Not sure what to buy now the shops are open? We’ve made getting dressed easy with a checklist of the best bits you can get now, and wear all season.
The shops are open, beauty salons are making us feel human again and life is starting to feel semi ‘normal’ once again. I, for one, was quick to make a pedi appointment, and even quicker to get back to the real life shops. After months of online orders (and multiple returns), seeing new season pieces in the flesh felt even more exciting than usual.
This summer isn’t just a normal summer, it’s one where freedom is in the air and getting dressed up after months (okay, a year) in joggers feels like a complete luxury. But switching from comfort dressing to dressing for a restaurant reservation or a bar can be tricky to navigate. This is why my shopping trips to Westfield (Stratford) and Oxford Circus felt even better. I was able to check out the latest pieces in store and see the prints, cuts and styles up close and personal. Deciphering between spring/summer’s key trends and pieces I know will become part of a timeless capsule wardrobe, I’ve created a cheat sheet of all the hottest pieces you’ll probably want to weave into your existing wardrobe; from the short suit to frothy dress and statement collars, keep scrolling to see the fashion editor-approved pieces that make up your summer checklist.
The summer checklist
Aligne short suit
Let’s talk about the short suit. If you haven’t got one already, they’ll be a great addition to your wardrobe because 1) they can be worn with any T-shirt, vest or shirt and 2) they look effortlessly chic. For a casual feel to the tailored two-piece, look to an oversized silhouette like this version from sustainable brand Aligne and team with chunky flatforms.
I spotted this jumpsuit on Kitri’s Instagram and one word: wow. Unfortunately it has already sold out, but I bring you good news as it’s now available to pre-order. Get on the wait list now and wear this perfect one-piece outfit with nothing but chunky sandals and minimal jewels.
Investing in great quality basics is never a bad idea. I swear by using a vest top as a base to any summer outfit and Sundarbay has this classic style in a variety of timeless hues. Whether you layer it under a shirt with shorts or team with a slip skirt, the cost-per-wear will be mere pennies.
All Saints dress
Puff sleeve dresses have proven they have staying power, so if you invest in a classic colour you’re bound to get even more wear out of it. This All Saints beauty is made from a cotton-linen blend so it won’t crease as much as the usual summer linen frocks. Want it completely crease-free? I swear by the Steamery hand steamer for all my light, summery pieces.
I’ve been dreaming about the Loewe x Paula’s Ibiza collab for a good few weeks now, and you can see why, right? The iconic basket bag screams summer and will never fail to work seamlessly with any spring/summer outfit. Worth the investment? I think so.
In 2021, you need a great dress. After months of staying in, it needs to be mega. You know, the kind of style that makes everyone instantly ask: “where is your dress from?”. And Tove have nailed it. Made from 100% recycled materials, this punchy pink midi dress is also available in white, black, brown and silver.
Everyone needs a party shirt in their lives right now and this Mango style is a strong favourite. Ticking off the monochrome trend, you can wear it on its own with jeans or leave undone with a vest top underneath. Come peak summer, no doubt this will be a winner with a string bikini top.
New Look dress
When the sun is shining and you have plans to get to, a midi dress is always there for you. As a big fan of the universally flattering length, a floaty floral style is my go-to for an easy breezy look that never fails. Just as well then, New Look’s dress department is ticking all the boxes this season.
Musier Paris at Endless Wardrobe
I’m all for trying before I buy and fashion rental site Endless Wardrobe is an easy way to do this. French brand Musier Paris is new to the site and this black top is destined to be the dream duo with any pair of jeans.
Baum Und Pferdgarten shorts
Summer isn’t complete without a great pair of denim shorts and these are a pair with a difference. Fresh from Baum Und Pferdgarten’s ‘und earth’ collection, these are made from 100% recycled cotton and a percentage of all sales goes to planet-conscious organisation Green Transition Denmark.
The chunky 90s style flatform flip flop is a winner once again this season. The bigger the better with this one and this Alohas style in cream with black sole illustrates the trend perfectly. You can also get them in brown, FYI.
Seersucker is the light, fresh fabric for summer and Ganni has created a top worth investing in. Also ticking off super-size collars and check prints, I’m imagining this under a knit vest with shorts and sandals.
& Other Stories dress
When the temperatures rise for summer, a mini dress is one of those pieces you can always rely on. Give your wardrobe a dopamine lift with this sunny citrus knotted style (also a mini trend this season). I would wear this with ugly dad sandals by day and switch to a white mule for summer soirées.
The knit vest has been a hero item for autumn/winter and it doesn’t stop there. Make it work for your summer wardrobe by wearing on its own over frothy dresses and slip skirts. This one is also Alexa Chung-approved.
Estella Bartlett earrings
A hoop earring is the cherry on the top of every great outfit. Effortlessly working with every look possible, this chunky little style from Estella Bartlett will be on heavy rotation from hear on out.
Gingham is having a moment right now and I am here for it. The summery print is updating dresses, tops, jumpsuits and skirts everywhere and this zesty frock make from organic cotton should be first on your wish list. Let it do all the talking by teaming with delicate gold jewellery and simple sandals.
I’m all for investing in forever jewels – you know, the ones you can wear with every outfit, that’ll never date and will become a staple in your jewellery box for years to come. Sustainable jewellery brand Otiumberg has pieces you’ll want to cherish for a lifetime; I’ll leave this link necklace here as proof.
Dear Frances mules
Bored of months in slippers? Me too. This is why I’m ready to fully embrace the odd day, or night, in heels. And this stunning zesty green style by Dear Frances will be my plus one to any gathering where I can get dressed up in the future.
Rejina Pyo dress
A yellow dress, top, bag or shoes – basically anything in yellow gets a yes this season. Pantone’s Colour of the Year, it’s the sartorial drop of vitamin D we all need right now. Clash this puff sleeved wonder style with anything from clashing brights to soft tan and cream shades.
JW Anderson x Uniqlo jeans
As the weather gets warmer your jeans get lighter in colour. This creamy pair fresh from the new JW Anderson x Uniqlo collaboration is made to be worn with summer crochet tops and white trainers. A lover of attention to detail, it’s all about that contrasting stitch pocket that seals the deal for me. Not fussed about off-white jeans? They also come in a light blue, too.
Oh Seven Days shirt set
Oh Seven Days is the Turkish sustainable fashion brand to bookmark. A top and shorts set is ideal for warmer days and this bright short sleeve shirt will be your summer favourite. It’s made from upcycled materials so you can shop guilt-free.
Sezane jumperYou don’t have to ditch knitwear for summer; instead opt for a short sleeve style in a lighter knit. This Sezane button-down jumper in cream will be so good with linen shorts and heeled sandals. I would opt for this neutral cream shade but it’s also available in mustard, navy and grey.
Other images: courtesy of brands