how to ease into summer style

This time of year calls for lots of those in-between type outfits. In theory, it should be warm, but, by ‘eck, it’s damn well not. One day you venture out in your latest midi skirt without tights, only to be met by gale force winds and snow; the next day you’re hoicking those black opaques back on.

Along with the constant weather-related fashion issues, there’s also the body factor. My off-grey complexion is a long way from a ‘ready-to-be-revealed’ state. My legs are lacking that general summer TLC. And I’ve still to do my 100-a-night panic sit-up regime. All in all, the great British summer always catches me off guard.

Not this year.

Ashling in Monsoon off the shoulder top

I have finally resolved to ease my way into those balmy days. I am fully embracing transitional dressing. This basically means combining two seasons – floaty dresses with trainers or ankle boots (as opposed hypothermia-inducing sandals!), sweatshirts with skirts or tees accessorized with light scarves. It’s almost kind of obvious, but every year, with the first glimpse of sun, we feel the need to close our wardrobes on anything vaguely warm.

Thankfully this season’s must-have top lends itself well to ‘in-between’ sartorial goals. Off-the-shoulder is where it’s at right now. Why? It suggests holiday and yet, paired with jeans, it suddenly seems so everyday; teamed with a long skirt or culottes, it’s just cool.

Ashling in Monsoon
On a recent trip to Monsoon (which is nailing the boho trend btw), I found this embroidered number. I loved it. Fact. However, it’s a top meant for beaches and sun-downer cocktails. The bold blue embroidery dappled across crisp white fabric screams vacation. All true. But slip it on with jeans and trainers and you’ve got a whole different look – less Ibiza white sands and more Aldeburgh stony shores.

I’m finally feeling those summer vibes, but at least I’m not scaring the sea gulls with my lily white legs!

Ashling in Monsson top

Monsoon Carmen off the shoulder top, £49

Ashling with Topshop trainers

Zara mid rise jeans, £25.99

Topshop Copenhagen trainers

Topshop Copenhagen trainers

3 tips on transitional dressing:

  1. Invest in lightweight cover-ups, like this season’s bomber jacket or a classic mac – but that wintry biker jacket still looks great over sun dresses and jumpsuits.
  2. Before braving open-toe sandals, trainers and ankle boots are more than acceptable. In fact, the trainer is the current fashion insider’s shoe of choice.
  3. Wear lighter shades, tropical prints or brighter colours – even if you’re wearing a full length top, you’ll feel so summer-ready.

shop the look: 

    Topshop sunglasses, £14

    Monsoon Carmen off the shoulder top, £49

    Zara mid-rise jeans, £25.99

    Topshop Copenhagen trainers, £26

Ashling McCloy


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