Fashion Inspired by Art: Mary Cassatt's "Summertime"

This gorgeous impressionist painting will have you so excited for spring.
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Stacey - University of Nevada Reno
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This gorgeous impressionist painting will have you so excited for spring.

Spring Break is soon, so what better way to get excited than by looking at colorful impressionist paintings? ... Okay. But really, impressionist paintings give me a spring-y feel. The colors always look so bright and effortless, and the subject matter is often everyday scenes or landscapes. For this week's Fashion Inspired by Art, I want to share three outfits inspired by Mary Cassatt's Summertime.

Mary Cassatt "Summertime" 1894

Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

Mary Cassatt

Mary Cassatt was an American impressionist painter who is most known for her paintings depicting the relationship between mother and child. Much of her art career was difficult: She was repeatedly declined for shows, eventually feeling forced to paint more traditionally favorable subjects to appeal to galleries. She noticed that female artists were frequently dismissed if they had no friends that were gallery jurors or refused to flirt with them. Cassatt herself was unwilling to try persuading the men in power and was often referred to as blunt. (If you're interested in reading more about Mary Cassatt's life, here's a link to her Wikipedia page.)

Her career eventually gained traction in part thanks to Edgar Degas and the impressionist galleries that accepted her work. The subjects of her paintings were always women, commonly showing a mother-child bond or depicting the independence of the "New Woman." Today's art historians credit Mary Cassatt as one of the great impressionism painters of her time.

An Outing

White ruffle dress spring outfit

Products: Watch Set, Bag, Dress, Hat, Earrings, Oxfords

This outfit is inspired by the polished look of the woman in the boat. A ruffle dress is simple but gives a petal-like effect. A wide-brim hat keeps the sun out of your eyes, and cute oxfords make it easy to walk around while looking stylish. The duck earrings are obviously based on the ducks in the painting, but they're so cute and simple that I would wear them without a reason. Throw on some accessories like a bag and a watch, and you're ready for your outing!

Girl

Delicate white romper with flowers

Products: Hair Pins, Romper, Bracelets, Heels

This outfit was inspired by the girl in the painting. It has a more light-hearted and childlike feel than the first look. The romper is airy, an easy choice for the lazy days of spring break. I love the look of the loose flower hair pins (which have corkscrew backs to keep them in place)! Elevate the look with light-colored heels, or just throw on some sandals for a more casual look.

River Ride

Blue water pattern maxi skirt outfit

Products: Crop Top, Maxi Skirt, Sunglasses, Heels

This outfit would be great for a spring break getaway. It was inspired by the colorful river in Cassatt's painting, but the maxi skirt's pattern is actually small blue flowers on top of a grid. Either way, I think this skirt is bold and unique, making it a great statement piece. I paired it with a lace-back crop top and some cutout heels to make it simple but edgy. Throw on some chic reflective blue sunglasses and your outfit is complete!

What are your thoughts?

Have you seen Mary Cassatt's work? What are your thoughts on the conditions of female artists at the time? When is your Spring Break? Which outfit would you wear? Leave your comments down below, I love reading them!