What Summer Style Essentials Should You Be Picking Up Now?

Here’s your shopping list…

Summer dressing in the U.K is a funny one. Our window for ‘legs out and arms out without being covered  head-to-toe in goosebumps’ weather can be a very small, yet it’s something that we like to be über prepared for. And you know what? I get it. I’ve been ill-prepared and sweated my balls off in jumpers when I’ve just worn a bra underneath and so have no other option to sit there creating a perspiration moat around me. The consequences of not being kitted out on these rare, but blistering days aren’t all that appealing. So that’s why in April, my summer wardrobe is already on my mind.

Apparently we had summer last week. I wouldn’t know because I was wearing glove, hat and scarf combos whilst trekking up peaks in the Lake District and watching Mark make snow balls, but just incase it does make another appearance as its E.T.A, then I thought it was worth chatting about the wardrobe essentials that it’s worth picking up now. Because that’s the thing, the stock for summer clothing doesn’t hang around for all that long. There is a short period of time that it occupies the racks for, then all the shredded crop tops and odd sandals that no-one wanted to buy head to the sale, and in one overnight swoop it’s gone and we’re back to coat, boots and chunky knits. That’s why, although we’re not technically in capsule wardrobe buying season right now, I’d suggest at least beginning to think about those hot weather purchases so that when you do spring into action, you can grab ’em before anyone else does…


Being a size six means that I don’t have to seek out specialist sizing when it comes to footwear, but it does mean that if I’m not quick to hop on and snap up the shoes that I want, then you can bet your bottom dollar that my size is one of the first to sell out. Plus, there’s something about sandals that means they often go in the blink of an eye. What’s that all about, eh? It’s a category of my wardrobe that I’m really expanding this year as I’ve finally accepted that a summer spent in ankle boots in a very hot, swollen and smelly one. Nice.

The Sam Edelman Navya Woven Leather Slippers are my current favourites for the fact that they show minimal toe cleavage and aren’t a crime if you’re a bit behind with pedicures, although I must admit that the Saint Laurent Nu Pieds Woven Leather Slides have been on my mind since I saw them popping up all over my Instagram last summer, and might be inching their way to the top of my summer shopping list (although Dune have a good dupe that are currently 20% off!). If you fancy a toe-covering, slip-on sandal then & Other Stories have your back with these Woven Spot Slips Ons and these Black Braided Slip Ons. For a classic ‘one strap’ slider these & Other Stories Knotted Suede Slip Ons would go with everything (they have red too *insert heart eye emoji*) and these Topshop Hibiscus Espadrille Sandals are a great casual option.



Swimwear shopping for me is a little like denim shopping (before I found Topshop denim). 95% of the time you feel like an overstuffed sausage with excess meat escaping every seam and 5% of the time the stars align and you couldn’t feel better. That’s why I buy all my swimwear online and conduct my own try-ons from the comfort of my bedroom to avoid the clammy, heart-palpating inevitable changing room episode. The thing with buying swimwear online is that the options out there are VAST. For that reason it’s & Other Stories and Mango that are tickling my pickle this season. Both are giving a nod to simple, nautical inspired fabrics that look like designer pieces for about a tenth of the price and the selection available is an edited cut, so you don’t have to spend four hours scrolling to find the right one.

In fact you only have to spend about four seconds scrolling if you want because I’ve picked out my favourites for you. My selection has skewed slightly one-piece because I’m a big fan of their sucking in capabilities and this Mango Striped Swimsuit has added slimming benefits too with the vertical stripes. If polka dots are more your thing, this & Other Stories Dotted Scoop Back Swimsuit might be more up your street. Although it’s this Mango Bows Swimsuit that I think is my favourite and a possible purchase for me, for its ‘basic with a twist’ vibe.



If you thought that sandals sold out quickly, there’s something about this miscellaneous genre that makes it fly off the shelves. Do you know what I mean here though? I’m not talking about David Beckham-esque sarongs. More like those jumpsuit, playsuit, thin floaty fabric garments that are great for when you’re on holiday and it’s utterly boiling but you don’t fancy walking around the local town in just your bikini with your arse cheeks hanging out, but you want something so light to wear. A bit of a kaftan, but you could also wear it to dinner if you wanted. It’s a hard category to pin down, but it’s one that comes in so handy and is a real workhorse in any vacation wardrobe.

I find ASOS way too overwhelming when it comes to swimwear, but their beach cover-up section is much more digestible and offers up a pretty decent range that won’t break the bank. This Akasa Wide Leg Beach Jumpsuit looks so darn comfortable and their ASOS Design Stripe Rope Beach Dress has ‘chilled out seafront time with a good book’ written all over it. Both would be good to stuff in your bag and thrown on over your bikini when you head out for lunch.



I LOVE STRAW BAGS. They’re just so darn cute. And as someone who who looks like they’re dressing for some kind of big winter freeze most days of the week whatever the weather, they’re a good sign-post accessory to add to any outfit in a ‘YES I KNOW IT’S SUMMER I JUST HAVEN’T SHAVED MY LEGS’ kind of way. There are an absolute tonne out there and if you’re a little low on bags (LOL, I have a feeling that that’s the case for no one reading this), then I’d suggest getting yourself a smaller bucket bag number which is good for everyday use and then something that’s a little larger, like tote bag-style that would operate well as a day-out, beach bag.

I’ve scouted around and I reckon that Mango have the best range in, in fact they have the exact same bag that I have, for a much better price than I paid. I’m also into the idea of this Net Bag as a beach bag and their Bamboo Coffer Bag, also comes in black which is catching my eye. & Other Stories have a decent selection too, especially if you’re after a larger straw bag, and I’m thinking that this & Other Stories Woven Straw Bag is a good pick because it’s HUGE and can be held by the handles, or slung over your shoulder with the longer strap too.


Photos by Lauren Shipley

*Sign up to my monthly newsletter ‘An Edited Life’ here*