Saucy Summer looks that won’t break the bank

Words: Modupe Oloruntoba | Photographs: Glen Montgomery | Styling: Mandy Nash

Admit it – you spent way more than you planned to on Black Friday. It was payday, you woke up early, you started clicking but then you didn’t stop. You saw flashing lights and spot prizes and free delivery, you got lost in the sauce and forgot to buy things you actually needed. It’s okay hun, we all did.

It was still worth it – you definitely look bomb in that dress – but now it’s time we addressed the overdue update of your monochrome summer basics. Fruit and vegetables are to a healthy diet what basics are to your wardrobe: staples, best consumed fresh. They are also sometimes more expensive than the Big Korn Bites in the office vending machine, but I think it’s time we did right by our bodies, nutritionally and sartorially. We’ve got everything you’ll need to live your best life this season, and we’ve got it at prices you can afford post-Black Friday. Get the essentials sorted so you can sip your cocktails in peace come party time.


Break it down: Nondescript spaghetti straps, plain wide 'V' cut, long enough that you’re not worried about stretching, short enough that your dad’s still shaking his head at “what the kids are wearing these days.”

Sauce it up: The slipdress is your partner in crime for all daytime summer missions. On hot days they’re the throw + go option, and layer well for those days with errant weather. Lay out all the shoe options – heels, sneakers and sandals can all come out to play. Get dramatic with the accessories – this canvas is as good as it gets.

PS: It should skim your frame, not hug it.


Break it down: Trend of the season, available in pretty much all clothing categories (dresses and tops and swimwear), sexy-on-tap, the physical embodiment of your spiciest tweets.

Sauce it up: Take a page from uniform dressers and get multiple versions of something you love, so you can keep it in rotation all season long. Tie sleeves, ruching, embroidery, and print.

PS: You’ll get more mileage out of tops than anything else.


Break it down: Popularised by Mrs Carter, the Kardashian Klan, and multiple famous children who now earn their keep as celebrity models. Basically your favourite top from high school, but post-glow up.

Sauce it up: It’s really not that complicated. Use a body suit to replace tops and rid yourself of that annoying way they bunch up at your waist after fighting with the waistband of your jeans all day.

PS: Ribbed + roll neck or off shoulder are your best bets.

Black Trouser

Break it down: Simple full-length style, low key details, flattering fit, the staple of staples, the resident ‘responsible adult’ of your wardrobe.

Sauce it up: All the ‘minimalists’ on your instagram feed have got at least one thing right - black reigns supreme. High-low styling is going to be a thing for as long as we live, so don’t be afraid to go for contrasting combinations. Work blouses be gone.

PS: That stripe up the side is highly relevant.

Graphic Tees

Break it down: Relaxed but not oversized, preferably white, definitely cheeky, your daily bread.

Sauce it up: I’m wary of prints in general because of how specific they can be – it makes them difficult to wear with more than 1 or 2 things. Sticking to black and white and simple graphics opens up your options.

PS: Have you seen our Vintage Lover tees?


Break it down: Solid colour, waist cut true (not high or low), maximum coverage without weight, casually nighttime appropriate, silently savage.

Sauce it up: Much like lunch with your ex, jumpsuits can be tricky to navigate. The key is not to compromise on fit. Buy, try, and only keep it if it makes you feel amazing. Don’t forget to amp it up with accessories.

PS: Get one with pockets and thank us later.