Strutting in the Sun: Summer fashion in Rhode Island

Ahh yes, summer in Rhode Island. Providence, specifically. The city that is home to Brown University and Rhode Island School of Design is unsurprisingly a fashionable one. The feeling of art and design is in the air of the Creative Capital and seen in the fashion choices of Providence roamers. As someone who’s always trying to get a better hand on my own sense of style, I set out to talk with folks whose outfits caught my eye. The eclectic array of photos shown in this article come with reasoning behind each choice. As a disclaimer, dress how you’d like. However if you’d like more insight into what people are wearing and where some good places to shop are, read on…

First up we have Madison Turner, who works in retail in Providence. Turner describes her style as street style/off-duty. For a night out at bars like XO Bar, she opts for outfits that don’t make her compromise her everyday style and pairs casual trousers with comfortable, dressy tops, both from Zara, and sneakers from Adidas. Beyond Hailey Bieber’s Instagram page, she finds fashion inspo on Pinterest. With a simple key word in the search bar, one can find hundreds of inspo pics to guide them toward the outfit and style they desire. Turner is sure to never skip out on watching fashion influencers’ YouTube channels to get the fashion trend forecasts. Speaking of trends, poplin skirts are one of the items Turner is most excited for this summer season. A comfortable, breezy-yet-dressy addition to any wardrobe.

Next up we have local musician, actress and sister Scout Lyons. Lyons manages to pull off her consistently changing style (she’s a Gemini) by hitting up area thrift stores. At second-hand shops, she’s able to find pieces that bring to life figures she looks up to, like Carrie Bradshaw and the Spice Girls. Growing up with a mother who taught her that thrifting was a formidable forgotten art, Lyons spends her time avoiding fast fashion chains and opting for shops that carry more uncommon pieces. If you’re new to thrifting and wondering where to start, try stopping into Jackie on Broadway in East Providence, one of Lyons’ favorite locations.

There you can find consigned designer goods like Dior, Lily Pulitzer, and Lyons’ favorite — Manolo Blahnicks (a staple on “Sex and The City”). In this photo, Lyons is wearing all thrifted pieces. We were at an ice cream place just outside of Providence, so she said it “felt appropriate.” She encourages everyone to take risks when it comes to fashion and experiment with what you feel good in whenever you can. Lyons is off to LA this summer for auditions and meetings, though you’ll probably catch her, not on Rodeo Drive, but at LA flea markets looking for second-hand treasures.

On the topic of thrifting I spoke with another avid second-hand shopper, one I met at the Salvation Army while we both were looking for used treasures, Florence Morgan. Morgan describes her style as colorful with pieces sourced from Urban Outfitters and Salvation Army. The shopper wears white crocs adorned with shoe charms, brown corduroy shorts, a T-shirt that references the iconic McLovin’ from Superbad, and some layered necklaces. Morgan is most excited to wear jorts this summer due to their resurgence.

Everyone gets their personal style from somewhere, and for content creator Zack Koehler, that place is his girlfriend. While Koehler’s style is relaxed, it’s really whatever his girlfriend wants to put him in that makes the cut. Koehler and his girlfriend try to have his clothing speak to his personality, which is happy and calm. Koehler admits that even in the heat (this photo was taken on a hot humid day) he enjoys dressing in layers so the outfit feels like there are a bunch of different parts to it. As the warm weather continues, Koehler is excited to purchase more and more swim trunks for the inevitable days spent at the beach. For those who also want to get their sweat on while out and about this summer, Koehler’s pieces include Doc Martens, a thrifted jacket, Pacsun pants, and a T-shirt he bought online too long ago to remember where.

Last we have Marissa Brum, who works in the cannabis industry. Brum describes her style as bright and colorful with an emphasis on her love for bold patterns and statement pieces. This summer Brum advises folks to hit up Savers to find unique pieces at unbeatable prices. There, Brum finds pieces she truly loves while also minimizing textile waste. Her biggest tip to those developing their personal styles is to try to envision themselves wearing the item five years down the line. If you can’t imagine yourself wearing something in five years, then maybe it’s not a smart purchase. According to Brum, confidence is key to wearing anything, even if it’s technically “ugly.” Brum is wearing a Betsey Johnson dress she thrifted with a Forever 21 sweater and Demonia chunky boots. This summer, she’s looking forward to more second-hand shopping at places like the Brimfield Antique Festival, and getting any opportunity to wear skirts and dresses during the summer heat.

For anyone out there trying to figure out their style, there’s one thing that all of these people have in common: their style is their own. Don’t feel pressured to always look as stylish as the people you see on social media and certainly don’t be influenced to drop tons of money trying to accomplish the looks you see online. Knowing how to dress yourself is knowing yourself, that should be the first priority in your journey to finding your style. There’s inspiration everywhere. From bars to ice cream shops, fashionable outfits are hard to miss.