Daydreaming of a summer wardrobe: when will May get hot?
There’s no time of the year I like more – the one spring day that gives you a glimpse into summer, promising longer and warmer days, allowing you to swap thick layers for bare arms, where socks are confined to use with trainers, and sunglasses are deemed just as important an accessory as handbags.
This very day occurred about two weeks ago. My colleagues and I found ourselves taking advantage of the warm sun, basking on the dry lawns of our favourite local park at lunchtime, leaving jackets back at the office and scrunching our toes in the grass. I had daydreams of bubbly drinks on roof terrace bars and banishing my boots in favour of parading pedicured feet.
But it wasn’t meant to be. Not yet. I had – we all had – been lulled into a false sense of weather security.
I was caught out earlier this week. Seeing sunshine pore through my bedroom window, I decided to wear my light spring Celine coat that I’d bought from a charity shop during the harshest weeks of winter. So desperate have I been to give this pretty trench its debut that every so often I would try it on with an outfit just to see what I could team it with when the time finally came. But it was so cold that day I felt the wind chill find its way through every available orifice. Thus, today, in the hammering rain (and it’s still cold) I find myself commuting in old Converse and a weatherproof jacket.
April, you tease. How cruel to show us a glimmer of summer and then whip it from under our unsuspecting be-sandaled feet. When is May going to start getting warm so I can ditch my socks again?
With only sunny daydreams to keep me content, my mind turns to what I’m looking forward to about this summer’s wardrobe. Being a second-hand devotee doesn’t mean that I don’t ‘do’ fashion, and there are definitely some trends I’m excited about to update my wardrobe as I scour the charity and vintage shops…
- Culottes – I love the way they swish deceivingly around the legs, looking like a skirt until you start striding in a great pair of heels. I have a pair of wide-leg three-quarter length trousers that could be turned into culottes just by chopping a few inches off and giving them a new hem.
- Colourful sunglasses – if I collect one item of fashion, it’s sunglasses. To me, they are just as important as a statement necklace or a hat, and there’s no such thing as too many options. I found a fantastic red-framed pair in a charity shop in Bristol last week – I left them for a minute to ‘have a think’ and within that time they were snapped up by some other cheeky bargain hunter. (Top tip: carry it around with you while you’re ‘having a think’ in charity shops!)
- White – I must say, being a pale shade of pale, I tend to avoid big blocks of white on my person. However, I scored Wimbledon tickets in the ballot and in my summery daydream I’m sat in Court No 1 wearing a structured white A-line dress, perhaps with a splash of cobalt blue or canary yellow somewhere, and definitely donning a straw hat.
- Stripes – I can think of three tops in my wardrobe already that feature horizontal stripes, two of which are definitely more than 10 years old. Breton stripes never go away and always look great in summer. Let’s face it, when will you never not look good dressed like you’re about to step onto a Riviera yacht for a six-month adventure cruise?
- Gladiator flats – before I embarked on my second-hand clothing mission and began researching the consequences of fast and cheap fashion in earnest, I bought a pair of lovely gold coloured gladiator sandals from Tesco ahead of a summer holiday. They were less than £10 and lasted, you guessed it, for that summer holiday before the zip busted. Shoes are notoriously hard to find in charity or second-hand shops – for this reason I’ll be researching the ethics and sustainability of a brand before I buy any sandals to make sure I find a good quality investment for that day I can bear my feet!
A selection from the spring/summer catwalk
From Victoria Beckham’s collection
New from Ancient Greek Sandals