This week my top picks are simple casual wear and a pair of classic dressy sandals. I’m most excited about the extended sizes and colour options many more retailers are offering this year. Lets hope that trend gains momentum and is here to stay. 

1. Casual Striped Dresses

At long last, it’s been a much improved dress season. Clients who seldom find frocks are finding them by the handful thanks to longer length hems, sleeves, tailored fits, and a larger assortment of casual options. Relaxed striped dresses have been particularly good this year.

Special shout-outs to the first three dresses in the collection below:

  • J.Crew Striped knit maxi dress: My jaw dropped when I saw my tall size US10/12 client fit this dress. She looked stunning. The fabric and fit are SUBLIME. Extremely good tailoring and drape thanks to substantial fabric. Very forgiving of lumpage and bumpage. The high-low hemline makes all the difference to the maxi length. Size down. This client wears a Large, and sized down to a Medium. Runs big.
  • Vince Camuto Amalfi Side Ruched Stripe Body-Con Dress: Don’t let the body-con description put you off because the cut is forgiving and camouflaging. The neckline and armholes aren’t too low, and the diagonal hem does magical things to proportions. Fab length, and available in plus.
  • Boden Emily Jersey Dress: Gorgeous fabric with heft, fluid fit that isn’t too boxy, and a shorter length that isn’t too short. 100% cotton and machine washable. Impeccable quality and very girly.

2. Summer-Weight Scarves

The fabric of these Summer scarves is luxurious, soft, and gauzy, which you don’t see in the photos. The tassels and subtle border stripe on some of the colours are a fab finishing touch. They drape like a dream and add outfit interest. They add warmth, as well as keep you cool. I love wearing Spring and Summer scarves because they keep the sun off my neck in the sunny heat, and might be all the insulation I need on a mild day. The yellow followed me home, and I love it.

3. Naturalizer Tami Sandal

A classic strappy sandal that works well for a formal Summer occasion. The beauty of the style lies in the manageable heel height, cushioning foot bed, soft leather, versatile style, and very deep assortment of sizes across THREE widths. They are surprisingly bunion-friendly.

4. Pilcro Jeans

Pilcro jeans have impressed me this season. I bought two pairs for Spring and Summer: the embroidered high-rise cropped straights and the lemon jeans. Both became workhorses after I had them altered to fit on the waist and hips because of the high rise and my swayback. The quality is gorgeous. The fabric is substantial and they do not bag out. The fit is tailored, but not body-con. There is room on the thighs and calves, and the high rises are not excessive. Pilcro has impressed me more than premium denim that’s looking awfully “sausage-y” and stretchy at the moment. Pilcro has also been a win on my clients across a range of body types. They go up to a size 33, have petites, and run true to size or a size big.

5. Michael Stars Tees & Knitted Tops

Michael Stars tops straddle the line between fabulous and annoying. When they work, they are brilliant. The fabric is thick and all items are made in the US. A white Michael Stars tee is seldom too see-through. They also offer varied necklines, lengths, and silhouettes. The disappointing part is the small range of sizes. Michael Stars seldom offers more than two sizes, and sometimes offers one size. You have to take it one style at a time, and decide how you want the item to fit. For example, I’m fine wearing my Michael Stars tops on the fluid side of tailored despite the body-con fit on the models.

6. Gap and Loft Shorts

Whenever my clients need casual shorts that are not for hiking and the like, we head to the Gap and the Loft first. Season after season these retailers stock an assortment that suits a range of body types and sizes across patterns and solids. They might run big, so take a size down into the dressing room too. They are often on sale, and quite affordable.