Sorry I haven’t been more use on capsule Spring/Summer wear this year. But I haven’t really changed my mind about any of it. You need jeans and t-shirts and khaki cargo trousers and one black dress. And that’s it.
But I have now decided on my summer look for this year – drumroll!! When I say that I mean I have resigned myself to an outfit that I will most probably end up wearing most days whenever it is hot. The one that I will actually wear, not the one that I think I will wear, as I am still doing that thing where I only buy clothes for my actual life, not some weird fantasy life.
And my Real-Life summer outfit this year will most probably be: denim shorts (or khaki trousers), espadrilles, a hat – and a linen shirt.
Below are some images from Pinterest for inspiration only. I know none of us looks like these girls.
I saw a lot of this on tourists in Morocco – although more with blue striped shirts than !PUT YOUR STICKY HANDS ALL OVER ME, KIDS! white shirts. It turns out Morocco and particularly the Ourika Valley is very much the place to be for the English middle class in Spring and apparently this is what we’re all wearing now.
You probably sensibly have a lot of linen shirts already. I only have one, bought on the Ile de Re last summer, which I love, but it is very billowy and the buttons are a little feeble and keep slopping open, which isn’t helpful.
It has suddenly occurred to me that I could have more linen shirts, perhaps – and even maybe something a little more structured.
I have not historically much fancied wearing shirts in the summer because there’s something about crisp cotton that makes me sweat just looking at it. I have resisted linen so far because of the creasing thing but in a shirt as opposed to trousers or a dress – and especially on holiday – does it really matter?
So I went out today and bought two linen shirts – one incredibly expensive and one incredibly cheap.
The expensive one was by the LA brand Rails, available at Trilogy– it was blue and white striped and was just exactly the thing I was looking for.
Because absolutely everyone is a bastard trying to ruin my life, the shirt is not available online in the UK, only on the American site. But I did also try on this one below, with little hearts on it, which shows you the kind of thing I mean and was also really beautiful. Size up. I got an M but an L would have been even better.
The cheap one was from Gap, one of their “fitted boyfriend” shirts – (is it time maybe to ditch the “boyfriend” prefix on every. Single. Thing?) Gap are one of the worst culprits of vanity sizing – that is, making all their clothes utterly huge so that you can take a size XXS if you are a 12 and feel really smug. Anyway I got an XS in this shirt. The difference in quality between the two shirts is only really noticeable when they are side by side. I plan to wear both into rags.
If I had a beach holiday coming up any time soon I would buy this shirt in navy blue Tall, size XL and use it as a beach cover-up. When we were in Oman there was a woman there who wore a black beach shirt like that with silver hoop earrings and black Birkies and she looked very chic.
Not some weird fantasy life !!! In a nutshell … that’s going to be my mantra
Uniqlo and also
Men’s at uniqlo do amazing cheap linen shirts. Size up and the bastards sometimes shrink. Not always annoyingly so it’s hard to be sure!
I too use Uniqlo for linen shirts. I have them in white, pale grey, khaki and navy. Great layered over t shirts.
Flies really like the colour blue, so maybe if you are a biting-insect-magnet like me, avoid blue? I learnt this on safari, and think it probably is true.
Esther you’ve nailed it again! Now every Spiker in the country is going to be dressed like ME! I actually haven’t changed my summer capsule for years; just renewed items as required. You really can’t beat well cut shorts (or khakis) and a linen shirt. Of course always with birkies and silver jewellery. It manages to suit every type of place you might go on hols and is just spot on for a summer UK day. No need to iron the linen either – quick wash and then shake out really well and hang on a rounded hanger that fits the shoulders.
Can we have some black dress suggestions please? – perhaps something for us small & skinnies? Most dresses seem to be for super tall girls and I don’t like things trailing round my ankles!
In Holland (and some other countries where they have Hema), Hema is doing a good one with stripes. Also online probably
Lesley Somerville says
M&S do several linen shirts in various colours. I bought a navy one last year, wore it lots with khaki. Good quality and under 30 quid.
I’ve been looking for a swim cover that I liked for weeks now! They all look either like some schlubby sweat shirt or a cocktail dress! Linen shirt! Esther you are a genius. I don’t even have to buy it, I have one already. Whew! That’s me sorted for the beach this year!
by a certain age you basically do own all the clothes you need
You are officially an influencer! Totally inspired by you, I purchased a linen shirt from Gap today. Now I just need some comfy denim shorts and chinos…..
Please please can we talk about this season’s jeans. I know you mentioned your new Levi’s ones, but what am I meant to be wearing. Are boyfriend still in? Mom jeans? Culottes jeans? So confused and can’t decide if investing is unnecessary or essential to look modern. I add that I’m 30 with a newborn and a toddler so need all the help in the wardrobe department I can’t get!!!
Mills yes absolutely, all of those things are still in.
I wouldn’t worry about any new clothing purchases (especially jeans) until you’re back to your normal size and shape. For a quick update, get a pair of hi top trainers or round sunglasses. Plain “prison” sweatshirts, a jazzy scarf in your hair or round your neck/wrist (if that doesn’t feel too pretentious and silly), headbands from eg Anthropologie – many, very slim rings on your fingers, perhaps a big 70s Nana cardigan? Any of those will bring you up to date without having to get into a big sweat in a changing room especially with small children in tow.