could be worn more casually with flip flops or espadrilles. 
esprit garden fresh.jpg

Still think all this flower power is a little overwhelming?  Get the fresh look of the garden from accessories.  Select two-tone florals for a toned down choice.  This tote is from Old Navy. 

onbag.jpg

Sometimes, however, the tried and true simply works.  There’s no need to mess with the appeal of the classic Caesar Salad.  Just like timeless Summer whites.  Here’s a perfect cotton dress from Esprit – purchase this item and it will be in your closet for ever!.

esprit classic.jpgOr how about this khaki classic from the Gap – it will go with just about everything.  Just like Caesar Salad!

gap skirt.jpg 

THIS CONTEST IS CLOSED!

So moms, what do you think?  Can salad act as style inspiration?  Can you add ultimate adaptability to your kitchen and closet with beautiful basics, interesting items and awesome accessories?  Share your inspiration and ideas in the comments section below and you could win a Wardrobe WorkoutTM, plus $500 to spend at your local mall (see details below*.)

Remember, you must be an urbanmoms.ca member to be eligilbe to win. Not a member? Join now, it’s easy and free!

Also, check out www.fashionflavour.ca for more tips and tricks on dressing and accessorizing this Summer.  It’s hosted by style expert Lisa Rogers and Canadian designers Kavi Kavi and Luicain Matis.  Meet them and me at a Style Luncheon on Tuesday, June 23 at 12 noon and 12:40 p.m. at Yonge Dundas Square in Toronto.  In addition to style advice, you’ll get a taste of McDonald’s new salads.

 

*The wardrobe workout is designed to whip your closet into shape by utilizing the clothes you already have and love, enhancing their versatility by identifying new ways to wear them, how to coordinate them with new pieces and by creating an easy wardrobe maintenance plan to meet your budget, style and lifestyle.  Katie will spend two hours at your home reviwing the contents of your closet, and shop with you to help you purchase the pieces that add maximum adaptability to your wardrobe and meet the multifaceted needs of a mom.

  • Mel

    I usually wear any color during the summer and just find up to date pieces to make an outfit or accessorize. I usually start with the shoes and then mix and match with old/new items.

  • dixbay

    Have never associated salad with clothing, but it makes perfect sense. Some of my summer clothing have been in my possession for a very long time. To avoid spending too much money on the new trends, I buy inexpensive jewellery and sandals to be the vegetables and dressing of my wardrobe. Change up your purse and not many people realize the lettuce part of the outfit is not new.

  • dixbay

    Have never associated salad with clothing, but it makes perfect sense. Some of my summer clothing have been in my possession for a very long time. To avoid spending too much money on the new trends, I buy inexpensive jewellery and sandals to be the vegetables and dressing of my wardrobe. Change up your purse and not many people realize the lettuce part of the outfit is not new.

  • Christine

    I have always used this concept for my closet. Most of what I buy is basic and classic and I add new little accessories that are in style to spice it up. One must have for summer….a sexy cover-up for the beach or pool. It is also a great idea to add splashes of colour with a bright red or pink purse or hat. Have fun and do not be scared about colour. Have fun with it!

  • mountie9

    Looking through my closet I realize that my wardbrobe is very salad like indeed. Lots of juicy tomato reds, crisp greens and bright yellow.

  • Dianne G

    I love the analogy of salad and your wardrobe.
    Lettuce starts as the base to your salad and then you add different veggies and toppings each time you make it so it’s more appetizing and enjoyable and different.
    Wardrobe is the same. You may just have a little black dress you love but it can be so much more by adding a jacket one day and some cute shoes. The next day that same dress can be worn by itself with a bold necklace and earrings for a different look.
    A few basic dresses or pants can be your lettuce and some great shirts, jackets and accessories are the salad toppings that make it so much more.

  • Mary Williams

    Very nice!

  • Kirsten

    I get my inspiration through magazines and storefront displays…and articles like this one! I have to say, though, that I really feel like my wardrobe needs a refreshing update – since being pregnant over 2 years ago, my body has changed quite a bit and I don’t think the same things look as good on me as they used to – so I really have to think differently when I go shopping…but I haven’t found the time (or patience) to go shopping for myself! Crazy! I need to make “me” a priority!

