The Chic Girl Summer Wardrobe

The Chic Girl Summer Wardrobe

Recently I’ve felt very inspired by fashion. Maybe it’s the fact that I’ve been binge watching Sex and the City, noting the relationship between women, cities, love and clothing. I’ve also been listening to Dolly Alderton and Caroline O’Donoghue dissect each season for the great American novel each is, on their podcast mini-series Sentimental in the City. Maybe it’s because seeing my friends and family all get their vaccine selfies over the course of this winter and spring has made the end of the pandemic, and the chance to truly dress with purpose, feel that much closer. Most days I properly choose an outfit, because it makes me excited for the future where instead of the jaunt from my working from home set up to my kitchen and back, I will wear them out in the wild. That blazer for a trip to the art museum, that dress for a winery day trip, that fun top for a girl’s night out, even my leggings and sports bras feel more fun with hikes in the mountains of Wyoming on the horizon. With that in mind, I thought I’d curate a capsule to see you through all the moments of this spring and summer- from your first get together, to your first proper vacation to the many, many celebrations and special events that have been waiting in the wings for the past year. Where possible I’ve sourced items from brands that are commiting to sustainability, but recognizing that not everyone can afford the resulting price tag for ethical clothes, I also included some high street options. Each of these are pieces that I could see myself wearing year after year and summer after summer. For me sustainability is not only about where I shop, how much I shop but also ensuring that I wear and restyle my wardrobe.

Shoes

Carrie Bradshaw has her favorite brand and I have mine. Serendipitously designed by women and based in New York, Sarah Flint is my go-to for shoes with style and staying power. Their hero shoes have built in arch support, wide toe boxes and premium materials. These are shoes that I can wear for hours without taking off- no more being the barefoot gal at the wedding/barbecue because your feet are in so much pain that you can’t move. Not to mention they are made in the same Italian leather ateliers as iconic shoes designers but sell at a third of the price. They are still an investment level for me, being in my early twenties, but they are the most beautifully crafted shoes and I know they will last a lifetime. Between the Grear Sandal for day and the Perfect Block Sandal for evening, I have my spring and summer footwear sorted.

For anyone who needs a pair of really good shoes in the next 6 months, Sarah Flint have a beautiful spring collection alongside their classic styles. I love the new navy croco Perfect Block Sandal (I’m wearing the nude version here) and the white lace Natalie Flat. Either would be especially good for weddings, graduations, birthdays, or just because you want to celebrate leaving your house again. And you know it’s a smart investment because their timeless designs and innovative craftsmanship will last for a long time. If you’re feeling footloose and fancy free, use this link for $50 off your first pair of shoes from Sarah Flint NYC.

Crop Tops

Deep thoughts as of late have included how, as women, too often we only appreciate ourselves in hindsight. Coming through lockdown and quarantine’s ups and downs has been hard for both physical health and mental health. And I think back to times in college, or even before the pandemic where I beat myself up for things outside of my control, my appearance or my body. And yet reflecting back later I’m almost always struck by how happy and lovely I looked. I’ve decided I’m really working to be comfortable in my body and honoring it as it is in this very moment, for both strength and softness. Part of that is wearing clothing that makes me feel happy- including mini dresses/skirts and crop tops. I’m especially excited for the designs that blogger Signed, Blake is dreaming up with Amazon the Drop. Check out her highlight and sign up for text notifications so you don’t miss out on the limited stock drop. Her crop top designs are especially beautiful, with a sophisticated structure and color palette. If you’re looking for body confidence inspiration, I recommend checking out Emma Horeau’s Instagram page.

Vintage Accessories

A few weekends ago I went through my recently late grandmother’s jewelry. She had collected a veritable treasure trove over her lifetime. Her cameo earrings, gold chains, and silk scarves are all tangible reminders of her love of fashion and style, one that she shared with me growing up. They not only make me feel connected to her, but their vintage designs also evoke the cinematic summers of the past. Italy in the 1960s. France in the 1970s. London in the 1990s. So rather than buying new jewelry or bags for the summer I’m sticking with my vintage collection, both inherited and purchased. If you’re looking for that perfect retro straw bag, or necklace with a story, I recommend keeping your eye peeled for Audrey Leighton’s next vintage capsule drop. Since the 1990s and 1980s are back in you also might take a jaunt around your local thrift shop to see what you find.

Matching Suit Set

As we start to head back into the office, the power outfit is back on rotation. And why go back to boring grays and navys, when you can get workwear in a statement color. Personally, I love a pink moment and the Rebecca Taylor pink suit set I’m wearing here is just *chef’s kiss* perfection. I’ve also seen some excellent options in fun colors like lilac, mint green, and baby blue. If you’re a little color shy a white suit set creates great impact too. Continuing with our theme, it’s very Samantha Jones and her rainbow of workwear pieces, going from meetings to cocktail hours all over Manhattan. But think beyond pants: skirt suits, culotte sets, midi skirts, miniskirts, short suits- the world is your matching set oyster. If you don’t have the most creative job or flexible office dress code, check out Rent The Runway to experiment with new styles without worrying about incorporating a trend piece into your wardrobe long term. Use RTRFAM5588702 for 40% off the first two months of a 8 item or 16 item membership.

Damn Good Denim

A pair of jeans that fits perfectly will make you feel like wonder woman. Unfortunately finding said great denim can be a bit of a needle in a haystack. Too stiff, too short, too long. And even if you do find jeans that fit in one area, they won’t necessarily fit in the other creating the classic butt/thigh vs. waist conundrum. Don’t even get me started on the nonsensicality of women’s clothing sizes. Any brand worth their salt will use denim sizing based on your waist measurement in inches, but if there is a high elastic percentage (more than 3%) in the denim makeup I would advise sizing down as they will definitely stretch over time. Another way to make your denim last longer is to wash them as little as possible, but when you do make sure they are inside out, in cold water and air dried.

The bright side is these days we have more options than ever to find that magical pair of jeans. Everyone has their favorite cut of jeans, but in my opinion straight leg or flares are the way to go this summer. My favorite brands include Paige, Levi’s, Madewell, Mother and Everlane. Basically, trying to live out my other summer cinematic inspiration- Donna Sheridan from Mamma Mia. I foresee flares and floaty tops in my near future (finger’s crossed for a seaside location, but Greek adventures may have to wait a while yet). Denim in all its forms always reminds me of summer.

Romantic Dresses

Eternally trying to pretend that I am Brigitte Bardot roaming around St Tropez in barely-there sundresses in Et Dieu Créa La Femme. The cottage core philosophy and aesthetic includes all the things I like about the countryside (pretty nature, views, flowers, picnics, sundresses) and none of the things I dislike (bugs namely, but also hayfever and heat rash). There are a few different options depending on the weather and how much clavicle you want to expose, below I’m listed my favorites.

Long Sleeve- all the better to hide a spare bottle of wine in! Check out this peachy one from Anthropologie, the iconic Nap Dress from Hillhouse, or the Havane eyelet dress from Sezane.

Short sleeve and/or sleeveless- because sun’s out shoulder’s out, right! There is something very feminine about a square or sweetheart neckline. All of these dresses are just *chef’s kiss* perfection. The Staud Classic Elio off the shoulder dress. The ditsy mini dress. The versatile slip dress. The puff sleeve midi dress. Just remember to wear SPF 30 on your face, neck and decollétage as you soak up the sun.

Let the countdown to June begin!

Xx

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