Outfit Formula: Easy Breezy Summer Tops and Bottoms

I was delighted to find these easy to pull together outfits styled with untucked shirts and blouses. Most of them are roomy and boxy, but some are smocked or have wrap-front detailing to create waist definition. The bottoms are anything from denim shorts, olive shorts and black shorts, to wide crops, lantern pants and wide legs in neutrals like olive and white. Shoes are flat sandals, slides, or flatform sandals.

These can be great casual combinations for Summer when you’re not into wearing skirts and dresses, and are looking for something dressier than a t-shirt.

Here’s a very A-line version of the vibe in more detail. A pair of patterned and roomy wide crops is paired with a black asymmetrical trapeze tunic that picks up the black in the pattern. The tunic is draped and flowing for ample ventilation and a forgiving fit, but structured on the shoulders to look polished. You might prefer the top without sleeves if sleeves are sticky in Summer.

The shorter side of the tunic’s hem creates the illusion of a semi-tuck, although it’s not tucked at all. The high-low design feature of the top elongates the leg line by showcasing more of the pants from the crotch point upwards. If the hem of the tunic had been straight, the leg line would look shorter because more of the pants would be covered. The two-toned sandals, earrings and necklace are a perfect match with the palette. Elegantly casual.

Easy Breezy Summer Tops and Bottoms

Fab Finds: Vionic Sandals, Pearl Jewellery

Summer is in full swing in the US, and retailers have a lot more stock than they did this time last year. As stores wrap up end-of-season sales and clear stocks to receive Autumn collections, my clients and friends continue to buy Summer items.  Many are prepping for trips, events and occasions, or simply giving their wardrobes a refresh after two years of limited shopping.

1. Vionic Ella Toe Loop Sandals

Every one of my clients who tried on this sandal was in unexpected awe, even those who said they never wear sandals, and for whom toe loop sandals were a “no way”. Never say never when it comes to fashion and style! This sandal is extremely comfortable, super soft, cushioning, forgiving, and has good arch support. Elegant, and very neat and tidy on the foot. The soles are flat, but solid, and your feet don’t feel too close to the ground. Simply casual and a touch dressy. Versatile.

2. Pearl Jewellery

Anything with a pearl, or pearl-esque finish, is having its on-trend fashion moment. The trend is called Pearlcore. As a daily wearer of pearls, this makes me smile. True to the trend prediction, I see pages and pages of pearl jewellery on sites at the moment, which I don’t recall seeing before. Here’s a selection of pearl jewellery across a range of price points. Classic, edgy, avant-garde, dramatic, subtle, fun or serious. Take your pick.

Lou Heather Ring
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ÉLIOU Maxine Ring
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Six Showstopping Summer Dresses

Dresses are everywhere now that Summer is in full swing in the northern hemisphere. I’m always looking for Summer dress inspiration, so I turned to our outfit bloggers to see how they are wearing theirs. They did not disappoint!

Happy Summer

Now this is a happy Summer midi dress if I ever saw one! Our talented blogger made it herself, and included some very clever design details. The striped panels in an explosion of vibrant colours run in two different directions, which creates movement and draws the eye up and down. The off-the-shoulder detail and exposed midriff create an illusion of asymmetry, while the turquoise and teal panels repeated on both the top and skirt part add symmetrical balance. Adrienne opted for a neutral cognac flat sandal because the dress speaks for itself. Finally, her bright red lippy, statement earrings and fun nail art echo the colours of the dress.

Green Floaty

Coral steals the show in her grass green floaty midi dress! The asymmetrical hemline and tiered panels moving in the breeze add tons of visual interest. The semi-structured shoulder line and thin self belt tied empired-waist-style temper the volume. The ruffled sleeves add flirty drama, and echo the lines of the tiered detailing. Tan espadrille wedges lengthen the leg line, and match the vibe of Coral’s black and beige raffia clutch. A lariat necklace with round gold and green pendant perfectly fills in the neckline of the dress. The round shape is repeated in our blogger’s oversized earrings. Red lipstick and oversized square sunglasses are the glam finishing touches. 

Delightful Sherbet

You don’t see pink paired with orange all that often, and it makes for a delightful sherbet-reminiscent colour combo. Alicia is wearing a just-below-the-knee empire-waist dress with V-neckline. The bubble sleeves create playful volume, while the colour-blocked tiers make a strong visual statement. Eye-catching ankle-strap sandals in gold lamé with knotted bow and round block heels add dressy Summer shimmer. Gold chain link necklaces and hoop earrings match the dainty footwear. Tortoiseshell sunnies and neutral lipstick complete the look.

Kaftan Earthy

Cathy goes Boho Chic in this kaftan-esque midi dress in striking earth tones. The floaty volume is tempered by the self belt that accentuates the waistline. The construction with vertical and horizontal panelling draws the eye up, down, and across, thus creating lots of movement. The earthy colours look stunning with our blogger’s gorgeous red locks. Cognac heeled slides lengthen the leg line, bookend Cathy’s hair, and match the colour palette. Cathy finishes off the look with mirrored sunnies and a cream beaded top-handle bucket bag.

