Summer is upon us; can you feel the warmth of the sunshine, hear the birds tweeting and feel the grass beneath your toes? No? Oh, that’s right; we don’t get a whole lot of hot weather in the British summer anymore… but that doesn’t mean summer fashion is dead, and if you’re planning a “staycation” instead of jetting off abroad this year you’ll want to embrace the British countryside and everything it has to offer. Think strawberries and cream, picnics and long walks in the park – the UK has a lot to offer, and just because the weather is a little chilly doesn’t mean you need to cling on to your winter jacket – there is a way of dressing perfectly for the British weather, which is both cosy and chic.
Start your summer look with a good practical pair of shoes; you’ll need them for festivals, country walks, and intense amounts of shopping and seaside fun. You can’t go wrong with a pair of tan leather boots that are knee-height; these are incredibly versatile, you can wear them with a short pair of socks, bare legs and a button up dress, or team them with over-the-knee wool socks and your favourite pair of customised shorts. They’ll survive through the mud and miles of walking, but they’ll also keep you cool in hot sunshine, because leather is the perfect breathable material.
Country fashion is about mixing the pretty with the practical; so why shouldn’t you team a vintage tea dress with your boots? It’s the perfect contrast to have a girly, frilly chiffon dress worn with muddy, well-worn boots; it’s also a unique look for festivals! Finish glamorous farm-girl look with a pill-box hat and 1950s curls, and if you feat getting cold, add a cute quilted jacket and a ladylike umbrella.
Country fashion is all about the make, do and mend culture, so why not try making your own dress in a graphic, retro fabric. Source antique buttons from salvage shops, and make sure you embellish any collars and lapels with sparkling old brooches. You’ll save money by making your own dresses, and you’ll be able to invest in much more high-quality outerwear; buy a well-made leather jacket for warmth and waterproofing, and you’ll have a lightweight and stylish coat that goes with anything.
Accessorising is simple, if you’ve got a combination of a vintage dress, sturdy boots and a leather jacket, then we recommend finishing the look with a vintage scarf tied into a bow hairband. You can source vintage scarves really cheaply from charity shops and fairs, and they’re the perfect way of keeping your hair neat in the windy weather! Best of all, if you’re going out in the evening, but you want to avoid the tats and frizz caused by bad weather, why not try putting your hair into pin-curls then wrapping it up in a scarf? Not only will your hair be protected, but you’ll also be able to simply unwrap it in the evening and brush it through to get perfect, bouncy, glam curls. Equestrian Country Chic is… Easy as that!
Summer countryside fashion is all about knowing where to spend your money and where to save it, so remember, invest in good shoes and good outwear, and look out for fairs and clothes swaps to source pretty retro dresses!
This guest post was contributed by Holly Powell a lover of fashion writing and spending weekends outdoors in the sun on behalf of Ptarmigan country clothing store.