10 Summer Must Haves

Tuesday, 25 March 2014
summer
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I got exceedingly excited when the sun reared its head for a few days. I read that we were going to have one of the hottest summers ever. Like most sun deprived souls in the U.K, I started dreaming about picnics in the park, barbecue, double digit temperature........ And then POOF! Whaddaya know? Hail, wind and then 0˚C nights. Bonkers. Utterly bonkers. No wonder my parents came up with the most incredibly creative excuses about not coming over to England.

Never mind. I've been consoling myself by spending the last few days planning our summer vacation with a friend of mine whom we'll be visiting this August. It'll be scorching hot but hey, I live in England so I'm not going to complain about plenty of sunshine. It's been nearly 6 years since we moved to the U.K but I still can't get over how easy it is to nip over to another country for a weekend. Get on a plane and 2 hours later......I'm in a whole different country.

My mother pointed out recently how different fashion is in New Zealand as compared to the U.K. She's absolutely right. I rarely invest in summer clothes these days because I just don't get enough mileage out of them. I spend my days swathed in layers of sweaters, jackets and coats for most of the year and then get into a minor panic attack when we get blessed with an unusually hot summer. I don't want to go all crazy and buy a ton of summer clothes which will probably spend years languishing in my closet.

Being anal as I am, I've worked out.....after much contemplation (yes, first world issue. Major stuff. NOT) that I'm drawn to loose embroidered tops, preferably made of voile cotton or linen. I'm usually utterly sick of plain t-shirts by the time summer rolls around. I've found that monotone embroidered tops are easy to pair with jackets when it's a tad colder but just as lovely on their own. I've worn my Isabel Marant Etoile broderie anglaise top so much that it's getting a little threadbare around the seams.

I'd mentioned about the linen striped top from Isabel Marant Etoile previously but I'm thrilled that I've found a far cheaper alternative from the popular French brand Armor Lux. I've tried their breton jersey tops previously and loved their flattering cut but I'm pleased they came up with a sheerer option for the hotter months.

I got a chance to try out a Borsalino panama hat when I was in Nice last year and promptly fell in love. BUT....... I physically flinched in pain when I saw the price tag. These handmade ones from Marks & Spencer and J.Crew are good options too but at a fraction of the price. I rarely see a dress that I like but this boho-luxe crochet piece from Isabel Marant Etoile is stunning and works well as a top too. What are your top 10 summer must haves?


31 comments:

  1. Perfect perfect selections as usual. I wore MIH cropped jeans in that red to death last summer and didn't consider shorts - but now I will! A touch of red with blues/denims and white looks so chic. And those IM pieces you chose are dreamy, too.I have that gorgeous white IM blouse on my Pinterest for weeks now but it's sooooo expensive. :( Searching for a cheaper alternative. Maybe J Crew. Any ideas?

    My one splurge for the season was the Etoile tunic version of that embroidered dress (called the Beverly) in black/white. The fabric is magnificent. A wardrobe keeper forever. Summer pieces are "investments" living in Florida - as opposed to England - but do consider it for yourself. Think of all those summer vacations you can wear it on :)

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    1. You and me both! I've been looking for a cheaper alternative to the IM blouse but so far.....nothing. Can you believe it's sold out everywhere. I'm definitely getting that dress. Blue or black? What do you think?

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    2. Dry clean, though, for a Summer dress/blouse?! On a cheap and cheerful note River Island have a great linen knit stripy top, loose fit and slightly longer on the butt than the front. £20 and it washes like a dream. Susan, London

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    3. I'll go and have a look at the River Island top. These days, I find that most clothes have a tag that states dry cleaning only even if hand wash or a gentle machine cycle will suffice.

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  2. Waving hi to Maria!

    Love all of your picks. I simply MUST have item #2. Crazy chic and gorgeous!

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    1. Totally getting 2. Which color are you thinking of buying?

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    2. I love both equally! I'm no help......

      I got black, however, because black isn't a color I often wear in summer and I thought it would be interesting in such an obviously summery style and fabric.:) Keep us posted.

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    3. I'm going to check both out today. Can't wait.

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  3. Oh gosh - I am getting some bad habits when I know I have stuff you are writing about lol:) I have those Ancient Greek sandals - they are just lush...

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    1. It's funny how I used to see these type of sandals everywhere in Greece but I'm talking more than 15 years ago. But these (and yours) are waaaaay cooler.

