Summer Romance

7 ways to wear this season's most whimsical trend

neo-romance summer dressing

Words: Jabulile Dlamini-Qwesha | Photography: Glen Montgomery |Styling: Mandy Nash 

In the wake of gender-bending fashion, designers’ favour of feminine finishes is an unexpected trend twist, this season. A welcomed one, regardless; fine fabrication in easy-fitting silhouettes are a summer dream.

Trend aside, the true trick to functional summer dressing – when every look is sold as vacation-ready – is appreciating that you certainly won’t be beach-side-chilling for the whole four months, so your wardrobe needs to lend itself to the reality of office life and low key (local) weekend chilling.

Here are a few ways to go about it…

Slightly shaded

tinted sunglasses

This 70s trend started easing its way to must-have status last Autumn - most memorably through Gucci’s FW collection. It’s clearly here to stay and we really aren’t mad at it; yes, all-opaque sunnies can be extremely chic, but there’s something fun and flirty about being able to see someone’s eyes through their lenses.

Add some structure

structured pants

Bulky pantswith structure are the perfect contrast when combined with slinky pastel-hued camisole. It’s a subtle way to add the dimension summer outfits can lack – considering that there is no layering.

Pleats please

pleats trend

Issey Miyake, Gucci, Marni, Balenciaga, Valentino and Celine made a strong case for the revival of 90s pleats in their SS18 collections. While the idea of the small folds might immediately bring your school days to mind, it’s the delicate iteration of plisse styles that are making a splash. Perfect for a pared-back look with slides or up the ante with metallic sandals.

Go for gingham

gingham trousers

There are few prints that are more of a summer classic than gingham – depending on fabric choice, of course, but you get the idea. And while a cheeky off-shoulder dress or top in the print could leave you daydreaming about a picnic, the pants option is great for the office too.

There is no summer without stripes

pinstripe trend

Whether it’s the “French Riviera” nautical style or an explosion of colour that gives you ideas of toasting under a Mexican or Brazilian sun, stripes are a must. But opt for light blue and white pin stripes this season, not only are they having a huge moment, but they’re also the easiest to transition from 9-5 to beachside sundowners.

Keep it sheer

sheer dress trend

Lighter-than-air sheer fabrication is all the rage right now. The great part about there being such a wide variety of styles to choose from is that the look doesn’t always have to be vampy or sultry, you can achieve just the right level of elegance depending on the variation you go for.

Put your pins on display

babydoll dress trend

Also swinging back into style, babydoll dresses are a cute way to show leg in summer, and their ultimate clincher is how forgiving they are for every body shape – particularly around the waistline. Any dress that allows you room to feel great even on a “bloated” day is forever.

seen this?
Worth a Look
From the Feet Up