While the British weather hasn't quite got the memo, you know summer has well and truly arrived when Love Island is back on our TV screens. So, as we welcome new islanders, wish for a healthy dose of sunshine and continue to add to our already jam-packed schedules of bottomless brunches and summer outings. I've brought you seven editor-approved summer looks that will have heads turning. Forget the 'chaldish' (in the words of the former islander, Michael Griffiths) sack-like dresses and black cover-ups. This year we are bringing the heat - even if the UK struggles to.
Summer styling can be challenging for many of us, whether it's trying to find an outfit that keeps us cool during those humid days or overcoming body hang-ups and insecurities that limit styling options. However, there are many recipes to create the best summer outfits, and thankfully they are all bold and fabulous.
1. Vibrant printed set
SHOP: Ruby Cream Hexagon Sunglasses, £25, The Hippie Shake; Colourful Shells Freya Blouse, £69, Never Fully Dressed; Colourful Shells Freya Trousers, £69, Never Fully Dressed; Orange Mini Tote Bag, £34, River Island
Fancy stepping into a new reality? Why not embody the essence of a '70s Hollywood star with this co-ord ensemble. The one thing I love about fashion and beauty is the ability to transform into whatever and whoever I want to be. Whether that's a glam '70s socialite checking into The Beverly Hills Hotel or a rich businesswoman on vacation in Ibiza. Adding an element of fantasy into your wardrobe guarantees added fun. And when your outfit is a set like this, the opportunities are ample, from being able to dress it down, dress it up, wear it separately or wear it together. There are so many fashion moments to be had.
2. Denim shorts and a nice top
SHOP: Oversized Boyfriend Gingham Shirt, £24, Native Youth; Shirred Square Neck Gingham Top, £20, Native Youth; Mid Rise Fray Denim Shorts, £22, River Island; ZERØGRAND Pumpkin-Banana Radiant Trainers, £95, Cole Haan; Beaded Anklet, £12, ASOS
If you're much more into living in this reality, the classic jeans, crop top and oversized shirt combo work a treat no matter the weather. But this summer, I'm encouraging you to ditch the jeans and opt for denim shorts. It might be daunting, but who wants to deal with sweaty legs on a humid day?! Not me, and certainly not you. So even if you only do it for comfort, do it! The shorts don't have to be super short if that makes you uncomfortable. Instead, you can opt for a pair of culottes. You do you!
Tip: if you aren't comfortable showing too much skin, opt for a longline kimono or oversized shirt that will give you a little more coverage but still keep you feeling breezy and cool.
3. Beachy maxi dress and straw hat
When the world came to a standstill and staying at home became a requirement, the internet suddenly embraced the Little House on the Prairie aesthetic, known as 'cottagecore'. Fashion It-girls went from posting pictures from skyline roof terraces to cute pictures of picnic dates that included delectable charcuterie boards, bottles of fizz and flower bouquets—a simple, more minimalist style that still had a hint of luxe. And despite being a year on, the trend continues to reign supreme on many of our timelines. So, why not channel your inner countryside Queen this summer?
4. Printed mini dress
SHOP: Bee Mykonos Dress, £69, Never Fully Dressed
Forget every fashion rule you've heard over the years because this summer we are living unapologetically and wearing whatever the hell we want. So, allow me to re-introduce you to the mini dress. Whether you've got a first date with your crush planned or a night out with the girls, it's time to get those legs out. Worn dressed up with a pair of heels or dressed down in dad sandals or fashion trainers; the options are endless.
5. Maxi dress with wedges
SHOP: Green wedges, £315, Terry de Havilland
Maxi dresses are undeniably one of the most ubiquitous summer wardrobe pieces, but like everything else this season, we are going bold with our flowy choices. No dark palettes or muted and boring floral prints, we are gravitating towards bold colours like green, pinks and yellows, gingham and floral dresses. To turn up the fabulosity, go monochromatic by styling your dress with accessories in the same colour palette or adding a fun hat. However you decide to style this piece, you're guaranteed to feel as cool as you look. Slip on a pair of wedge sandals and you're good to go.
6. Head to toe monochome
When it comes to fun prints, spring/summer collections generally star some of the liveliest designs, and brands like Never Fully Dressed and Kai Collective take home the trophy every time. Whether it's a dress, jumpsuit, co-ord or trousers, a good print can transform and level up a look. Like the first outfit I showed you, printed co-ords are a great addition to your wardrobe, whether worn separately or together. This fit would be great for a night out or even worn to a pool party with the top open and a swimsuit underneath.
7. Romantic long sleeve mini dress
SHOP: Lace Insert Mini Dress in Garden Floral, £45, ASOS
Whether you're attending a summer wedding or planned a gorgeous date night, there's no better feeling than putting on a dress that embodies romance, elegance and makes you feel beautiful. And after the year we've had, that dress deserves to be worn wherever the hell you want. Supermarkets, post offices and daily walks included.
Ultimately, I encourage you all to have fun with your wardrobe this Summer. Wear the clothes you've dreamt of wearing and have fun doing so. Life is far too short to sweat the small things like 'do my arms look too big in this?' or 'is my cellulite showing?' We've lived through a pandemic, and we should take every opportunity to allow joy into our lives - and sometimes that joy might look like a lace insert mini dress.
Photographer: Alise Jane.
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