Now we are waxed and (hopefully) vaxed for the summer, it’s time to surf the fashion wave and indulge in some retail therapy. After months of restricting our fashion movements and dressing safe, the seasonal social butterflies are back out on the scene, flitting from their workstations to staycations. Many have bid farewell to unforgiving skinny jeans, body con dresses and drippy dry robes and welcomed back more fluid fashion looks with a feel-good factor.
Wide-legged trousers, flat hippy sandals, linen shirts and billowing fabrics bring a splash of Mediterranean life to our shores. Divine dresses from Jennifer Rothwell with elaborate prints, and exotic foliage patterns are sure to revitalise any wilting fashion wings. Extravagant flared skirts by designers like Stella Jean and Sophie Alexia are also special looks with cascading hemlines and wide-pleated skirts. A red and white checked dress teamed with matching shorts makes a handy travel companion at Havana boutique in Donnybrook.
Owner Nikki Creedon is a leading light in the style stakes and she boasts a number of exclusive labels in Ireland. She seasonally reaps creations from the international fashionistas and stocks up her rails with original dresses and accessories. Designers like Simone Rocha, Odile Jacobs and Umit are some of her labels worth name-dropping at your next haute cuisine supper.
Summer sleeves come with billowing bell shapes so be sure to greet your guests with open arms to show them off in style. Flaunt your flare for fashion with a pair of 1970s glam rock trousers and wedge heels.
The latest seasonal styles combine business with pleasure. So no need to divide your wardrobe in two sections. It’s all about adding or subtracting pieces to achieve appropriate looks. A light jacket can transform a cocktail dress into an office outfit and, for men, swap your shorts for chinos for intermittent office meetings.
Footloose and fancy free dating will be back on the menu requiring the revamp of frantic romantic frocks. Funky dressers like Beyonce are grabbing attention in Brad-igans – a cool combo of a cardigan over a funky bra top and not a term for Brad Pitt followers.
The simplest way to hide your lockdown lard is with fabulous floaty dresses that look like they drifted out of a Monet painting
At Hennes and Mauritz for those with a budget in mind, there is the diffusion Simone Rocha x H&M collection offering menswear, childrenswear, alongside her signature womenswear. For women, there are tulle dresses in pinks, tartan and classic black. There is a special floral dress, with full puff sleeves. River Island combines blouses in organic cotton with broderie anglaise detailing and wide-legged pants. Next boutiques pack a punch with wrapover jumpsuits and khaki dresses. Kate Cooper opts for pretty in pink with her lipstick shade designs worn with espadrille sandals.
There are cosy bubble knits and wool cardigans with pearl decorations around the neck for outdoor evenings on the patio.
At Fran & Jane boutiques you can swap your skinny jeans for looser, flared trousers in linen or cotton. The simplest way to hide your lockdown lard is with their fabulous floaty dresses that look like they drifted out of a Monet painting. The dressy duo based in Blackrock and Cork also have super-soft blouses that will see you stride out of the office and into cocktail mode.
The popular Irish men's boutique Best has the exclusive Marco Capelli label that aptly meets the business and pleasure equation. It also has Bugatti, Tommy Hilfiger, Calvin Klein and Hugo Boss. Its personal shoppers are also an excellent help particularly in Dundrum as they expertly guide you to choosing the right gear at the right price. This includes taking your measurements if required, taking note of your budget, your favourite colours, etc and then selecting a swift handful of outfits to try on.
Men's suits and jeans can be particularly tricky to choose alone as some suit the Ronan Collins' silhouette while others are for streamlined Ryan Tubridy physiques. For summer, its Marco Capelli range of graphic print shirts are hot sellers as well as the more classic Oxford short-sleeved shirts.
It's time to strike a pose, sashay glamorously out your gate and round off the summer on a haute couture note
Polo shirts are back on the golf course and also suit office wear or lounge lizards. Indian summer styles come in bright two-tone shades with pink and navy versions proving popular. For men who prefer longer sleeves try the Remus Uomo cotton shirts in light blue and white prints. Helly Hansen jackets make fair weather friends for changeable conditions along with Tommy Hilfiger jeans. Stockholm shorts in navy or stone are long enough to cover Bundee Aki-sized thighs while Tommy Bowe nimble footwear will ensure you put your best foot forward without looking off-side.
Vintage and thrift shops are all the rage with the younger generation interested in saving the planet and a few bob at the same time. Cobblers Wardrobe in Dublin 4 has a good website showing off iconic jumpers like a Bella Freud number emblazoned with a 1970 logo; Jimmy Choo sandals; YSL vintage sunglasses; and Gucci gear too. The trick is not to pile on your vintage all in one go and end up looking like Norah Batty's granny. Instead, mix and match the old with the new.
With so many diverse styles on offer, it’s time to strike a pose, sashay glamorously out your gate and round off the summer on a haute couture note. Bonsoir!