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FashFood Trend Report: High-low hems are perfect for summer

The high-low hem  silhouette was evident in the spring 2012 runway shows. This dress from DKNY features a bright mix of floral and graphic prints.
The high-low hem silhouette was evident in the spring 2012 runway shows. This dress from DKNY features a bright mix of floral and graphic prints.

The high-low hem — shorter in front, longer in the back — has been riding a wave of popularity the past few seasons.

The style lends itself to the easier fit of warm-weather pieces. With spring runway shows featuring everything from basic black halter dresses to gauzy tops, it's time to add this trendy shape to summer wardrobes.

Last year's ankle-grazing maxi dresses and skirts have evolved to include cuts that start at the knee or higher in front and drape down to the ankle for a silhouette that swings.

One smart buy for the season would be The Gap's A-line, long, racer-back dress in a dark indigo that could take a woman from casual afternoon get-togethers to dressy summer evenings.

The asymmetrical hem rises modestly to mid-calf in front and drapes down to the ankle in back. A simple leather belt ties at the waist. Wear it with metallic heels or woven leather wedges, depending on your mood, and top it off with gold-colored drop earrings or some of the summer's statement cuffs.

For a bolder look try a shorter skirt in a modern graphic print. Forever 21's collection includes an abstract style with a zigzag pattern of rust and blue against a cream background. The daring front hem hits at mid-thigh to show off summer legs; the back scoops down to the knees.

To ease into the trend you might want to start with a top featuring an asymmetrical hem— perhaps a sweater tank, another one of summer's biggest trends. The roomy fit is best balanced with skinny cropped pants and wedges or short shorts and sandals.

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