This post feels somewhat late because not only have I been shopping and wearing these pieces for a really long time now (some since February!) but the UK has enjoyed a fair bit of hot weather of late and I suspect most people will be in their summer clothes by now. Nevertheless, I wanted to share this season’s new pieces which form my “summer uniform” and talk about my journey from utterly dreading having to dress for summer to knowing I’m going to be really sad to pack these things away and get the boring old knitwear out come autumn.
As I mentioned in my Summer Capsule Planning post I’ve struggled with summer dressing in the past on account of feeling uncomfortable about baring my skin (legs in particular) and also feeling like summer clothes always felt that bit too casual so my challenge this season was to find clothes that felt a little more grown up and that would make me comfortable baring my body.
My first of several major epiphanies was discovering the shirt/t-shirt dress. I invested in three – the Levi western button-up shirt dress, a Fred Perry zip collar t-shirt dress and the Fred Perry striped t-shirt dress. The great thing about this trio of dresses are that they span the range from casual to more put together, depending on how they’re styled. Also crucially, I feel comfortable in them because the lengths are not too short and they hang and skim nicely over my mid section, handily disguising my nemesis – the Mum Tum.
As I was on a dress roll I also picked up this pinafore dress from one of my favourite brands People Tree. It’s a pricey piece but superb quality made from organic cotton so also very breathable. It’s really versatile because of course it can be worn with different tops underneath creating loads of different outfit options. T-shirt and trainers is the classic casual combo whereas a blouse and smarter shoes would be a great office outfit.
What I love about these dresses is that they all channel a bit of a mod vibe, especially with the bottoned up collars.Very classic and timeless and therefore I know I am going to weant to wear them for many years. I’ve finally found everyday summer pieces that suit my personal style after being blinded by a sea of ditzy floral maxi dresses for years.
I bought all of these dresses in a size 12 as my next major epiphany was accepting the fact that size 12 really does fit better than a 10 does these days and that rather than constantly putting myself under pressure to lose inches to fit into my old size that I might was well just size up and take the pressure off. Finally giving myself permission to wear clothes in the correct size that didn’t dig in in all the wrong places was such a weight off my shoulders. Yes, I may lose weight in the future and need to re-purchase smaller clothes but equally I might not and I’m ok with that. Life’s too short not to eat the cheese or drink the gin.
My next epiphany was around shorts. Me and shorts have never really seen eye to eye. I feel like shorts are the classic summer go-to but I’ve always felt awkward and uncomfortable in them. Even when I was a size 8 they always seemed to get sucked up my bum. Confining shorts to sunbathing in the garden and embracing more much more flattering skirts has been a bit of a breakthrough.
Of course my first port of call was denim and I’ve acquired two from ASOS – one is a darker wash in a pencil skirt style and one is lighter wash in a deconstructed more A-line style with raw hem. Again covering both casual and dressy depending on the stying. They’ve become my absolute daily staples and I think next Summer I may want to upgrade these to higher quality brands such as Levi now I’ve tested the water.
I had really wanted a midi skirt as I think they look super cute with trainers but having shopped around and tried on and retured about 10, I’ve accepted that they don’t flatter my current fugure, making me look quite “matronly”, especially around the hips.
For tops, I knew I wanted some cute camis. Part of my body that I’m really comfortable baring is my shoulders and decollatage and I feel like cami tops are really versatile peices as they can cover the full spectrum from casual to dressy. With shorts to sunbathe. With trousers and cute shoes as an evening look. With skirt and a jacket to the office. With that in mind I invested in three from & Other Stories (which is fact becoming my absolute go-to for more premium basics). I went for plain black, an orangey red with v back and a cute pink satin with black lace trim which I think is really 90s. These are all really flattering on small boobed gals like me.
I’ve also purchased a few things recently that fall more in the holiday / occasionwear category. I’m going to cover that seperately but I wanted to include one particular favourite piece in this post.
The Coral Reef skirt from & Other Stories is a really fun piece that I primarily bought for my trip to Love International Festival in Croatia (only a couple of weeks away now!) but is going to be a great for holidays and fun events in general. This skirt fits me so well, I can’t even express how happy it makes me that I have this skirt and how great I feel in it. It’s high waisted and quite a structured cotton so it skims over my tummy and gives me a nice smooth shape. I’ve naughtily ordered the matching top to try on which may be slightly OTT to wear as a co-ord but I think it could work with some high waisted jeans as a festival outfit or just if I’m feeling like I need a bit of colour and pattern in my life.
So there we have it. Shirt dresses, camis and denim skirts are forming the basis of my summer wardrobe and not a floral in sight.
Next up I’ll be showcasing a couple of new items that have gone into my holiday wardrobe as well as some swimwear and my summer shoe selection.