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  4. Love Love all your picks here Marlene. I love white lace tops also in the summer and would love the Marant ones, but I have ordered the Other stories one that was in this months Red Mag at £29.99 I thought I would give it a try. The Marant dress/beach cover up is divine and if I could afford it I would buy it in a heart beat, the Boden one you have picked I think will be a good alternative for me...... very Tory Burch also I think. xx

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    1. AnneMarie, you're a star! I didn't think about Other Stories. I'm going to check out the blouse. £29.99 vs £390. No brainer.

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  5. Great selection! My 10 summer must-haves are 9 sundresses and 1 pair of ballet flats (Camper Right Nina). : ) It gets very hot and humid in southern Ontario, Canada in the summer.

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    1. oh wow. You get extreme temperatures then. I've always think Canada as cold but that's the ignorant me.

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    2. Yes, we go down to -30C and even lower in the winter, and +30C and even higher in the summer. My wardrobe is enormous of necessity. Now you know!

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    3. Let me just pick up my jaw from the ground. That's INSANE! Okay, you totally deserve a massive wardrobe.

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  6. I don't know if I've even thought of 10 but a panama hat is the very top of my list along with a straw tote!

    xoxo
    Stacey
    Five Minute Style 

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    1. I don't think I would've survived Nice last year without my panama hat.

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  7. Lovely picks! As we try to finalize our summer holiday plans all I can think of is picking up a few items. It still seems so very far away.

    You know I love the L.L. Bean boat totes. They are my go-to for trips out to Sag Harbor and Martha's Vineyard. I've been dithering on cheating on my K. Jacques with Ancient Greeks- we'll see.

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    1. I don't think you can go wrong with either. I bought a pair of K.Jacques for a ridiculously low price because I've worn the other to death. But the Ancient Greeks are actually more decently priced.

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  8. love all of these - though i can't even begin to think about summer given we're not at all close to a proper spring in NY yet.

    i bought the jcrew panama hat one year and sadly it disintegrated rather quickly after only a few wears. maybe the 'original' one is pricey for a reason? :P

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    1. I can't believe it's starting to snow at your end again. Pretty soon, the temperature over here will dip too. I've noticed the weaving on the Borsalino is a lot tighter and denser. The hat's definitely stiffer and holds its shape better.

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  9. Hello Marlene! I love your Summer selections! In fact, I have the Olympe and the Bela (in blue and pink!) Hey, I have one more to recommend you from VB:

    http://www.farfetch.com/shopping/women/vanessa-bruno-albane-embroidered-blouse-item-10646632.aspx?storeid=9444

    This one is sooo pretty!

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    1. Hi Eileen, I've been in awe of your purchases this summer. Had a look at your blog recently and saw all those beautiful goodies. I didn't know the Bela comes in pink. I saw the Vanessa Bruno top (it's in my shopping widget above). So so pretty. I can't believe how quickly Olympe sold out. Love LOVE it but living in England means I won't wear it enough. I'm going to check out Other Stories top (http://www.stories.com/Ready-to-wear/Blouses_Shirts/Fringe_detail_top/582945-2936090.1).

      I need that Bela dress though. I have so few dresses in my closet. And definitely nothing that's casual and I'm not talking about t-shirt jersey ones that have holes :P

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  10. My summer wardrobe is VERY similar to this albeit on a lower budget! My denim shorts are from Tesco and I have crop jeans from Boden and Gap (blue and white), both bought out of season to get a bargain. Getting a bit bored of jeans though so this year I've bought two striped maxi skirts, one navy and white and one cobalt and white. I also have another maxi from last year with a blue print! (a bit of a theme here!). Also, a wardrobe full of various white tops from everywhere from Next to Tesco to New Look. Also loving that white blouse - I have a very similar one from Monsoon.

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    1. You've just reminded me to look at Monsoon. There's one in town yet I rarely walk in. I'm better with online shopping but that's laziness talking.

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  11. Good choices. So clean and simple and a few bits that are making me drool. My top 10 would definitely include a top like the marant (I have been trying some on today but to no avail, just not right) I have a very similar hat/stripe/short/sandal and all will be there this year. I will try much harder when I feel warmer. ;) H x

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    1. LOL! At the rate we're going, I'm wondering when spring will ever arrive. Never mind summer.

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