  • lina

    I couldn’t for summer to arrive to finally enjoy the soft sands, warm breeze, and the gentle calming waves. I was so happy to see the same colours used in this seasons’ clothing. I’m totally with you on this one especially when it comes to keeping it cool and fresh, thanks for the info. P.S. can I go have a salad now I have been craving one all day after a long one at the African Lion Safari what a great way to have a quick, healthy, and satisfying meal good for the whole family

  • Maria C Forbes

    Super fun piece, I love the idea of being natural and fresh like salad!
    A friend once told me top fashion hounds use natural base colours to build a classic wardrobe! Fresh and fun is all the details you add to those bases that make you look fresh as a daisy even when you feel a little wilted!
    Thanks for the great fashion tips!

  • http://www.cancontests.com spamgirl

    My inspiration from salad is free flowing clothes (lettuce), bold colours, and sassy accessories (dressing). Crisp, clean lines and shiny shoes (bowl)! :)

  • helen41

    I spend the summer in loose flowing dresses. Cool and flattering

  • arrowheadmac

    One of the biggest challenges of looking put together in the summer is your hair. Just as a colorful salad has eye appeal so can you! Try wearing a wide hairband, printed scarf or a combination of both in a fun print to manage your hair. It can be a lot of fun and no more bad hair days this summer!

  • stacey dempsey

    i am a big fan of shopping at thrift stores and if you want to find clothes that come in interesting colors that is the place to find them, i always wonder where did someone get this, but you can put together a really cool outfits, i love the salads at mcdonalds , it gives me something that i can eat while the kids have burgers and such, so i can actually then fit into beautiful clothes like the ones you have shown above, i love the idea of salad colors, bright and crispy and natural looking , great concept

  • Debbie W.

    That’s a nifty idea. Salads as an inspiration. I would say I am a potato salad. Let me explain. Nice creamy colours with a splashes of green (celery), red(radish) egg (yolks being a nice creamy yellow), and some pimento just to be daring.
    I love the summer. It’s the only time I wear my white shoes, guilt free. ;)

  • maggie1952

    Shopping at used clothing stores for accessories – fun scarves, funky bracelets and earrings – can transform an every day outfit into something exciting and fun to wear this summer.

  • ajohnman

    I love all the ‘spicy’ colours. summer dressing is wonderful!

  • ampedersen

    Since losing my job I am trying to put a positive spin on easy, breezy summer dressing. I have vowed to use this time to focus on fitness and then my summer clothes will look even better. I am a real fan of simple sumemer classics, jazzed up with fun accessories and sandals.
    Cheers to the sun and summer!

  • cinder1

    That sounds like a great idea using salad to inspire putting your clothing together.

  • Chelsey

    Salad as clothing inspiration — how interesting. To me that means basic colours and dashes of colour here and there like bright red earrings! Also just like with salad trying a new dressing can really change things up — getting a new accessory can jazz up an old outift too!

  • Hope

    I love the salad idea. Most of all I think color is your best friend in style this year. Love the coral shades. I share clothes with a good friend. If a wedding comes up we exchange a shirt, shoe, purse and jacket. Just adding a punch to something we love.
    I also love adding my toe nails in reds or browns for added summer splash.
    Enjoy summer fashion

  • tjbugnet

    I definitely like to take inspiration for fashion from nature and the ocean (I am a Pisces after all). I find the colours that are incredibly intriguing in clothes are equally amazing in nature also.

  • Sherriemae

    Actually I have tried the Thai salad from McDonalds and it actually reminded me of my maternity summer dress that I wear to wedding. It has a salmom like colour, just like the Thai salad dressing! Great salad great inspritation for summer fashion!

  • Sherry

    I like to buy a few new tshirts every summer to freshen up my wardrobe. When they are layered, they can brighten up what I already have.

  • shellyinwcanada

    I love summer dresses and these ones are so cute! Inspiration from Salad to me would mean colour and flowing layers. Love it.

  • http://gmail.com Michelle Bradley

    I love looking at my freshly manicured toes in my summer sandals. If I paint them red they remind me of Roma tomatoes in a fresh green salad.

  • Shelly

    I love summer dreses and these ones are so cute! Inspiration from Salad to me would mean colour and flowing layers. Love it.

  • http://pattonfamilymusings.blogspot.com Ruth

    I am sorry, my email address was wrong in my comment

  • Maria

    I love summer whites. They are timeless & if you buy a good quality piece it will stay in style for years. White loose linen pants with a bright tank top or bold accessories is one of my favorite looks.
    Also, there is nothing like the flip flop. I have about 10 pairs ranging from flat, wedge heel, sporty, and dressy. My latest pair are by Jessica Simpson and they are so beautiful, like jewellery for my feet.
    Lastly, the slim shorts that are out are great – so flattering & can be dressed up for work or played down for a BBQ.

