Our Fashion Ed’s Spring/Summer Little Black Book
Swimsuits: SOLID & STRIPED
I discovered Solid & Striped back in their fluro days, and have been a devotee ever since. Over the past few years I’ve collected everything from their impossibly flattering belt designs to their dramatic low back styles, tie die offerings to that dramatic black cupped piece from last year; their cuts look so good, and they’re a decent price point for a designer label.
Bikinis: J CREW
Skimpy bikinis aren’t really on my radar anymore, so I was thrilled to discover J Crew’s vintage cuts last year. Their high-waisted pants are so flattering, and their prints and patterns are always a bit different – I love their gingham styles and ditsy prints.
My fake tan addiction is reason enough for me to avoid spending money on white t-shirts. But why would I when Arket does the perfect style? Boxy, with the ideal length sleeve and round neck, I buy them in every colour and rotate between small, medium and large depending on my outfit.
Hats: LACK OF COLOR
We all know Aussie brands do summer fashion better, and Lack of Color is proof it’s worth going down under. Whether it’s a boater or floppy style you’re after, theirs are the coolest beach hats out there, and they’re finally available on NET-A-PORTER.com this season.
Beach Bags: BOHEMIA DESIGNS
A £29 round beach bag from Bohemia replaced every other accessory last summer, and I’ve never had so many compliments on an item. It fits everything, so is perfect for travel, the beach and the gym – plus they do a vast range of styles, so there’s something for everyone.
Accessories: BY ALONA
I switch up my jewellery routine come summer – the mismatched, dainty gold and silver bits remain, but I like to inject a bit more fun into my repertoire. By Alona is my go-to for something a bit different. This season they’re reinventing the shell look, replacing last year’s ubiquitous conch style with more creative updates. I also swear by Etsy – once a summer accessories trend takes hold, you can usually find it for half the price on there.
Beach Cover-Ups: MARKETS
I don’t buy much vintage, but there’s nothing I love more than a dress from a far-flung market on holiday. I’ve been known to buy thin cottons off beach sellers, embroidered maxis from street vendors in South America and also frequently ask people to bring me linens back from India and the Far East – I try to stick to whites so they go with every swimming costume. I also buy big scarves from Zara and wrap them into sarongs. I may have even worn them with tees to the office once or twice…
Summer Dresses: SLEEPER, PALMIER
There’s a reason Sleeper has become Instagram’s biggest obsession: their dresses really are that good. Last summer I invested in both the navy and the white puff sleeve maxis, and they’re simply perfect. Over swimwear, with wedges to work, unbuttoned with denim for a night out… they work seriously hard for you. I also have to give a shout out to Palmier, a linen label founded last year whose neutral separates tap right into this summer’s aesthetic.
Sandals: ISABEL MARANT
Dainty sandals aren’t for me – I like something a little chunkier. I have several pairs from Isabel Marant; her designs are the perfect hybrid between a classic gladiator and something a bit cooler. They take some breaking in, but they always look good.
Underwear: CALVIN KLEIN, KAT THE LABEL
I never wear proper bras – they make me feel frumpy. I prefer little crop tops or barely-there triangle styles, so my collection is part Calvin Klein Klein (for the weekend) and part cool Aussie brand.
I’ve ditched all my designer sunnies in favour of less expensive brands in recent years – thanks to labels like Le Specs, there’s just no need to spend a fortune anymore. Izipizi have been my greatest find – for £35 a pair, their designs properly guard you from the sun whilst still looking good. I have three pairs and counting.
Occasionwear: RAT & BOA
When it comes to big events, I love a silky, slip-like dress, and Rat & Boa is a go-to for the look. Their slightly sexy, seriously cool dresses are perfect for destination weddings and holiday evenings alike; just snap them up when you see them, because they sell-out quickly. My latest, more under-the-radar find is the talented Moss Omey, a freelance pattern cutter (she’s frequently worked for Shrimps). She makes completely bespoke slip dresses from home – in fact, she’s currently creating one for my wedding, and I’ll be going back for occasions later in the year.
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