My Summer Style Wishlist

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Photo by Ethan Robertson on Unsplash

Summer is by far the season that I get the least excited about – at least, in terms of putting outfits together. What can I say, in Scotland, Summer can be a fickle, fleeting phenomenon – and I don’t mean to sound negative about it, because honestly it’s fine, I love where I live, but it does make all the ads full of women with bare legs in March hold a lot less interest for me. On the flipside, Scotland actually had an incredible Summer last year *gives standing ovation* and I was woefully without appropriate warm weather clothes to wear. This year, normal service seems to have resumed – it’s 8c and raining as I write this – but I’m really not interested in adding much to my wardrobe just for the sake of ‘Summer vibes’, nope, I’m basically working off a lot of what I wore last year in the heat… just layered with tights and jackets!

There are a few things I’m on the hunt for – regular readers will know that I shop almost entirely second hand, and so it can really take a while, and a fair amount of rummaging, to find exactly what I’m looking for – so I keep a running list. Also, because of the second hand thing, I can’t link to exact styles, but I’ve made some little Pinterest boards to show the kind of styles I’m inspired by!

1. Belts

I used to belt basically every outfit that I wore. When I was about 17-19 no look was complete without a waist belt – boho dress, oversized shirt… tee and jeans…. yup. I definitely got more than a little carried away and after that I sort of put myself off the look altogether, BUT, I’m coming back around to it.

I’m definitely wearing more simple, flowing pieces these days and it’s nice to have the option to pull them in at the waist – at least on days where I’m not eating more pizza than any one human being should.

I’m also a lot more into wearing belts with my jeans – whether or not they actually need one – because I feel like it can really help a simple look feel a bit more polished and intentional. I bought a sort of western style one from ASOS (before I gave up fast-fashion) a couple of years ago, and I really love it, but it might be nice to have a little variety – maybe a brown one, maybe a more ornate one – just a few different options to play with.

Luckily, I feel like belts are fairly easy to come across in charity shops… although I do feel like Kenny may be spending a chunk of his Summer punching holes in them for me!

 

2. Long flowing cardigans or outerwear

Okay, so, I’m petite – I’m 5’2″ – and I’m also built fairly slim, so I’ve always had it in my head that I want to wear more fitted, neat pieces to draw attention to my little frame, and to try to not completely swamp myself in fabric. There probably is some logic to this, erm, I mean, maybe, but I’ve also become aware more recently that I carry most of the little height I have in my legs, and my torso is really quite compact. Add to that the fact that I have a big bust, and favor high-waisted jeans and there’s kind of a lot going on in my lil torso space – in particular, I sometimes feel when I wear my tight, leather jacket that it just adds so much, not even bulk, but “clutter”, to my top half.

Don’t get me wrong, I won’t be turning my back on my leather jackets or blazers any time soon, but I would definitely like to explore some sort of longer outerwear options, too. I have a couple of long wool coats, but even in Scotland those aren’t ideal Summer clothing, and so I’d like maybe a couple of lighter options – or maybe one really long cardigan and one long duster-jacket or similar.

Length-wise, I feel like sort of the longer the better really! Somewhere between my knee and my ankle would be ideal, and in terms of style, well, I’m just gonna see what I can find – if I find an amazing statement piece, I’ll work with that, if I find a stunning simple cut, I’ll work with that too.

 

3. Long dresses and skirts

This sort of ties in with the point above re: squished little torso,  but it’s also because over the past, I dunno, year or so, I’ve gotten rid of all my little skater style skirts and dresses – I wore them a LOT so it’s sort of left a gap in my wardrobe. Why did I get rid of them? I just wasn’t reaching for them anymore. While I firmly believe that people don’t have to dress a certain way based on their age, I just know that I, personally, started to feel a bit uncomfortable in those short, flippy skirts.

In terms of styles of what I’m looking for, I’d say that really I’m open to trying most things – different materials, lengths and cuts – but the one thing I would really like is for them to be versatile. It would be nice to be able to wear them with bare legs in the warmer months, but also, to be able to put a long sleeve top underneath and wear it with some tights and boots during the other 10 months of the year. I can’t really bear the thought of finding this perfect dress and then only being able to wear it on a rare, sunny day.

So ta-dah, that’s my fairly short Summer style wish-list for this year. I’m actually quite proud of myself with this one – I feel like the three items I’m looking for all sort of make sense together, and I can see why they would fit well into my wardrobe longer term, and not just because they’re “on trend” this season. I would love to hear what you’re looking for this Summer? Or have you already found any warm-weather gems! Let me know down in the comments below!

