When it comes to sandals this summer, less is definitely more.

Durban - Sandal season is in full swing and with it comes the fun of summer. For a change, we can’t look at what our Hollywood A-listers have on, as above the Earth’s belt, gloves, boots and coats are the order of the day and sunny South Africa definitely is no place for that.

It’s going to be a sheer year if you’re hitting the beach. It’s not that your bikini needs to be transparent – it’s the frills and twills that go with it do. The swimwear trends are monochromatic and with it matching coloured throws, dresses and kaftans that show off singular colourful lines and tones. Change up your beachwear this year and opt for more creative pieces like tankinis and high-waisted bottoms.

The season is taking no pity on our midriff as the cropped-top look is back in a big way and with it the often misunderstood bra trend. Now, before we start replacing outerwear with underwear, know this – the bra trend of showing your bra through a sheer shirt or dress, or underneath a lightweight jacket, needs to be carefully studied.

I did come across a safe but clever interpretation of exposing lingerie that would work for us all. It also supports the DIY advice we chatted about a few columns ago. If you are set on tackling the challenge of the bra trend, why not do so by creating a top that gives off the illusion of the bra without baring all?

Find a good tailor and take your favourite bra along with skin-coloured, lightweight fabric and ask him to create a top that has the bra look over the busts and conceals the rest of your torso with the fabric. Simple yet effective.

On another note, if you are to try the alternative of the revealing bra beneath your clothing, do remember that this only appeals to the bra and not the bottoms.

I was unfortunate enough to be behind a woman who got that look muddled up and I tried desperately to avoid looking at her white tangas through her summer dress – and I wasn’t the only one who noticed it. Not a good look.

Summer in the south should celebrate all things southern, and one of South Africa’s favourite retailers has done just that. This summer Woolworths has taken inspiration from the Latin Americans and played with colours and prints and all things Latina. Mix your patterns – stripes and florals, Cuban-style hats, leather sandals and large handbags.

Lose your inhibitions this summer, enjoying the time of year that should be filled with love and laughter. And remember, there is no such thing as a shopping list without shoes.

Wishing you all the best for 2013. - The Mercury

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