Reimagine white wardrobe classics for a look that’s equal parts sporty and casual

Words: Talya Galasko | Photography: Travys Owen | Styling: Gabrielle Kannemeyer 

When I look back on it, this was the summer we really grew into our own style. It was the summer we learned to make things our own. We could be heading to the corner cafe, riding around in that old, almost broken-down car, or simply hanging between houses – but we always dressed our best. Sure, we grew up in that neighbourhood, we knew every street, hill and back alley, but we made each day out an adventure – and the way we dressed up added to that effortless, no rules, no school, cool atmosphere. We learned from one another, but we also tried to see who could do it better. Who was the best-dressed, who was the most original? Looking back on it now – probably all of us. This is what we wore.


It was always a game of who wore it better, but the truth was that they looked better together. We never knew if it was planned, but we’d show up at their house, and one would follow the other out dressed the same. They could easily pare back a tennis-inspired dress with bright white sneakers, or layer on multiple textures with that air of effortless cool that’s about so much more than just style.


She’d always had a thing for delicate lace dresses in summer – somehow they made the day feel cooler and the sky more blue. Since that holiday she spent at the beach, her friends had noticed a change in her look. The pretty white dresses remained, but they were now teamed with razor-sharp attitude, elevated by her bold taste in jewellery and statement sunglasses.


She had a suspicion that she was the best dresser in the group – she had interned at a fashion magazine after all – but would never say it out loud. She liked one-of-a-kind things – bags that were difficult to find, jewellery that only a few seemed to have, and beautiful blouses that lent her look a touch of the ethereal. White was their colour that summer – she loved how it created a flowing canvas for each new look.


Her look was an artform from top to bottom. It started with the hair – intricately braided buns that she woke up in the early hours of the morning to get “just right”. She lived in overalls that summer, and learnt to style them in the most creative ways, combining glam and grunge. Layering was her real expertise, and I don’t mean one item of clothing on top of the other. Often, she’d add an elaborate neckpiece to her favourite polo neck – just because she could.