  • http://pattonfamilymusings.blogspot.com Ruth

    My current wardrobe is pretty sad:-) I like the idea of mixing things up like a salad. My 4 year old does it and gets away with it, I just don’t seem to have time to figure it out for myself!!

  • mlm111

    Wonderful designs!!
    …and the salads at McDonalds are a great deal too!!

  • msrita

    What a good idea! I think that when I wear combinations found in nature they look good.

  • Michelle

    Love the idea of taking inspiration from salad….As a busy mom sometimes it is hard to go beyond the basics (for me mostly black…) and find the time to find the right splashes of colour to brighten up your closet!

  • jeanten

    Thank goodness there are talented people in the world that can design beautiful clothes like the ones in the salad style. When it comes to fashion I’m an accident waiting to happen. I’ve always needed help from others to chose the right clothing for my body. From what I’ve seen of this fashion I think it would be great to have in my wardrobe.

  • Marie-Andree Boutin

    Wow, I definitely need some inspiration. People would definitely be disappointed in seeing my closet…all blue jeans and black shirts…..sad… mostly all old maternity clothes… I think I’ll take a tip from all these wonderful ladies and add some colour in my wardrobe…maybe I’ll check out McDonald’s today and get inspired!!

  • corabelle22

    You can really add life to your existing wardrove by adding a few simple and up-to-date accessories!

  • Crystal Chelli

    I will be using something other then Mcdonald’s salads for inspiration. I had the greek salad the other day and it was pretty pathetic, a bowl of iceberg lettuce with only a hint of topping. I wasn’t expecting more from them, but it was hardly inspirational, now one of my mom’s salads might give me some ideas!

  • Debbie Marchand

    Sounds like fun and refreshing idea for inspirations !

  • tyke

    What a very nifty idea. I love the colour combinations – tomato and spinach for example!

  • Jessica Meisner

    My original palette of colors is black, brown, gray and white. I am livening things up for summer as I just purchased a Apricot jacket. My salad choices are changing! changing!

  • Jessica Meisner

    My original palette of colors is black, brown, gray and white. I am livening things up for summer as I just purchased a Apricot jacket. My salad choices are changing! changing!

  • Jessica Meisner

    My original palette of colors is black, brown, gray and white. I am livening things up for summer as I just purchased a Apricot jacket. My salad choices are changing! changing!

  • Jessica Meisner

    My original palette of colors is black, brown, gray and white. I am livening things up for summer as I just purchased a Apricot jacket. My salad choices are changing! changing!

  • Terry Perron

    Loved the article,Great idea.

  • http://www.notthemoty.blogspot.com LoriD

    Ugh. My wardrobe is all lettuce (much of it wilted, at that!) My salads, on the other hand are works of art, with colourful veggies, fruits, seeds, nuts, cheese and yummy dressings. Great article!

  • judcon

    Using the colours of my salads makes for a fresh summer feel. I love to mix and match summer clothes in cucumber, brocoli and tomato ( with a bit of mushroom thrown in)

  • Rachel

    Sometimes we need to reinvent things that have become tired and ho-hum, like our style or our salad! I’ve been trying to eat more vegetables, so I’ve been looking for new ingredients to liven up salads. I’ve also been trying to spend less money, so I’ve been looking for new ways to wear items from my wardrobe. It’s amazing how easy it really is to make something old feel new again, just by adding or changing one thing.

  • Mary Williams

    I love this!

  • Janet Meisner

    For summer my inspiration is fruit salad. Bright vivid colors that reflect well in the sun.

  • Stacie

    I find the best way to find inspiration for your wardrobe is to go to your local hardware store! The paint chips there are so inspiring, try it!

  • Franci

    Loved the article. I could always use ideas of what’s in and what’s not, as I so busy being a mom. I could definitely see myself in all of these outfits.

  • pat

    my wardward was in a serious need of updating until recently I saw in my local mall, a great store going out of business,,,,that was my cue to shop til I dropped,
    black jacket I can use with everything, brown jacket and matching pants, white shirt. black dress, black winter coat and so much more, add a colored scarf, bright necklace or heels and I have many outfits, come summer time I am a tank top and blue jeans gal…Katie will have her hands full with my closet, and then the shoping to the local mall…sounds like a great afternoon

  • Moeturner

    I enjoy a lot of fruit, especially berries in my salads, and I have to admit my salads always look pretty. The light red of strawberry along side the deeper red of raspberry and then a dark purple blackberry all tossed on top of the bright green spinich. It looks delicious. I wish my wardrobe were that vibrant!
    I guess that is what I will keep in mind next time I am shopping: Fresh, bright crisp colours. That will refresh my look.

