There are a few outfit combinations that are flawless, flattering and effortlessly chic. In the summer these staples should constitute a fundamental part of any wardrobe. A Breton top, khakis, a white Broderie Anglaise dress,espadrilles etc etc. In fact, with just a few classic pieces, a summer wardrobe can be born, no muss, no fuss.
However- NOTHING is more important than individual style, and I would never suggest that we should just unquestioningly buy stripy tops and expect to look Parisian chic. What I am suggesting is that we take inspiration from these delightfully classic combinations and reinvent these pieces and add your own flair and personal signature.
I have taken some inspiration from some of my favourite bloggers- Leandra, Chiara, Aimee and Julia- in order to see how they have riffed on these classic and what lessons you can learn from these pros.
Khakis as worn by Leandra Medine (The Man Repeller)
Leandra Medine is just a wonderful human, she is full of style and flare. But most importantly, she is not afraid to look completely bonkers sometimes. Here she is absolutely smashing these Khakis.
The Khaki/Superga combo can come out a little dowdy, but Leandra makes it work. Here she twisted the old classic by going for high-waisted cigarette-legged trousers. The tucked in white shirt is de rigeur with these trousers, and the Supergas bring a boating edge to the whole look.
Why is works: Leandra is being super clever with volume. The skinny legged trousers counter balance the pouffyness of the shirt. She also brought it home with the accessories: the mini-case is a perfect compliment to the khakis, a little joke on what a safari look might have been like in years gone by. The cuff is just beautiful.
Breton Top as worn by Chiara Ferraigni (The Blonde Salad)
Chiara is a total dream babe. She is a super clever businesswoman, with a successful shoe and accessories empire- and she looks great in a Breton Top.
The Original Breton Top is slightly different from the one Chiara is wearing, and was originally designed as part of the uniform for all French navy seaman in Brittany . It had to have 21 stripes, one for each of Napolean’s victories- I know, right!
Chiara’s has more than 21 stripes and is more of a little sweater, but it still works really well. She went for the more fitted look and paired it with jeans and statement sunglasses, which helps shake up this classic pretty well.
Why it works: Chiara is not afraid to use a well known visual (navy stripes), but play with the shape and fabric- she also broke the severity of the top with heart-shaped RED glasses, showing that even classics cannot be taken too seriously.
White Broderie Anglaise as worn by Julia Engel (Gal Meets Glam)
Ok, this isn’t technically Broderie Anglaise in the strictest sense of the word, it’s close enough. White rustic laces are beautiful in the summer, and are super easy to wear. Julia looks amazing in this one; it has wonderful cut and is highlighting her tan!
Her choice of hat and show are also perfect, and going for off-white really works with the dress. I am actually not mad about the bag- I think it’s too severe for a stroll around a Greek island and I would have liked to see some colour. But overall, it’s a delightful ensemble for a sunny afternoon.
Why it works: The dress has an unconventional cut, but is very flattering. The embroidery is fresh, summery and a little hippie, but the panel in the front and thick hem keep it on point. The hat is a lovely and amusing addition, and very useful in the hot Greek summer.
Denim Shorts as worn by Aimee Song (Song of Style)
The trick with denim shorts, and Aimee is absolutely nailing it here, is to not oversex the top. You definitely want to look urban cool, not Dukes of Hazard circa Jessica Simpson. Oversized tees, like this one by Shop Two Songs (which Aimee co-owns with her sister, Dani Song), and trainers or flats are your best bet.
I mean, there are certainly chicks out there that can rock the denim micro-short/high-heel combo, but I prefer not to. Denim shorts shorts for me are playful, casual and fun, and dot sexy and alluring. Denim is a utilitarian fabric after all.
Why is works: Aimee plays it super casual with the baggy top and oversized sunnies. Don’t take denim too seriously, it never works.