As we enter the heart of summer, there’s no doubt that beach days, carne asadas, and banging summer parties are at the top of our to-do lists. And with all these functions, “what do I wear?” becomes an inevitable part of our ritual. Summer style can have a variety of definitions depending on who you ask. To some, it might mean rocking the latest Versace button-up; to others, it might mean getting lined up. And still to others, it might simply be feeling comfortable while getting a raspado at the park.
Regardless of what your definition of style is, confidence is key to nailing any look. We talked to four Latinxs about their summer style, and we learned that for them, it’s more than just surviving the heat; it’s a way of expressing their identity, roots, sexuality, and history.
All GIFs by Itzel Alejandra Martinez
Rad / 28 / Brazilian from Plantation, FL
I’m really inspired by Afro and Indigenous futurism. Really embodying and living the future that we want to live in, inspired by a lot of decolonization practice. Part of my identity is being who I want to see the world become rather than be, like I am anti this or that. My style is sporty, eclectic, eccentric, space auntie! In Brazil, we are so colorful; there are therapeutic benefits of color. So my style is paying homage to my tías and my mami that raised me, and their style and the way that style is not only functional but also expressive.
Wearing Vintage DKNY Sandals; Thrifted Sheer Floral Dress; Thrifted Best American Pants; Oaxacan Pom Poms; Target Kids’ Space Purse; SEE Eyewear Glasses; Astor Place, Homemade, and Thrifted Jewelry
Julian Camilo / 24 / Colombian from Bogotá DC
My style is inspired by like the late ’90s, early 2000s – like when fashion was all over the place and really tacky and everyone can kind of get away with anything. I love gold. I think gold looks good on my skin tone. Growing up, a lot of my family wore gold and it’s something they passed down, so I wear it with pride. I get most of jewelry at pawn shops, but the half sun was passed down to me by my mom.
I like showing skin especially in the summer. My style is defined by wanting to be sexy from seeing my mom just like taking ownership of her sexuality when I was young. The Colombian woman is very sexy. And my style shifts from masculine to feminine, or sometimes I mix both.
Wearing American Apparel Nude Top; EyTy Jean; Paul Smith Belt; Dr. Martens Jadon Platform 8-Eye Boots; Gucci Glasses; Family’s Gold Necklaces
Karla Ortiz / 26 / Mexican from Mexico DF
Soy una persona muy nostálgica. So everything I wear has to have a piece of history, which is why I like vintage. It’s something that somebody wore that meant something to them. If it’s an interesting print or really odd print, I am going to take it home and wear it or make something of it. In Mexico City, we would go to museums all the time and it’s all full of color, and I think I always remember that inspiring me.
Wearing Urban Outfitters Black Spaghetti Strap; Vintage High-Waisted Trousers; Reebok Classic Leather Shell Pink Sneakers;Vintage Ann Klein Belt; Thrifted Purse; Jewelry from Mexico
Rich James / 31 / Panamanian from Brooklyn, NY
I am a dance, and I never know when I am going to need to dance, so I always need pants that stretch and most importantly to just feel comfortable. I love ’90s grunge style. I am Panamanian and half Jamaican. My dad is Jamaican, and growing up everyone always called me El General because of my hair, my style, my dance style, and I took it and ran with it. His style was very flashy and unapologetic and that’s me. In Panama, there is a lot of, what we call, molas with different patterns, texture, colors that we see all the time and that’s what the ’90s was as well. They mix and match different fabrics, styles, layers and that’s what I am into.
Wearing Forever 21 Floral Print Jersey; ASOS Exposed Zip Shorts; Primary Check Old Skool Vans; St. Marks Street Vendor Glasses; B Boy Rebels Dance Group Fanny Pack
See more about what these Latinxs had to say in our feature video below.