Fashion, the theory goes, likes to come in waves of rebellion. So, for example, the Roaring Twenties follow the First World War, with flapper dresses and cropped bobs emblems of a bold new world of hedonism and emancipation. Dior’s New Look of 1947 featured voluminous skirts and luxe fabrics as an antidote to the legacy of World War II.
So perhaps we are now witnessing a bouncy, retaliatory, freedom-demanding new mini-wave of fashion characterized by unapologetic dressing, with bold color blocking and luxurious shimmering metals, played on striking shapes, all combining to say “we’re back and we’re here to be seen”.
Now is not the time for excessive extravagance, at least not financially, as we now tend to want to buy less and buy better, investing in pieces that will fit into our existing wardrobe and add some flair. impact without breaking the bank.
But there are special occasions and catch-up outings piling up on the calendar, and they can’t be ignored. Jane Reik, Buying Director at Leeds-based Joe Browns, said: “The long-awaited unrestricted summer is upon us, and many of our logs are filled with welcome events that feel like long-lost friends. I’m talking about weddings, garden parties…dare I say, summer vacation?
“It’s understandable that many of us approach our summer wardrobes with a bit of trepidation. Will this fail-safe dress still fit? Can I still walk in these shoes?
“Flowy summer skirts, airy midi dresses and lightweight jumpsuits are perfect for warm weather and suitable for most occasions. Just switch from a sneaker to a heel to easily transition from day to night. The trick is to find an outfit you love and make it work for all occasions.
“Killer heels that kill your soles are no longer a necessary plus. We continue our appreciation for comfortable shoes that always make a statement. Little heels serve up class and elegance while saving on discomfort, and they look just as fabulous with a gorgeous dress as they do with cropped pants.
Whistles, meanwhile, perfectly captured the carefree flamboyance of this summer, with mood-elevating colors and shapes, combining saturated shades, liquid satins, crinkled georgettes and sequined sheers with large ruffles, voluminous skirts and balloon sleeves.
Here are some tips on what to look for on the high street and online:
Vibrant colors from head to toe: Summer 2022 is all about color, so take a cue from the queen, who has always worn hues that stand out in order to be seen in crowds for miles around. If you’re not entirely comfortable going head-to-toe, opt for a brightly colored top, skirt, pants, shoes, or bag. The key shades are fuchsia and what is called Kermit-the-frog green. Feel free to color pink and orange, blue and green.
Smocked Dresses: Bulky slip-on-and-go dresses aren’t going anywhere (in fact, they’re going everywhere). Wear them with trainers, cowboy boots or platform sandals.
Ruffles: Give any outfit a feminine and playful touch, and also look for ruffled tops with voluminous shoulders and sleeves. Embroidered ruffle blouses are key.
Ensembles: The ultimate ensemble is the costume, whether it’s a pantsuit or a shorts suit. Look for loose, easy shapes as a great alternative to a dress for a special occasion, and boxy styles when you feel the need to dress powerfully.
Bohemian touches: including fringe, beads and tassels. You don’t have to be on vacation to go bohemian, but it helps. Crochet is another trend, and knits, including Fair Isle, to layer in British climes, are a sensible look of the moment. Team it with silk nighties in bright summer colors to create two trends in one.
Sequins and sparkle: Bring the party on in summer, so keep an eye out for sequin tank tops to wear under blazers or sequin dresses for a party look that’s sure to carry over into Christmas.
Miniskirts: Try adding high boots. A floaty short dress with cowboy boots or knee high boots is a slightly easier way for most to wear the new, shorter length. Or try three-quarter (mid-calf) boots with A-line dresses – a flattering new trend.
Neon accessories: A bright green bag or hot pink shoe offer an instant way to spruce up your existing wardrobe in one easy step.