Not only is it the hottest season of the year, but summer fashion also annually burns up the runway.
But there's no need to leave these looks for the models in magazines - anyone can dress to impress this summer. From shorts to maxi dresses, bright colors to golden accessories, store managers from the Logan Valley Mall in Altoona spilled about the latest trends and why you need them in your closet.
* Lane Bryant
Mirror photos by Gary M. Baranec and Chloe Elmer
Jody Lovejoy of Johnstown, the billing coordinator at the Logan Valley Mall, models an outfit from Lane Bryant.
Talisa Gunning, 16, of New Enterprise models an outfit from Buckle.
Amy Arrigonie, assistant store manager, said the maxi dress is Lane Bryant's "essential piece" for summer right now.
"It just represents summer style," she said. "It's easy and it's simple to wear. You can go from day to night in it, just change the accessories. It's just simple and fun."
Arrigonie said the maxi dress is so versatile, it can be worn as a beach cover-up during the day and dressed up for a night out. Paired with a cardigan, it's appropriate for the office or running errands.
The looks... and the prices
* Lane Bryant: maxi dress, $79.95; cardigan, $39; shoes, $49; bracelet, $24.95; ring, $19.95; earrings, $14.95
* Rue 21: jacket, $24.99; skirt, $21.99; camisole, $7.99; shoes, $26.99; bracelets, $8.99; necklace, $7.99
* Old Navy: tank, $8; shorts, $24.94; camisole, $10; shoes, $19.94; bag, $17.94
* Buckle: boots, $270; shorts, $118; yellow tank, $24; white tank, $21; hat, $46.95
* JCPenney Co.: tank, $13; cardigan, $13; pants, $17; shoes, $30
Arrigonie added that a dress like this looks good on any body type as they carry them in multiple fabrics, from cotton to chiffon.
"Some are clingy, some are flowy, so it can really work on anyone," she said.
The store has already gotten replenishments of a few dress styles, and Arrigonie said they expect hot weather to bring in even more customers.
"We've been selling a lot now that it's getting warmer out," she said.
* JCPenney Co.
Autumn Petta, women's sales leader at JCPenney Co., said the look they pulled together features bright colors and flirty hemlines.
This is represented by the yellow PINK Republic camisole with a high-low hemline, which looks good on all body types and comes in a variety of other colors.
"The bright colors, bright yellow and orange, are all really popular for summer right now," she said.
Petta said the shrug was added to provide a cute, layered look, and the cuffed, darkwash jeans can be paired with any type of top, dressy or casual. The turquoise ballet flats tie everything together, and harken back to the colored shoes of the '80s, Petta said.
"For the girl who wants to be in style and wear something current and trendy, that'd definitely be the look for her," she added.
Karen Campbell, assistant manager at Buckle, said this summer is all about the boots - cowboy boots, that is.
"They're so hot and versatile," she said. "They can be worn with sundresses, skirts, shorts or jeans. They're a year-round investment."
Campbell and other store employees are calling it the "cowgirl glitz" look, which also features gold detailing and bold accessories. Because the look as a whole is not over the top, it works for every age and body type, Campbell said.
"It's not too glitzy, it's not too conservative. ... The pieces can be worn separately, but they look great together," she said. "You can't put an age on the look."
Though the boots came in just two weeks ago, Campbell said they have already been selling well. The store will also get 12 new styles in at the end of this month.
"It started out with a couple of the teammates who ordered them and have been wearing them, and it has become a craze," Campbell said.
Everyone needs this look in their closet this summer for "a wow factor," Campbell added.
* Old Navy
Lori Fisher, assistant manager at Old Navy, said the Mexicali-style tank tops she chose to be modeled have been "selling like hot cakes" already this season.
"The color palette for our summer line consists of vibrant and saturated color, reflective of summer fun on the beach," she said.
The look also flatters every body type and targets a wide age range, Fisher said. The fact that anyone can shop at the store - older and younger, mother and daughter - is one of Old Navy's many benefits, she added.
"Old Navy is famous for creating innovative products with a unique twist on the latest trends in fashion while still targeting a large demographic," Fisher said.
* Rue 21
Mallory Machi, brand marketing coordinator for Rue 21, wrote in an email that a "simple chic" summer look is easy to put together.
"Start with an essential tank and pair it with a fun and flirty summer skirt," she wrote. "Add a denim jacket for that extra flair. ... Top it off with the shoe of the year, wedges, and now you are ready to strut the runway."
Wedges are the "it" shoe for summer, Machi wrote, because they compliment any look, day or night. She added that this is a "must have" look for any girl age 12 to 40 to be worn to school, a party or on date night.
"It's a great summer look, head to toe," she wrote.
Mirror Staff Writer Beth Ann Downey is at 946-7520.