I can't quite believe it's been a year since April 2020, and to be honest, I'm not entirely sure what I've done with the last 12 months of my life—mostly watching Netflix and exacting the perfect ratio of milk to oats in my morning porridge. But anyway, here we are, teetering on the edge of summer 2021, and so begins another season of searching for the perfect slouchy-yet-smart linen trousers and working out which sandal tribe we'll be joining for the coming months.
I'm going to try and be as disciplined as I can this season and focus on what's already in my wardrobe and rework old favourites, but it's always helpful to scroll through the new-in sections to get inspiration about what colours or silhouettes to experiment with. Luckily, if there is something missing from my summer capsule, there's plenty to choose from on the high street right now which is sure to stand the test of time.
For warm-weather wardrobe heroes that never get old, I would recommend exploring linen (Marks and Spencer and COS have the best selections right now) in loose-fitting silhouettes that will keep you cool. Smock dresses are also the gift that keeps on giving, as they tend to be flexible size-wise but also so easy to style—Arket has some very cool pieces in unusual colourways and fits this summer. So whether you just want some new-season inspo or are looking for something to fill a gap in your wardrobe, scroll down to see and shop my high-street edit.
I've never loved purple in clothing, but Arket's summer collection just may sway me. Just look at this tiered cotton dress.
Arket Tiered Cotton Dress (£89)
Arket Linen Tunic (£79)
Arket Dressed Cotton-Hemp Shorts (£55)
Weekday upholds its reputation for delivering versatile, cool basics this season, but I am also enjoying the odd pop of retro print, as seen in the below minidress.
Weekday Trixie Fitted Shirt Dress (£40)
Weekday Cruise Squared Sunglasses (£18)
Weekday Alanis Tee Dress (£20)
If you're looking for summer linen, then head over to COS. From oversize shirt dresses to shorts sets, there's more than enough to choose from.
COS Linen Shirt Dress (£79)
COS Slim Fit Tshirt (£25)
COS Relaxed Fit Shorts (£45)
& Other Stories
For many, & Other Stories is a go-to for floral frocks, but I'm seriously rating the brand's '90s-inspired basics this season, such as the belted midi skirt and white cargo trousers.
& Other Stories Belted Straight Midi Skirt (£65)
& Other Stories Wide Utility Pocket Linen Trousers (£85)
& Other Stories Belted Midi Wrap Skirt (£75)
Mango has really invested in wearable summer tailoring this season, and I'm 100% here for it. Highlights include a beige minidress and a whimsical printed, short-sleeved shirt.
Mango Cotton Shirt Dress (£50)
Mango Printed Cotton Shirt (£36)
Mango 100% Linen Jumpsuit (£50)
I keep seeing so many fab printed pieces on Monki right now. Whether it's abstract florals or geometric checkerboard, they're the epitome of feel-good styling.
Monki Single-Breasted Blazer (£50)
Monki Frill Neck Cotton Mini Dress (£30)
Monki Classic Denim Jacket (£40)
Marks and Spencer
Marks and Spencer is another must-see for timeless linen separates and ageless staples. I have my eye on the button-detail cami top and the high-waisted white jeans.
Autograph Irish Linen Button Detail Cami Top (£35)
M&S Collection High Waisted Wide Leg Cropped Jeans (£30)
M&S Collection Linen Stripe Midi Shift Dress (£35)
From floaty dresses to utilitarian tank tops, H&M covers all the bases this summer. I particularly love the brand's recent collaboration with supermodel Liya Kebede.
H&M Long Lyocell-Blend Dress (£35)
H&M Slip Dress (£13)
H&M Silk-Blend Vest Top (£18)
French Connection has brought back its classic Cele Rhodes Short Sleeve Shirt for summer, and I can vouch for the fact that it's a real wardrobe workhorse. I'll be wearing it with the brand's two-tone Palmira recycled jeans.
French Connection Cele Rhodes Short Sleeve Shirt (£45)
French Connection Palmira Recycled Two Tone Jeans (£90)
French Connection Rasha Ribbed Jersey Dress (£45)
I'm obsessed with Whistles' limited-edition silk sets, which are perfect for those of us who are reluctant dress wearers. Just add chunky sandals and gold jewellery. So chic.
Whistles Silk Tie Dye Trouser (£179)
Whistles Patchwork Denim Dress (£139)
Whistles Silk Tie Dye Shirt (£159)
This article originally appeared on Who What Wear
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