(image via weheartit.com)
There’s nothing wrong with having a default summer wardrobe. I personally bank on the concept myself: I always have a couple of simple jersey dresses and jewelled sandals on-hand to combat a sudden, near-fatal epidemic of I-have-nothing-to-wear-itis. But sometimes, it gets to a certain point where you become so at home with this ‘uniform’ that you fall into perfect line with a hundred dozen other girls, all sporting the same tank top and neon shorts combo – and that, in my opinion, is when the magic of epiphany needs to strike. While having part of your style ensembles composed of summer closet basics is essential, now is the time to be diverse and express your style inclinations, especially when you could be forgiven for falling into a pattern of throw-on outfits to block out the cold in winter! The obvious solution would be to make/customize your own clothes but if, like me, you haven’t been able to make the effort to buy clothes-dye or master your skills on the studding machine (or both), here are some non-fussy, mega-on-trend labels, from printed-tee companies to full-on lifestyle fashion brands that will have people wondering where on earth you managed to pick up those holographic brogues, since they definitely didn’t stock them in Office (if asked, you could always give them the slip and accidentally mention the wrong brand name – I’ve tried it before, rather shamelessly I might add):
Founded last October by Austalian designer/rock-star Vanessa Kortlang, Freak of Nature produces awesomely unique pieces that are made for summer partying and festival onslaughts. Having just been snapped up by big-name retailers Topshop and ASOS, pick up the label’s ultra-on-trend printed bodies and kaleidoscopic crop tops before they hit the high-street big time (I’m really lusting after that Tequila Slammer set).
Launched a mere 3 months ago as H&M’s cool, experimental-yet-polished sister (somewhat similar to COS, but with a more vibrant and youthful energy), & Other Stories has been clocking up yeses with the fash pack and editors, but is still young enough to allow you pick up some diverse – and inconspicuous – buys for the summer. Think ocean-print flatforms, dark-raindow bikinis and cotton, geometrical shorts to let your beach-style make waves in itself; the website is so one-of-a-kind in its layout, in fact, that you can complete any look with beauty (skincare and cosmetics) and lingerie edits as well, including outfit put-togethers, or “stories” like Weekend Getaway - leaving your wardrobe plans totally sorted! I’m personally eying up the crazily-chic and unique leather rucksack satchel, and the iridescent card-holder (that’d be making a super statement at fashion events, while also managing the practicality of keeping my business cards in order!)
Established in real-life as “Shutterbug Vintage” in Kilkenny, Ireland, the blossoming boutique’s website counterpart has a smaller but seriously-covetable selection of both vintage stock and red-hot brands (one of which I’ll come back to you with in a moment) such as Jeffrey Campbell and home-grown Silver Factory (major Topshop Unique S/S ’12 vibes in their awesome tees) that you wouldn’t see every second girl sporting, especially outside of Ireland – and luckily the website is pretty much globally-friendly, with currency converters and worldwide shipping. That’s a brilliant pro of buying vintage – that you’re always guaranteed the item isn’t replicated times a thousand in various shop branches – but I personally feel the site’s strongpoint is in its accessories: from its vivid collars (like the one shown just above) and rope necklaces to turbans and tribal shoppers, it’s actually the perfect customization to a simple enough summer outfit that mightn’t be different otherwise… I just seriously want those Campbell unicorn platforms right now!
One of Folkster’s stocked labels is Miista, a London-based brand whose focus is on creating unparalleled shoe designs in a fashion scene overloaded with “similarities, carbon copies and conventional styles” – in just three years since its launch it has secured a vast amount of stockists dotted around the globe, but its dare-to-be-unique ethos means getting your hands on a pair guarantees instant stand-out appeal with any look. Their shoes for this season seem to concentrate on everything I love – iridescent fabrics, dreamy, hazy prints and ombre effects – and I’m mainly coveting the Ursula flatforms and Zoe Neptune brogues (the price-tag is more steep than Topshop/Office standards, but that is the cost of individuality I suspect!).
It’s not something I’ve exactly documented over the past while (strangely enough for me, considering I love nothing more than declaring my passion for multitudes of interesting brands) but I have a serious penchant for Australian labels. I can’t entirely categorize what it is about them that’s so enticing, not down to one point at least – it’s the exoticness of Southern Hemisphere fashion perhaps, in how it’s somewhat diverse to European countries and influenced by the different surroundings; but one thing I know for sure is appealing is the fact that while all those Down Under are shuffling into their 100 deniers and knits to brace the winter (with temperatures still hotter than an Irish summer, but nonetheless!), us north of the Equator are breaking out into our sandals and sleeveless tops - and fully prepped to revel in the beauty that is online slashed sales! It’s a benefit that obviously works for both sides when winter comes round to us, but I love how you can feast on some really awesome pieces that are perfectly in-tune with the current weather climate – but for a fraction of the original price! It’s a sweet victory for sure, and still balances out as much cheaper than before with the shipping rate (although if you really splurge on Market HQ – AUS$150′s worth – you can get worldwide delivery for free) – As well as anything by Minkpink, Evil Twin and Hunt No More, I’m particularly lusting after Soot’s pastel & print sale stock, and honestly, their more sultry winter pieces as well: I unfortunately need to think tran-seasonally in more unpredictable northern climes!
So there you have it! I hope you guys have a ball sorting out your wardrobe for summer, and as always, happy shopping! I’m off to test-try some newly-launched Kiko products, follow me on Facebook or Twitter to keep updated in the meantime! ♥