Can you even believe it the heat wave is finally here and of course the inappropriate hot pants, lack of T-shirt in the middle of a city centre and ‘health warnings’ are rife. What to wear today when you don’t necessarily want to go with the norm, or better yet what to wear to the all dayer in the pub garden this weekend? Well I have a new found obsession, the Longline.
It comes in various formats, T-Shirts, Dusters, Blazers, Camis, Shirts…. But it is the perfect item to turn any outfit around. Diverse in that it can be worn throughout the seasons, it comes in so many different ways that you can wear the style without getting tired and it is perfect for those I cannot be bothered days.
One of my favourite things about it is it covers my troublesome areas without being obvious, by this I mean my thigh and buttocks region. I always prefer to wear a longer top, unless I’m feeling daring (or I have already had a few glasses of Sauvignon Blanc prior to finalising my evening attire) and decide to go for a black jeans crop top combo, however this is strictly saved for an evening out and wouldn’t be my outfit of choice for the day. I currently have 2 longline sleeveless coats and 3 longline camis but I’ve got my eye on a few more, namely pink and lilac ones, be rude not to now the sun is out.
Top tip, the sales are quite simply killing it at the moment, I just bought some sandals from Topshop for £7, (less than a double Gin and Tonic), so have a look out for any key pieces even if they are a size or two too big an oversized sleeveless longline blazer will simply have more of an androgynous look if it’s less fitted.
Denim, once a symbol of poverty, hard labour or in a more modern sense with rips/safety pins/political statement patches a symbol of rebellion and angst….. now a symbol of complete normality.
We all own it in one way or another and no doubt we all have our favourites, for me it is of course high waisted black jeans, perfectly suited for my body type and always a fall back for any outfit crisis. Then, going back a few years I have my ultimate ripped Abercrombie and Fitch light denim baggy and slightly flared jeans I wore so much in my teenage years the rips weren’t so much rips as gaping holes and my Abercrombie and Fitch (can you tell I went through a preppy stage?) light denim ripped mini skirt, I still hold onto them both waiting for them to make a big come back. Now the trend off of the 80’s is back, the double denim, once shunned by all those with style and taste and now back gracing the style magazines and flooded over Instagram and blogs alike. I never thought I’d say it but I am a fan, I confess!
There are a few ways to play it, keep it simple with a denim shirt and jeans, I personally team my Mom’s light denim shirt with a pair of dark Hollister (also from my preppy days but not so ruined) ripped boyfriend jeans, must add here that these are low-rise, not a trend I think I would like back too soon, so they are always worn with a baggy(ish) and long top. Or you could push the boat out that little bit further, try a triple threat, denim top, jeans and jacket if you’re feeling really up for it or one outfit I plan on testing this weekend (weather permitting) it’s a denim midi skirt and baggy denim cropped T-shirt, teamed with a pair of sandals. Keep it light with the accessories and make up otherwise you could find yourself more 80’s LA wannabe cowgirl than flaunting fashionista. Something simple like gentle make up and a matte red lip with loosely styled hair I think fits the bill perfectly.
It may be a skyline filled with rain and grey cloud as far as the eye can see, however it is very nearly Summer and the bikini’s are rearing their ugly head from the draw under the bed, like the boogie man taunting you from the darkness. I’ve already taken the plunge, I had the most fantastic short break in Malta just a few weeks ago and that involved summer dresses and two-pieces. Safe to say, it’s a daunting prospect for most of us, myself included, with trips to the nearest common in mind, pool days and of course the next holiday (to Croatia) I have to remind myself that what may seem like a mountain of cellulite and whale blubber to me is nothing to everyone else. As women we now have an extreme stigma of beauty to up hold, this pressure is worse than ever with girls as young as 9 suffering depression and anxiety due to issues with body image. Really.
I’m not usually one to dress for my size per say, I own cullotes, shift dresses, men’s shirts all which shouldn’t be worn by those of a certain breast size, height, body shape. I plan on focusing on the positive, wearing what makes me feel comfortable and overcoming all those nagging insecurities, see ya, bye bye now.
So here is a mini hit list of some of my go to items of the Summer, the basics you might say…..
Khaki, camouflage and anything army style were usually things that I either associated with my younger tomboy self and my favourite camouflage khaki trousers, worn with a baby pink hoodie of course or with a student fancy dress night, always a firm favourite during my university days, however it is now fast becoming one of my style staples. Ever since the Khaki army jackets made a comeback the colour and style has gone from strength to strength and can now be applied to anything from shoes to nail art designs. I was looking for something to wear for a friends engagement party this past weekend and wanted something quite classy for the occasion but at the same time not overdressed and I decided on Khaki tapered trousers (as seen below) and a boxy white leather cropped T shirt; there is something about khaki that can make an outfit that little bit more interesting. There is also an element of fun with this genre of style, camo can always be played with and moved away from different shades of green and instead pulled together with pop colours, have a look at my multi-coloured camo nails below, so easy to do, it’s just all about Y shapes and joining your top 2 colours in my case pink and blue! If you’re looking for true army style then I always recommend a vintage renewal, Check out Urban Outfitters, ASOS Marketplace or an army surplus store, you’ll get the best deals and undoubtedly the best quality.
Autumn is here and yes indeed the heating is on. I am still clinging on however and dare to brave the cold whenever I go to the gym by not taking a hoodie for the short walk to and from the car. Ouch. I plan on celebrating Bonfire Night for first time since I can remember in the splendor of Battersea Park this Saturday including my first mulled wine of the season which needless to say, I am clucking for and as the cold rolls in, it’s time to shift the nails. I’ve gone straight into the Winter style of matte nails today, with a dark grey colour and have completed the look with simple black glossy tips as a contrast.
Matte nails can sometimes feel unnatural, especially when I am an ambassador of the clear top coat, it’s always worth it and makes such a difference. The matte look can look effortless and in some ways more professional than a shiny hot pink. My picks for the season are dark blue, grey and burgundy, classic colours. Feel free to mix them up also with a statement nail on each hand.
Follow me on Instagram @sarahjaynepen for more nail designs done by myself with a free hand and a bit of patience.