The pursuit of staying fashionable, “on trend”, “of the minute”, “in season”, and any other word out there that is meant to convey the notion that you are ultimately STYLISH is a death trap that we all fall into. We are all guilty of buying into the latest trends that are on sale in our favourite boutiques and department stores, but is this really what you want? I mean, how often do you stare into the wardrobe abyss and think, “ I have nothing to wear”? Since moving to Hong Kong I have become very careful about what I buy owing to limited wardrobe space. This combined with the fact that I have finally matured and want to have a classic, quality and “evergreen” smaller collection of clothes rather than the latest pieces, that eventually become” avant garde” items of clothing sitting in the back of my wardrobe.
So on this very topic, I started to make a list of my top summer essentials that imbue my philosophy on fashion and styling. Summer is the perfect time for us to experiment as everyone is looking tanned, healthy and sexy, which also means that you are more confident and more adventurous which can be a good and a bad thing. Here is my list of classic summer items that will rein in the Alexander McQueen in all of us in, but still allow us to look fab !
The Romantic Top
Usually I like to buy light white cottons that are soft and breezy. The top should be feminine and have small details such as a bit of lace or crochet and be loose. These tops look very sexy with a pair of cut off denims for the beach or tucked into a pair of cuffed boyfriend chino’s for a casual dinner.
T Bags Blouse, GBP150 from Net-a-Porter.com
The Panama Hat
HK’s summer heat and glare can be pretty intense. Protect those eyes and shiny locks with a hat. If the wider brimmed panama is not your style, go for a straw boater or cowboy. Hint: wide brims and soft lines look best on square faces and the smaller structured hats look best on oval shaped faces.
Babajaan Straw Panama Hat, GBP182.98 from Net-a-Porter.com
A Printed or Floral Frock
No matter what, every year I buy myself a few new printed frocks in various lengths. A floral dress is super easy to dress up and down and is always fresh looking. People also always notice a gorgeous pattern. The best way to get the best out of your prints is by accessorizing. Gold chunky jewellery for soft tones and silver for cooler tones. Be careful to keep it looking slick and simple otherwise it can overpower your outfit.
Juicy Couture Dress, GBP180 from Net-a-Porter.com
Wedges are so versatile and easy to wear. Many of our favourite shoe designers have a few styles in their current collection, making them an easy summer purchase. Wedges are perfect for getting around town in and if bought in a nice shade of brown, can also be worn in the daytime for a more casual look. They look great with your floral dress or with boyfriend chino’s for that sexy military look. I would recommend investing in a decent pair of shoes as the cheap ones look.. well, cheap !
Tory Burch wedges, GBP260 from Net-a-Porter.com
The Chino Pants
Jeans in summer can be a bit tough, especially in the 34 degrees heat we have experiencing lately. One of my all time favourite item of clothing is my olive green loose legged chino’s from Uniqlo for the princely sum of HK199. They go with absolutely everything and are the perfect cut, slit pockets on the side and just the right shade green. I bought mine 1 size bigger than my usual size and cuff them just above my ankle. They look great with sandals, flip flops or a pair of killer heels in the evenings. With the GAP finally opening in HK, we will be guaranteed of chino’s all year round !
Uniqlo flat front chinos, HK199 from any Uniqlo store
The White Shirt Dress
This particular item of clothing has never ever been out of fashion. If you look in your mum’s wardrobe, you will find some variation in there as it is the ultimate classic and stable item that has transcended through the decades. It does not have to be expensive, however do take note of the quality of the fabric when purchasing. See through is not good. Wearing with a kick-arse statement belt will make your humble shirt dress pop in the office or over your bikini for poolside glam and style.
T by Alexander Wang Shirt Dress, HK1191.99 from Shopbop.com
The Tailored Shorts
I must say that shorts are incredibly comfortable and easy to wear no matter what your age is. A pair of tailored shorts will great with most tops. I find that the perfect length is mid thigh to keep it classy but still showing enough of your tanned legs to be sexy. Zara basics brought out a few pairs this year that makes filling your summer wardrobe affordable. However splurging on a pair made from nice fabric will ensure that it will last you a few seasons.
Theory Shorts, US$160 from Shopbop.com
Last but definitely important, a cool tote !
Now that you have your summer essentials sorted, don’t forget the accessory that is very true and dear to my heart.. a gorgeous summer tote or bag. The options here are endless. You can go designer or market bargain, it doesn’t matter !
Missoni Tote, GBP165 from Net-a-Porter.com