Summer Style with Ash ‘n’ Fashn’s Ashley Tarkington Jackel

When it comes to the summer season, style decisions can be tricky. Do you go with practical or trendy? Floral print or bright white? Shorts or a mini skirt?

Sartorial choices abound, so it’s a good thing we’ve got super chic people like Ashley Tarkington Jackel, Orange County-based founder of Ash ‘n’ Fashn. A lifestyle blogger, influencer and mom, Ashley is no stranger to creating outfits that pop. She founded her site in 2012 after years working for Access Hollywood, and has since turned Ash ‘n’ Fashn into a full-time job and virtual empire for all things O.C. life and style. 

So, what does she say about the coolest, boldest, sharpest trends this season? Read on, friends …

OK, full confession: Might have stalked your Instagram just a little bit and YES to bikinis and visors! Beside this unexpectedly chic pairing, how does your wardrobe change once the summer season hits?

Yes!! Glad to see I’m not alone on the visor trend. 🙂 As soon as summer hits, (or basically, as soon as it feels warm enough) I switch from my favorite jeans to my favorite cutoff shorts. They’re high-waisted, which makes them perfect to throw on over swimsuits or with crop tops during the day. I also love straw and bamboo bags, hats and more statement-y jewelry for summer.

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Favorite color to wear in summer? (And how do you style it?)
Hands down yellow. It just looks better with a tan. I love yellow-printed dresses or tops and seem to be seeing a lot of citrus prints that look so cute for summer.
Like you, we’re all about the sunnies. What’s your best advice for picking the perfect pair of shades?
Know what shapes flatter your face. I’ve made the mistake of buying sunglasses after I’ve tried them on and thinking they were cute only to see a photo of myself in them and realize they do not flatter my face shape! Now I try to take a quick photo while shopping for sunnies … photos don’t lie.
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Your Instagram posts are seriously stunning. (The colors! The clothes! The hats! The Crosby cuteness!) What’s your go-to spot for the perfect summer-inspired snap?
Thank you so much!! I feel so lucky to live close to the beach … if I’m ever in a funk or need a place to snap a photo, I head there. It’s an instant mood-lifter and always inspires me.
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Our coastal cities (Huntington Beach, Newport Beach, Laguna Beach) are so blissfully beautiful that sometimes, when the waves crash against a perfectly pink sunset, it’s weird to think we even live here. How is your style inspired by our beach-y surroundings?
I think I’m inspired to be more laid back with what I’m wearing since it’s such a relaxing place in general. For instance, jeans can be acceptable almost anywhere, (not talking events/weddings or things like that) but I can get away with wearing my favorite high-waisted Levis on a date night if I pair them with a dressier top and a heel.
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Fill in the blank. This summer, the heel to wear is _____.
A fun block heel that’s not too high.
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Another fill in the blank. My ideal outfit for a summer night out in Newport Beach is _____.
A matching set! A cute printed crop top and matching maxi skirt or pants have been my go-to this year.
Florals, banana prints, polka dots and stripes … What’s your favorite pattern of summer? And can you mix them without looking too over-the-top?
Stripes are always a classic year-round. In the summer, I find myself wearing more floral prints and I’m really into citrus (and all fruit) prints right now! I think the key to mixing prints is to stick to a color pallet. One rule I use when mixing is [to ask yourself] if the two prints would look good on one item of clothing … like black and white stripes with a subtle floral print is always a winner.
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You recently posted a photo with a tassel-accessorized bikini. What’s the ratio of practical vs. cute for a summer suit? And does it even matter?
I’m loving swimwear trends right now – anything really goes! I say have fun with it but be mindful of comfort. You don’t want to spend your whole beach day adjusting a top that is a little too high maintenance.
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Summer days are long, and the nights even longer. Sometimes, a beach day can turn into an evening affair. How can you successfully transition a bathing suit/cover up #ootd into an #ootn?
I love one-piece suits for day to night. A chic, black one-piece can look like a bodysuit when paired with a pair of high-waisted cutoffs.
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Solve the debate: Off-the-shoulder bathing suits, yes or no? (Notably, Becca wore one a few weeks ago on the Bachelorette and my friends all questioned the trend over our wine and usual Monday night snark …)
Yes! Again, I say more is more. I recently wore an off-the-shoulder bikini top in Palm Springs … at first I was a bit hesitant but it became my favorite suit of the trip. I loved that I could pull off the off-the-shoulder [look] and tuck [the shoulder straps] into the top, making it more of a bandeau when I was laying in the sun.
If you had to choose: Jumpsuit or maxi sun dress?
Jumpsuit all the way. I think they’re more fun and can be dressed up or down really easily by changing shoes, adding a denim jacket, etc.
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Last question (our final fill-in-the-blank): On an ideal summer day in Newport Beach, I’m with _____ at _____ wearing _____ and feeling _____!
My family at the beach wearing a bikini, hat, sunnies and cutoffs and feeling relaxed … or as relaxed as it gets chasing a one-year-old through the sand! 😉