Sartorially speaking, Summer is not my comfort zone. Give me multiple layers, a good knit, sixty deniers and ankle boots any day.
That said, I’m not one to wish away the summer, and in Scotland September has the knack of ushering in a last few glorious days of sunshine just when you think it’s all over for good. When the sun does make an appearance, you’re likely to find me wearing something along these lines.
My summer style usually involves one or all of the following items: floaty vintage dress, retro-style sandals, Ray-Ban Clubmasters and a straw hat. When the weather is warmer I feel most at home in cotton sun dresses (usually floral, can’t say I’m not predictable), and I hardly need the excuse to waft around in one of my vintage Laura Ashley numbers.
I recently added this gorgeous blue Laura Ashley frock to my (rapidly growing) collection – it was a gem of a find from the Nicholson St. branch of Edinburgh vintage favourite Armstrongs. At £12 and for a really different style in such great condition, I couldn’t say no.
I love the delicate, China-esque print, scalloped neckline and feminine fit. My friends have nicknamed it my ‘princess dress’ after a wee girl who passed us pointed at me and said ‘Look Mum, a Princess!’. I’m taking this to be a good thing, surely – the puffy sleeves and general floatiness must have given off a regal vibe.
An authentic straw boater would be vintage gold, but after many fruitless summers spent hunting for one (too big, too bashed, too expensive…) a cursory google came up with this gem from John Lewis’ school outfitters, which has certainly satiated my appetite for vintage-style headwear (minus the worry of sitting on/ dropping/ spoiling my new find).
My style inspirations have always been be more Madeline or Mary Poppins than Kate Moss, after all. I love the red grosgrain ribbon for a wee flash of colour, and after some initial confusion as to how to keep it on, I worked out the hat sits rather nicely with a low bun.
Continuing the retro theme, my Clarks Originals Kestral Soar sandals have barely left my feet all Summer; they’re the perfect vintage-inspired style and just go with everything. They remind me of childhood Summers too – I had a similar pair of sandals when I was wee and was heartbroken when I grew out of them.
Happily, I can confirm that they’re comfy to boot, I have walked a long way in them these past few months (and they always get a lot of compliments too). I’ve even got my eye on a pastel style for next Summer, a baby pink pair is calling my name…
Rather appropriately, we took these pictures on a birthday trip to the Botanical Gardens in Edinburgh earlier this week, when the weather was just gorgeous. The Botanics has always been one of my favourite places in the city and it was lovely to wander, have a wee picnic and admire the late Summer blooms.
The fruit garden is my new favourite, with some fantastic homegrown fruit and veg (lots of which is tended by local students and school children). I’m certainly feeling inspired to grow a wee something myself now, so watch this space.
Just as I’m getting into the swing of Summer style, Autumn comes a-knocking – as I write this post, it’s pouring with rain outside. I wouldn’t give up my jewel-hued knits and love of coats for anything but I’d happily dress like a floral Princess every once in a while if the weather let me.
What I’m wearing: Laura Ashley dress via Armstrongs, Clarks Kestral Soar sandals, John Lewis boater hat, Cambridge Satchel in oxblood, Ray-Ban Clubmasters from Sunglasses Shop.