Minnie is pushing that summer ankle boot look to the max with her ASH Squaw boots, white jeans and graphic coat combo. ASH is a favourite for the Hollywood elite and Minnie qualifies for that particular club.
At last, our legs are out and summer is here. First on the shopping list for me is any one of the French collections that have a way of making the hotter months look easy in the wardrobe department. Petit Bateau‘s cute mini dress is a great way to make this point. Crisp white details, check. Gold highlights, check. Chic navy colour, check. Wearable, easy shape… Check! The entire Petit Bateau collection is a love letter to holiday life – a tomato pea coat, a striped tee dress plus jersey scarves to cosy up in when the sea breezes get up. Yes, please!
It was Coco Chanel who created the wardrobe we still choose to wear each sumer. She created the first jersey dresses, a fabric that had previously been worn for mens sportswear. Chanel also took the Breton shirts – and stripes – worn by fishermen and turned them into high fashion statements. It’s hard to imaging how women survived before the fashion genius had her lightbulb moment but it’s impossible to imagine life without it.
American Vintage, despite its name, is another Paris-based label that creates a whole wardrobe of bright and breezy jersey pieces. One of the freshest things about American Vintage is its endless variety of interesting colours which work with the season but without slavishly following it. Its vivid cactus green has an aqua tint which means it works with marine blue, sunshine yellow and sunset red: the best colours of summer. A friend recently bought the scarf and she hasn’t taken it off since.
Chic and shapely, the Paris style we all crave is certainly seen at its best in the sunshine months. Having flirted with busy prints this year I’ve decided to make the most of the moment and return to the simple dictates according to La Chanel so it’s bonjour! to plain jersey, sneakers, tees and unadorned denim. If it worked for a fashion genius, who am I to tinker with the perfect recipe for summer dressing?
Yep, those are the deliciously skinny Bonn jeans in the ’42 Rosy’ finish from MiH looking as though they belong on SJP’s legs. the mid-blue denim is shaded delicately pink so these beauties work really well against nude summer skin. MiH is known for it’s superb cut and fashion credentials so there’s never-ending stream of celeb spottings for this London-based denim specialist.
I just discovered Melissa shoes. I know I’m late to this particular story but I was never convinced that these fabulously glamorous plastic shoes could perform as well as they look. I was wrong. Now I’ve lived with my Melissa pumps for a few weeks I am a convert for several reasons, beginning with the fact that they look like little jewels on my feet.
With 40 years of history, Melissa,is a true pioneer. The brand has come a long way since its first simple models inspired by fishermen’s shoes in the south of France to heavyweight design collaborations with names such as Jason Wu. The strategy seems to be working well, with products reaching roughly 60 countries and worldwide recognition growing continuously. Melissa shoes are made from a single material, Melflex, which is moulded via an injection process. This means that the factory has almost zero waste, glue is not required and the shoes are 100% recyclable.
I was somewhat sniffy (sorry) about just how fragrant a pair of plastic shoes can remain after a day in the city and I was amazed to realise that not only do Melissa shoes come with their own delicate perfume but that their fragrance does actually last. Plus, and this is no small benefit, they are entirely wipe clean, so no stains and no ruined leather or canvas once those pesky summer showers do their worst.
If, like me, Melissa shoes seemed to be too good to be true, I’m here to tell you they really are as brilliant as they look.
Getting your weekend look right generally means being yourself rather than looking as though you wished you were someone else. That’s Anne Hathaway being very much her own woman and rocking Paige Denim’s beautiful Kylie Crop jeans. If you’re after her boots too, we can also furnish you with those: ASH’s buckle trainers. It’s great that we’re on the same wavelength as such an awesome actress but we can’t pretend that, like her, we’ve got it all – sadly we can’t provide the handsome husband or the gorgeous dog.
