I love this time of year when the shops are awash with the new season colours and styles.
Over the past month or so, I have been talking a lot about Summer Style – on BBC radio Solent, at Winchester Fashion Week and my own Seasonal Update events – so I thought it would be useful to summarise some of the key trends for you on my blog.
There are two broad colour choices for this season – pastels and brights.
Pastels include baby blue, violet, lemon, mint and pink and are lovely on people with light hair, skin and eyes. This season the way to wear them is to mix them up for an ice cream sundae look.
If this is a bit much for you, you could always wear your pastels with a soft neutral such as taupe or pewter or even khaki . I wouldn’t recommend combining them with black as this is too harsh and tends to “kill” light colours but pastels can work very well with white for Summer.
There are lots of crayola bright colours out there from bold reds to cobalt blues, bright yellows and vivid greens. These colours tend to work particularly well on people with a lot of contrast in their colouring, say bright eyes and dark hair. Like pastels, brights are being worn together this season in bold (some might say clashing ) colour combinations. Again, if combining very bold colours is a bit overpowering for you, why not wear a single bold item? At my Seasonal Updates, I put this jumpsuit from Phase Eight on a few women and it looked fantastic. Alternatively, you could always wear your brights with a neutral to stop them looking too “play school”. Black, navy or white will work well.
It’s Summer, so of course there are loads of floral prints around and they work really well on more curvy body shapes. There are also spots/dots and stripes to choose from. This season, as well as the classic two tone stripe, there are lots of colourful rainbow stripes. Clashing patterns are another big trend so feel free to get creative and mix your stripes with your spots and your florals!
Midi is the length to be seen in this Summer. The shops abound with ladylike tea dresses, many of which have sleeves so are a really good option for those who prefer not to expose their upper arms. Pencil skirts are also very much in fashion and worn longer than in previous seasons. On the catwalk they were shown falling at mid-calf – great if you’re a 6’ model with skinny legs but not so easy for the rest of us to pull off. If you’re petite and/or don’t have thin calves, I would recommend wearing your pencil skirt on or just below the knee.
A jumpsuit or trouser suit is a great alternative for women who don’t fancy wafting around in a floral dress. There are all sorts of styles around but most tend to have a wide-leg which is often cropped. These suit tall women and those with long legs but, again, if you’re petite and especially if you have proportionally short legs, I’d opt for full length and a narrower width to avoid looking squat. On the subject of trousers, the paper bag (scrunched up, often with a tie belt) waist is very much in evidence. If you are long in the waist and also blessed with a small waist, you might want to give this style a go, but if you’re not, I’d steer clear.
The trench coat is the coat of the Summer and, given our climate, very practical too! If you want to splurge out serious money on one that won’t date, I’d invest in one in a neutral colour, but if you just want to add a splash of colour to your wardrobe for this Summer, why not go for one in a bright or pastel colour from M&S, Zara, Hobbs or Karen Millen. Damsel in a Dress is even doing a leopard print version!
The ‘It’ bag for Summer is the cross-body bag. This is a simple, inexpensive way of adding a pop of
colour and updating your outfits. The other key accessory is big earrings. And I am talking seriously BIG. The sort of earrings that make Pat Butcher’s look positively understated! Think you’ wouldn’t wear them in a million years? Beware, I started out thinking they were totally tacky and ridiculous but now I’m starting to think that a pair of the less outrageous ones might be quite fun! These are definitely not for women with short necks though, unless you want them brushing your shoulders (yes, they really are that long) and I’d definitely ditch any form of necklace and just let the earrings do the talking.
Shop Your Wardrobe
There really is something for everyone this Summer from sleek tailoring to feminine florals and frills. Before you go shopping for new clothes though, I’d recommend you “shop your wardrobe” – in other words take a look at what’s in your wardrobe and see if you can build fresh new outfits from pieces you already have, and where the gaps are that you can fill with a few key pieces.
If you’re a bit confused by all the options and not sure what suits you best, why not book in for a colour or style consultation with me. Or you could always join a small group of like-minded women on one of my workshops.