  • joanneb

    I always try to spruce up my wordrobe by going through what I have and only buying things I know will go with more than one item of clothing I own.I also love to mix and match and with a few accessories the simplest clothes can work great for an evening out.

  • dmhaen

    Sure could use a new salad entree to spice up my summer wardrobe! Couldn’t we all?
    I’m a casual, down to earth, no fuss kind of gal who spends a lot of time at the gym. I’ve been browsing through health and fitness magazines for some wardrobe inspiration. And I’ve been thinking my wardrobe should change to give some limelight to my now toned arms and legs.

  • Cazgirl

    As usual I have NOTHING to wear this summer. I’m 47 and look and feel 30.

  • Cazgirl

    As usual I have NOTHING to wear this summer. I’m 47 and look and feel 30.

  • spike

    Just like a salad, local fashion is the way to go. Scope out fresh, new, Canadian designers and you won’t see the same outfit on everybody walking down the street!

  • joycep61

    I love clothes that can go from one season to the next with a few changes of accessories. This is just like a salad – just add any veggie or fruit that is in season to the main ingredient, whether it’s a pasta salad or a romaine. When accessorizing your wardrobe just think of the variety of salad colours and textures and let your imagination run wild.

  • torooo

    I have recently “rediscovered myself”, my self esteemed and need new wardrobe to go with my need atitude.

  • JoAnne

    I may be closing fast on 50, but I don’t let that bother me. I wear vibrant colours that the young people do. Makes me feel young, and everyone around me think I am 10 years younger. I eat my salads everyday, adding different flavours and textures to give it a boost, too!

  • Carole Dube

    Yes salad can act as style inspiration. All those beautiful summer color are perfect for summer. I bought lots of top for this summer to refresh my work wardrobe. You don’t need that many pants for work. A couple pair of good quality black paints, then had a few other colours. I like to have lots of top and accessories. That way it doesn’t look like I’m wearing the same pants.

  • Gwen Pellerin

    Truly a great theme and some timely information to dig into the closet archives.

  • licoricelegs

    Whatever is cool, washes and dries easily and doesn’t need ironing are my must haves! Crisp cool colours with lots of style sounds like a great dish to me.

  • Cathy

    Salad can be truly inspirational in summer prints. The colours are bold and on a white background can be bold and sassy.

  • Silvana

    I need refreshing and that includes lossing a few pounds and a few new outfits. What better way than a tasty salad for helping to shed a few extra pounds and a shopping spree to add some zest to the greats days of summer ahead!

  • KELLY KROL

    I LOVE THE IDEA OF GETTING INSPIRATION FROM SALAD.IT IS A GOOD IDEA ACTUALLY BECAUSE YOU START WITH THE GREEN LETTUCE AND THROW IN TOMATOES,ORANGE PEPPERS, AND MAYBE SOME CHEESE WITH SOME GREAT DRESSING TO PULL IT ALL TOGETHER.

  • cheryl

    This summer I just added to my wardrobe where I needed to. I had lots of pants and so I added some tops. I still am looking for a summer tote and your totes listed above got me interested in trying harder to find one.

  • tricia21

    I’ve been recycling my own wardrobe for years. When a favourite skirt or blouse reaches its “best by” date, I save some of the fabric and use it to make a scarf or hair scrunchie, even a patchwork pillow. I’ve always loved the boho look and I’m glad it’s back in style, even if it’s only for a while.

  • ehelfand

    I’ve decided to add more colour to my wardrobe this summer, rather than the old black and white stand-bys. My inspiration is my daughter.

  • skip2468

    I have always done what felt right and I felt looked good when it came to fashion. Trends are fun for the very young, but some look just terrible on most people. Go with the gut, both in fashion, and food!

  • MetcalfeMommy

    What a refreshing concept! A light, satisfying, sophisticated lunch at McDonald’s (a great notion in itself) but used as inspiration to remind us how to refresh our summer wardrobes by punching up our basics with some fresh, exotic and fun pieces! I am inspired, both to take my daughter by a McDonald’s for our next lunch on the go, and to re-visit my closet – which was feeling a little humdrum as I look at it for the first-time post-maternity. I’m feeling more optimistic about dressing my transformed figure in some well-loved classics with some ecclectic new additions to remind me that just because I’m a mommy on mat leave doesn’t mean I can’t look and feel hip, cool and on trend without breaking the bank this summer. Thanks for the fabulous tip and for sharing the great fashion finds above for inspiration.

