Now that we’ve finally been graced with a spell of hot weather, the invitations to BBQs are flooding in, and it’s a sure sign that our summer vacations are that one step closer.
Whatever you’ve got planned for the summer months ahead, no doubt you’ll already be wondering what to wear. If your wardrobe is still a mix of thick wintery cardigans and the odd spring tea dresses, then, you’re probably already planning on hitting Primark for a variety of new, cheap, but on-trend outfits. But wait, purchasing several new outfits for all your different events can still be unnecessarily costly even in the cheapest of fast fashion retailers, and moreover we both know that once you wash these kinds of clothes a couple of times, the only event that they’ll be suitable for is a trip down to the local rubbish tip. If you do however require a few basics such as strappy vest tops or plain T-shirts, then of course Primark would be ideal. Otherwise, the key is to invest into just one slightly more expensive dress and adapt the look with relevant accessories; accessories that you may even already possess!
The right accessories can instantly transform a simple yet stylish dress from beach babe into country chic. For instance using Wallis’ satin shirt dress with cowl neck, asymmetric zip, and tie belt, in navy Fig 1, which is an online exclusive priced at £45, I will show you exactly how one simple dress can be accessorised to suit all of your summer events. Although a few of the accessories I have selected to use may be a tad on the expensive side, there are obviously hundreds of cheaper alternatives available on the high-street or even discarded gems in your local vintage shop that you could use. The aim is to show you that one dress can be adapted to suit an array of occasions.
Picnic at the Beach
Take an oversized, floppy straw hat, ideally in dark brown to complement the navy coloured dress. Fig 2 This one is available in selected Gap stores, priced at around £20, and has the added bonus of protecting you from the sun, as well as injecting subtle glamour into your outfit. Fig 3 Add Accessorize’s Jackie Oversized plastic metal-detail sunglasses at £15 in black to help you feel like an A-Lister, and spoil those feet with a pair of Blowfish heavily strapped gladiator sandals in tan pu, available at Office.co.uk for £50 fig 4. Finish this sophisticated beach look with one of the many glittering beach bags available on the high-street at the moment, or alternatively splash out on Karen Millan’s large, sequin and jewel embellished beach bag, costing £185 fig 5.
For those of you venturing into the countryside for a relaxing weekend away then fear not, you don’t have to let your fashion standards slip. Wallis’ dress would work particularly well a with mid-length, beige, drape front cardigan, which costs £23 from Dorothy Perkins Fig 6, and of course no country look would be complete without the inclusion of a little tweed. Accessorize’s grey tweed ballerina pumps Fig 7 for £28 with embellished bow detail are a perfectly modern take on a classic vintage country look. Complement with Next’s black and white weave shopper bag £18, Fig 8, which is even big enough to hide your umberalla in -a definite essential for the unpredictable British summertime! Then finish the look with Accessorize’s Jasmine Kimono flower silk scarf priced at £12, Fig 9. Et voilà, a feminine yet comfortable outfit suitable for afternoon tea in the country.
Weekend in the City
Every city break demands a strong fashion forward outfit to rival those fierce high-flying city types, and more importantly to help you to look effortlessly stylish whilst sipping mojitos in the trendy bars. Adding Oasis’ Ellie linen jacket at £70 Fig 10 to the Wallis dress is the perfect way to add structure and an air of business-like sophistication to your outfit. Teamed with Office’s Big Softy white and gold platform heels, £85, Fig 11, will help you stand out amongst the busy crowds and also add a nautical edge to your city girl attire. This is further achieved by adding ASOS’ collection vintage style anchor necklace at £8 Fig 12. Then complete the city-look with Accessorize’s Jasmine Jacquard pleated frame clutch, £18, Fig 13. This beautiful almost tie-dyed purse is arm candy at its best, and just big enough to store your going-out essentials.
The festival look is probably one of the most sought after looks for the entire summer, and moreover festivals are often the places that industry insiders go to discover new trends. The best trendsetting festival goers mix comfort with a quirky edge. The asymmetric zip and drape effect of the Wallis dress already creates an on-trend fashion statement in itself, but by adding a trendy printed band straw trilby like Accessorize’s at £17 Fig 14 will emphasise your fashion-forward style. Then of course every festival look needs a trendy eco shopper bag, like Topshop’s geometric fold up shopper in khaki costing £12 Fig 15, and a pair of stylish wellies such as Hunter’s original lace welly in dark olive available for £60 from Office Fig 16. Furthermore, throwing on Topshop’s £18, grey, lace crochet trim scarf Fig 17 will help to portray your artistic flair. Trudging through all that mud has never been so stylish!!