In this constant toss-up between summer and winter I decided to check out of this global warming nightmare and head to Italy for a couple of days in search of some vitamin D and hell of a lot of carbs. We had some serious wedmin to do there(I’ve taken the laid-back bride term to a whole new level!) and, in between florist meetings and wedding cake tastings, we took any opportunity to get lost and explore new parts of Tuscany in a new pre-summer wardrobe.
After a long winter and some trying times lately, I decided somewhere between Pisa and Montecatini Terme that for 48 hours I’m just going to go with the flow. With the warm sun on my face and the 23 degree breeze on my pale English skin I stopped stressing about work, the house and wedding plans and just enjoyed that drive. I let the wind tangle my hair, my new maxi dress fall to my knees, and my bare feet on the dash and closed my eyes to the sound of Otis Redding on the radio. It suddenly made me beyond excited for the summer season and everything it has to bring.
I love summer. Not just for the long sunny days, BBQ’s and the good mood we all seem to adopt between May and September, but for me, the fashion/beauty/editorial industry kind of shuts down for a couple of months. I don’t know why, we’re all still at work but things take on a slower pace, the pressure is lifted and it’s just a given that you’re not going to get much work done until the new season. Kind of like Christmas but with better weather and cocktails!
I returned to (a surprisingly balmy) Blighty at the weekend with a few new freckles, a few less things on my to-do list and a mental plan of how I’m going to tackle the new summer season. From a few key buys to a little more of a positive mental attitude, if you’re looking for a pre-season starting point, this is it!…
First and foremost, fashion. Summer dresses aren’t anything new – just like florals in spring, a summer dress is a given. BUT, I’m going to shake things up this season and step out of my fashion comfort zone. Whether it’s a wrap-around frilly number or a barely-there slip, there’s something effortless and sexy about finding that stand-out style you feel truly confident in. The kind that you could dance all night in, team with any shoes and dress up or down.
I have a list of new fashion brands I’m going to shop from and try this season (sorry Zara, we’re on a break) and Warehouse is top of my list. Once a favourite but has been too long forgotten, I stumbled across the new collection accidentally and totally fell in love with their summer edit. From graphic florals to light and airy linen maxi dresses, they’ve seriously upped their game in the high street style stakes.
When it comes to updating my wardrobe for the new season my shopping go-to’s have always been the same – H&M, Mango and Zara with a little Topshop and a designer piece thrown in. So when the early spring heatwave hit, I stopped myself from tapping in those familiar sites and headed to Instagram for a little #styleinspo.
I started with the dreamiest wrap-around sundress from these shots which is a brand I’ve lusted after for far too long. A little more expensive than my high street faves, it was effortless, well-made and has received more comments on social than any other outfit I’ve worn! Also on my sartorial wishlist is Sezane, Never Fully Dressed, Rails, Nanushka, Steele and Revolve. From linen to gingham, natural blazers and hessian accessories, I’m leaning towards a simpler, chicer and more timeless collection this summer for a wardrobe that lasts beyond a passing season. I want my wardrobe to work harder, last longer and be a bit more grown up. My thumb can’t double click fast enough on Tash Oakley’s gorgeous wrap-around midi’s and Emma Hill’s envy-inducing button-down maxi so this year I’m going to make smarter purchases and Insta-worthy outfits.
Are we ever going to get bored of basket bags? God, I really hope not. They are still my favourite summer accessory and I’ve been mourning them all winter so I’m so excited to add to the handbag fam this season. There’s something so sweet, simple and rustic about them that’s so inclusive for everyone – there’s no defining designer feature or ‘It’ bag status, they’re wonderfully anonymous and go with everything. With a few travel plans in the pipeline, my aim is to collect these wicker gems by snapping up different sizes and styles from our travels for a one-off addition to my outfit.
Filled with flowers, fruit or your battered old make-up bag, they can easily be dressed up or down with scarfs, straps or monogramming for a stand-out feature. I’m hoping to find a clutch version for balmy summer nights and an over-sized beach bag version for lazy days in the sand.
COLOURS…OR LACK THERE OF!
Although summer is renowned for pops of bright hues and muted pastels, I looked at my summer collection from storage this week and realised I started to move in a different direction last summer which I want to continue this year. Not one for a lot of colour (she says wearing pink rn!), I’m in love with a muted colour palette in both style and homeware at the moment. There’s something so elegant and calming about creams, tans and natural fabrics in both the home and the wardrobe.
Not only do you not have to think twice about what goes with what, they are generally season-less meaning that, like me, you can unpack them season after season without worrying that they’re “so over!”.
THE NATURAL LOOK
Technically not a fashion one but definitely one to include for this summer. As much as I revel in trying out new foundations, the latest mascara and the must-have contour palette, this summer I’m embracing a more natural finish. I feel like I’ve well and truly abused my skin lately and it is not happy. From rosacea flare-ups, an uneven skintone and hormonal acne, I’ve been over-loading it with products, stress and a less than healthy diet. Although my dermatologist has been trying her best to bring it back, I need to be kinder to my visage.
How many times have we looked in the mirror after a day at the beach or by the pool and wished we could have that dewy, golden glow all year round? Although we sadly can’t have endless holidays, we can embrace what nature gave us and nurture what’s underneath our favourite base through restful days, dream-less nights and look after our body inside and out. When I’m not shooting or facing the public, I’m going to be working sans make-up to let me skin breathe, recover and heal. While make-up ingredients have come on a long way, sometimes we just need to slap on our very best skincare products and let them do their thang.
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This is a collaborative post with Warehouse but all opinions are my own