  • Alex

    I would love to win to improve my style as I love mixing old and new style but it not always works

  • amanda popko

    Color and variety inspire me!just like a salad the more colorful ,like full of blueberries and purple letttuce! use color in your wardrobe! Bright yellows and pink!
    Also make something old new again,like take a dress and add a scarf to it or alter it to make it look different! And add funky jewelery and hair wraps for fun!
    Be bold ,forget black,its boring,go for the fun of patterns and gold and silver!!

  • mwatt

    I love the idea and the inspiration of throwing out all the old rules and mixing it up with style. Everything can be fresh and new, even the old!

  • Julie

    to find inspiration on what colours go together, just look at anything in nature…nothing clashes! a hayfield looks so beautiful (much like a salad) with all the different colours in it.
    sometimes it’s so hard to look pulled together but with beauty and ideas all around us it makes it so much easier.

  • Michele

    What a great analogy! Just like salads, that we seem to eat more of with the onset of warmer weather, I find that spring and summer offer the perfect time to experiment with bright colours and colour combinations that you might not wear in the fall or winter. Why not add a splash of bright orange or hot pink to an outfit just as you might find a large dose of mango in a summer salad! It could be something simple like a hat or bright necklace to add some spice to your wardrobe. We only have a few short months to go all out and dress “summery” so take advantage.

  • kimper

    Just like salads you need to forget the rules. Throw together what you really like and what makes you feel good (just like your favourite flavours in a salad).
    Bright colours mixed with neutrals and a pop from accessories can make the difference in anybody’s style.

  • Debra Bashford

    I recycle my styles all the time buy picking up interesting accessories at yard sales and thrift shops. Would have never thougt to get inspiration from salads, but I really like the idea! Adding an Asian or Tropical inspiration are my new goals for the summer!

  • kimper

    Just like salads you need to forget the rules. Throw together what you really like and what makes you feel good (just like your favourite flavours in a salad).
    Bright colours mixed with neutrals and a pop from accessories can make the difference in anybody’s style.

  • Tara

    I love the idea of salad as inspiration.
    I have all the basic “lettuce” (jeans, pencil skirt, white blouse, etc…..). But how to add all of the “extras”? I always seem to under do it or over do it! Plus my young children always pull, grab (my son) or steal (my daughter) any cool necklaces or earrings I wear!
    Keep up the great ideas and pictures though and I’ll keep trying.

  • corkrose

    Love this idea – I get my inspiration from my daughter – aged 18 – she is recycling my clothes in a brand new way – just like I ‘borrowed’ my sisters and had major fights over it – when I was younger. I have my Mum’s pearls and lots of little pieces – cheap on the pocketbook but priceless in terms of memories.
    Great article.
    Thanks

  • Diana Plavins

    When summer comes its comfort first. Loose clothing, shorts, tank tops, whatever I need to keep cool in the sun

  • Kiki

    What an interesting concept! Using food as inspiration and not just a vehicle for losing weight to fit in to smaller sized clothes!
    In my kitchen, there are generational hand-me-downs that are essential to making an everyday or special occasion meal (e.g. the cast iron fry pan that my mom used for years and then gave to me when I got married and moved out; then there’s the special bunt pan that my grandmother used for her Christmas cakes, which I try to duplicate in her memory).
    And in my closet, there are the equivalent items like the strand of pearls from my grandmother and a charm bracelet my mom started before I was born and she gave to me when I gave birth to my first son.
    Thanks for the great ideas and looking forward to attending the style sessions next week!

  • cc

    The colors in the vegetables I use in my salad act as an inspiration for the color scheme I use in my wardrobe!

  • Steph

    My summer style fashion tip is whenever I am flipping through a magazine or surfing fashion web sites and I see something I really like, I save it on my PC, so that when I have extra time to peice something super cute together, I go back to my fashion file and try and modify it with items I already have in my closet. I do this with make up looks too.

  • Violet

    I think that especially in todays tought economic times, using salad as an inspiration for your closet is definitely a great idea. Many of us have fantastic “old” clothes in our closets that dressed up with a few new less expensive accessories could create a whole new wardrobe, without the cost of actually purchasing a whole new wardrobe.
    By just adding a few of the new items and maybe a couple of articles of clothing, we could still all be fashionable with out the added expense, which of course we could put to good use, going out and showing off our new styles.
    Fantastic idea!! Now onto the closet…….. come find me if you don’t hear from me within a few days, I may be buried.

  • JOYIM

    I use nature to inspire, like the way blue and beige of the beach flow together.

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