 

 

The 5 Wardrobe Essentials I Don’t Own

I’m recently back from my first vacation in 5 years, and on that trip, amongst all the pancakes and alligators (it was Florida, clearly), I also got to experience the sheer joy that is dressing out of a suitcase. Two whole weeks of not having to try and hunt for that one teeny-tiny black sock that I so badly need and so badly can’t find. Two weeks of only having a few outfits to choose from, and knowing that they all fit and, wait for it, that I like them all.

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Photo by Jose Soriano on Unsplash

Since coming back to Scotland and facing my floordrobe, I’ve had renewed energy to streamline my clothing choices and to find that one bloody, tiny, perfect black sock. As a result of all this, I’ve been reading and watching a lot of content called things like, “10 must have wardrobe staples”, and “the 5 items you NEED in your closet” – and while, don’t get me wrong, it is helping me, I have also noticed that there are at least 5 items that consistently pop up in these lists that I just don’t own, and yet somehow, I’ve survived until the age of 28. I thought today I would share the 5 wardrobe essentials that I don’t own, and I’d love to hear your opinion – is it just me, or are these items not as ubiquitous in closets as YouTube creators would have me believe?

1. A white button-down shirt

Arguably the most chic and versatile wardrobe option for many women, I haven’t owned one since I had to as part of my school uniform. And yes, that is in fact WHY I’ve never owned one since. Without embarking on a dark path for a style post, suffice to say I HATED school – it was where my severe anxiety attacks started, and it was a total struggle for me to get through the days there. For me, putting on and buttoning up a plain white – or black – blouse just takes me right back to struggling to do so in my childhood because my hands were shaking with all the adrenaline in my system. I wear other, more casual button ups and it’s fine – but I think, at least for the time being, I’m going to have to skip out on the classic white option.

2. Ballet flats

I love ballet flats and I’m frequently drawn to looking at them in stores and online, but as far as actually owning or wearing them? Uh, no. I have very small, narrow feet – for reference I’m a UK 2, and most UK women’s shoes start in a 3. So, for a long time I just could not get nice, sleek ballet flats in my size so it wasn’t an option, now of course, there are a lot better options out there for us tiny-footed gals but, having spent my life up until this point walking around in mostly Converse or chunky boots, my feet object rather strongly to the thin, flat soles of ballet flats. I’m always on the lookout though so if anyone knows of a super-comfy pair that come in tiny sizes – let me know!

3. A trench coat

I actually did own a trench coat, once. It was in that classic beige colour, which washed me out completely, and it was always creased because I would never steam it and it would live in a scrumpled heap in my wardrobe. I’m sorry trench coats, it’s not you, it’s me. Being a little more colour-savvy and a little more familiar with my steamer these days I’m definitely open to trying a trench coat again at some point, but, given that I need to avoid the “typical” trench coat colour, and beware of the ones with giant buttons and lapels that will draw way too much attention to my large chest and short torso… yeah, suffice to say I’m definitely not yet sold on this being a “must have” piece.

 

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Photo by Jaclyn Moy on Unsplash

4. A white t-shirt

I am forever hearing people talk about how brilliant a white t-shirt can be; just throw it on with jeans and a blazer – use trainers to dress it down or pointed toe shoes to dress it up – and they’re right, it IS a great look, just not one for me. Generally, in fact, barring some fairly mad circumstances, I don’t shop fast-fashion, I buy basically everything second hand – and let me tell you, white t-shirts are not easy to come by in charity shops! Well, at least not in any sort of condition I’d like to wear – hello, yellow armpit stains. I guess the obvious other option would be to buy a great white tee from an ethical and sustainable brand, but, given the alarming frequency with which I drop pizza sauce down myself, I don’t think that would necessarily be a wise financial investment.

5. Heels

Growing up, I had the same struggles with heels as I had with ballet flats – trying to grip onto a pair of size 3’s with my tiny size 2 feet. But, I did own some, and when I was younger I did wear them to parties or whatever. As I got older though, I just enjoyed it less and less – I remember my Degree art show at Uni and wearing these lovely, knee-high suede boots with an amazing heel – looked great in the photos, but I spent most of the night hoping nobody would ask me to move. Now, I know that there are comfier heels than others, and I know some women seem to amazingly be able to get used to the sensation, but yeah, I guess I’m not one of those women. I kept some more classic pairs and moved them with me to Glasgow four years ago, then, recently, after finding them covered in dust in the back of the wardrobe, never having once been worn since we moved here, I cleaned them all up and sent them off to the charity shop.

So those are 5 wardrobe “essentials” that I don’t have in my closet! Like I said, I’d love to hear your opinion on whether these items are indeed “classics”? Or, what are the items that you, personally, couldn’t be without?