Bold Floral

Kim rocks this bold floral print dress in on-trend bright yellow and cobalt. The mandarin collar, drawstring waist, fitted shoulders, and alluring keyhole neckline add structure to the voluminous silhouette. The cord tie belt adds a casual touch. Kim repeats the cobalt and adds soft edge with her structured zippered clutch. Dainty white heeled strappy sandals add cripsness, which is repeated in Kim’s gold with pearl earrings. Angular black sunnies and soft pink lipstick complete this dressy showstopping look.

Elegant Leopard

Patricia is sporting an elegant leopard print midaxi dress with statement halterneck. The fitted bodice and wide self belt create structure, while the pleated A-line silhouette of the skirt adds flowy volume. Wearing her hair up in a nonchalant ponytail allows the statement neckline to really shine, and showcases Patricia’s earrings. Gold block-heeled ankle strap sandals match the dressiness level of the Summer frock. A simple bracelet, gold watch, and black structured clutch with gold hardware are the polished accessories of choice.

I’m curious to hear which outfit is your favourite! Let us know in the comments, and tell us if you’ve been enjoying sporting your Summer dresses.


Simpler Items

This week's list of top picks list is about basic pieces.

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Assorted Items

Items for Summer, both in and out of air conditioning.

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Casual Summer Vibes

This week's top picks are good for a casual Summer vibe.

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Summery Earth Tones

These items are for those who like to wear casual earth tones in warm and hot weather.

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Hints of Spring

Some tried-and-tested winning items to refresh your style for Spring.

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Dressier Items

An assortment of dressier top picks might be just what the doctor ordered.

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A Different Type of Animal Print

When I talk about animal print, I’m normally referring to a pattern that approximates or takes inspiration from the patterned hide or skin of animals like cheetahs, leopards, snakes, giraffes, zebras, cows, Dalmatians, crocodiles, and ponies. 

Today I’m talking about a different type of animal print. One that showcases the picture of the animal itself in a print or pattern. These can appear on just about any wardrobe item, or in the graphics of tees, sweatshirts, and knitwear. They can be depicted in an abstract or more realistic way, and in any colour.

I’ve found that across my friends, family and clientele, this type of more literal animal print will appear in their wardrobes more frequently than expected when the animal pulls at their heartstrings. Scarves, flannel pyjamas, knitwear, sweatshirts, tees, casual tote bags, toiletry bags, and socks with animals on them are particularly popular. Although they aren’t patterns, brooches of animals are gaining momentum too.

Personally, this type of animal print is something I am growing more and more fond of, and its earning its place in my wardrobe. Dogs and horses are my favourite animals, and Yorkshire terriers are my favourite dogs of all. I can’t help but be drawn in very emotionally when I see these animals in patterns on wardrobe items. That’s why I have knitwear, pyjamas, a dress, socks, brooches, and a bag with these animals on them. In fact, very dear friends had the photographs of our Yorkies Sam and Jo printed on a pair of long socks for me. Best socks in my drawer.

Here are some of the other animal print items from my wardrobe. A horsey dress, and the rest are dogs.

My favourite wild animals are giraffes and zebras. Knowing that, hubs Greg chose a citron silk blouse with these animals in the pattern as a recent birthday gift. I LOVE this blouse, and it’s my favourite of all time. It’s brighter in person than in the stock photo. Not only does it feel magically luxe, dressy, and is in one of my happy colours, the animals in the pattern make it extra special. I wear it fully tucked into white jeans, and want to wear it all the time.

Over to you. Do you wear animal prints of this nature in a wardrobe item? Maybe you prefer to wear it more discreetly in the form of sleepwear or socks?

Team Stretch or Team No Stretch

You are on Team Stretch if you prefer jeans and other denim items with a bit of stretch. Any component of stretch counts, even if it’s only 2%. All denim items count, from jeans, skirts and shorts, to shirts, dresses and jackets. 

I have a good amount of blue and white denim in my wardrobe across almost every wardrobe item. I have a pink denim boiler suit too. I have denim jeans, jackets, shorts, shirts, dresses and a skirt. Some of these items have stretch and some don’t. Generally, I’m old school about my denim jeans, skirts, and shirts preferring them rigid, crisp, and without stretch. Unlike almost all my clients and friends, I don’t enjoy wearing soft and stretchy denim. I find rigid denim comfortable and like the aesthetic. That said, I have denim jackets and long shorts with a bit of stretch and don’t mind that too much. I have old bootcut jeans and sailor jeans with stretch, and they’re fine too. But I bat for Team No Stretch because 100% rigid denim is what I wear with the greatest of pleasure.

Here is my denim capsule.

G-Star Raw
Workwear Shirt
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The Way-High Jean
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The Arc Jean
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Over to you. Do you bat for Team Stretch or Team No Stretch across the denim items in your wardrobe? Tell us why, and no batting for both teams. If you can’t pick a side or don’t wear denim, sit this one out on the bench where I’m serving vegan hot dogs with sweet and spicy red pepper and onion fixings, and charred shishito peppers on the side. Gluten-free orange polenta cake for dessert.