When it comes to clothes, I reckon you are either a summer person or a winter person. For those who class themselves as the former, welcome to the best eight weeks of your wardrobe. Who’s for baskets bags and chambray? But, for those firmly in the latter category, I feel your pain. Three more months until jumper season. *Sob*
Me? I’m more of a winter person, but with an occasional summer flare – I love a tassel and have recently been doing floral prints. However, summer dressing will always throw up a whole host of issues: boob-related ones (bra? Strapless bra? God forbid, no bra?), leg-related ones (mine actually repel the sun) and colour-related ones (what do you mean no navy?). And then there are all those holiday/wedding/first-day-on-the-beach-type occasions that always – no matter how many times we do them – induce full-scale wardrobe panic.
So, with the above in mind, I’ve made a hit list of the pieces that should simplify the entire process and see us all through the next couple of months. Here are my summer seven:
THE WEAR-ALL-THE-TIME JUMPSUIT
Those who know me know that I am a die-hard jumpsuit fan. All the ease of a dress with the practicality of trousers – pure genius. And, with so many different styles on the high street, there’s something to suit, whatever you fancy. I like a shoulder-covering style for when I inevitably burn them on holiday and find a cropped, wide leg looks contemporary. Naturally, I’ve chosen navy (winter person), but have made an effort to brighten things up with orange slides – aka the shoe of the summer.
THE NON-GIRLY FLORAL PRINT
As previously mentioned, I’ve recently come round to the idea of florals. Not wishy-washy, girly florals, mind – something with a bit of oomph. I love the idea of wearing this dress with a pair of slides or white plimsolls and a denim/leather jacket thrown over the top. But it would work equally well with a fancier pair of sandals for a wedding. Throw on a pair of gold-hoop earrings (another one of my summer favourites) and you’re all set.
ONE GREAT SWIMMING COSSIE
Oh, hell – swimwear. In my opinion, you don’t need to spend a fortune on a swimming costume, but it pays to get something you feel nice in. For me, this means something that covers my arse and has a jazzy print. One-pieces have come on leaps in terms of style factor and are certainly no longer the bikini’s frumpy sister. Get one with adjustable straps (tan lines) and wear with humongous sunglasses.
THE DRESS-UP/DRESS-DOWN TOP
I tend to get stuck in a T-shirt rut over the summer so, this year, I’m making myself experiment. I’m after a fancy top that you can dress down with jeans, or wear with a smart pair of trousers for occasions where an effort needs to be made. The one-shoulder top is this season’s update on the cold-shoulder top and, though it requires a strapless bra, I think the end result is worth it. In fact, this top has a matching pair of trousers which, when worn together, would make a brilliant posh-do outfit.
A BRIGHT BAG
One of the easiest ways to do summery brights is with a bag. Where black and brown feel too heavy at this time of the year, something in a zingy colour will lift even a plain outfit. A shoulder bag that can be worn cross-body allows for hands-free carrying (I’ll take a glass of wine in both, please) and this one has an adjustable strap, so you can turn it into a clutch. Not a fan of the coral? It also comes in navy.
The wrap dress
The surprise hit of the season, the wrap dress has made a huge comeback since its 70s heyday. On the more practical end of the summer-dress spectrum, I love it for its flattering shape and the fact that it accommodates a bra. Classic jersey feels a bit wintry, so I’m going for something light, silky and in megawatt orange (surprisingly flattering – worth giving a go). Not a dress person? Wear it over jeans and with flat sandals.
The Smock top
Though I’m not very good at doing the whole boho thing, I am a big fan of a smock top. Plain or embroidered and in cotton for maximum breeziness. Switch it in place of your work shirt, or wear it over boyfriend jeans at the weekend. Because it has sleeves, if the weather takes a nose dive you’re still (literally) covered.
This month Warehouse is hosting a series of lunchtime escapes – and The Pool’s fashion team will be there. Join us in Cardiff, Liverpool and London for a lunch hour style chat hosted by Frankie Graddon and Dolly Alderton, along with a 20% discount, a goodie bag and the chance to win £250 shopping vouchers. Buy your tickets here.