Colour is at the heart of really great summer dressing. Tomato, citrus, sky blue and grass green – they’re all the hues of hot weather and an outdoors lifestyle. This year there’s an entire colour wheel to choose from regardless of whether you’re lazing on the beach or working up a sweat in the gym.
It’s the move towards colour in the gym and the yoga studio over the last couple of years that has really made a difference to the health club landscape. Brands including Wellicious and Casall have really put a zing and a pop into our exercise wardrobes. Casall, the Scandi activewear giant, has gone as far as to create a highlighter yellow for layering under black or simply as the zingiest colour out there. It’s a techie shade for women who love their urban workouts and want to push the hot neon trend.
Wellicious has also gone bright but has selected the tropical shades that suit their delicious jersey fabrics. Pops of hot pink and yellow sits beautifully beside their soft and flattering Dove Blue – a gentle, dusky shade that suits every skin tone. The great thing about this collection is its crossover ability to partner jeans and skirts so a Wellicious top with a built-in bra can be just as brilliant at the weekend as it is in the Pilates studio.
Striders Edge has given Lovestretch a whole new dimension when it comes to premium gym kit. The British brand has spent the last couple of years perfecting its technical activewear. Colour features throughout with hot turquoise blue and summer coral a fabulous start to building a brand new exercise look.
Whether you favour softer hues or want to make a statement with eye-popping brights, there has never been a better time to try out colourful dressing.
There’s never a time when I’m not wrapped up in a scarf. In the winter the fabrics are cosy, in the summer they’re fine and floaty. I’m not alone. In the last two years we’ve become a nation of scarf wearers again with weekend scarves becoming the hottest accessory as handbags have retreated from centre stage. Gwyneth Paltrow, Miley Cyrus and Gisele Bündchen are a few of the scarf’s celebrity fans rarely seen without theirs, and let’s not forget the Duchess of Cambridge who has perfected her own fully accessorized look over the past two years.
Luscious patterns and prints have become the best way to add a dash of colour and detail to a simple look. Picture the plainest tee and then wrap a coordinating scarf around its neckline – it’s as easy as that. Codello has a stupendous range of prints in a variety of fabrics. The European accessories powerhouse has developed a range of designs that manage to combine a multitude of colours without overwhelming the wearer. Pastels and neons are mixed masterfully to create some of the most exciting prints out there.
Interestingly, we’ve also become much better at sampling different fabrics. Asquith sells plain and simple bamboo and organic cotton wraps that are deliciously big and comforting for post-yoga and ideal as a travel companion. American Vintage, too, excels at creating plain jersey wraps that are soft and versatile for whole-year use. EMU Australia, more famous for its gorgeous sheepskin boots, has produced its own very lovely, super-fine merino wool scarves which can work as beach cover-ups or as delicious pieces for pairing with a summer dress or jeans.
From one scarf fan to anyone out there who ‘fesses to being one too, this really is the season to stock up on this versatile, go-anywhere accessory.
‘I like quirky kit. I also like kit that does the job and does it well, and because of this I have been known to spend perhaps a little more than I should on gym/training clobber.
But £225 on some leggings, I hear you say? I agree, they’d have to be some pretty special leggings. Cue the Lexington Leggings from Lucas Hugh.
These leggings are pretty special, but whether you’d be prepared to spend £225 on them unfortunately is hard for me to say. I’ve never had the option of spending that sort of figure on fitness kit, but assure you that if I did, these leggings would be top of the list. Here’s what Sportsister thought when we put them through their paces, even taking on a half-marathon along the way for good measure…
The first thing I noticed about these leggings is that they are, well, noticeable! And that’s why I like them. I trained for and took part in this year’s Reading Half Marathon in the Lexington Leggings and received lots of positive comments on how stylish they are. Proper fitness fashion! I was a little concerned when I agreed to test this product that it would be more focused on fashion, rather than function, but that’s certainly not been the case. Having seen me through sleet storms, wind, rain and a bit of sun too, these leggings have certainly been put though their paces and they fared very well…’