Spring has finally sprung
When I first step out in the morning and get that unmistakable whiff of spring in the air it really gets me in the mood for holidays and perhaps jetting off somewhere far-flung for a week, or two. I’ve always fancied chartering a private jet and whilst looking at pricing, I found this rent a private jet cost calculator which is perfect if you’re planning a special summer treat or a once-in-a-lifetime trip. However, before you get too excited, it’s time for a summer sort-out.
Firstly, my wardrobe gets an overhaul and I’ll start by packing away winter clothing, perhaps cutting the legs off old pairs of jeans that I might’ve otherwise discarded and deciding on any extras that I might need for the coming months of hopefully warmer weather.
What’s on the Runways
I always have an idea of season-specific outfits I’ll be wearing and get inspiration from magazines, TV or from people-watching when out and about. I saw a gorgeous wide-leg trouser and tank co-ord on a recent episode of First Dates hotel and I’m now on a mission. I love the look of wide-leg trousers with flat sandals, it’s such an effortless style.
Last summer I was all about the off-the-shoulder top – some long-sleeved, some short and as the runways dictate what the upcoming trend focus will be, I’m pleased to see off-the-shoulder has still featured quite heavily over the last few weeks.
Pastel Pinks and purples are also featured on the runways for this coming season’s trends, this is good news as I love to wear feminine colours in the warmer months. Won’t be long before it’s time to start trawling online for those summer wardrobe staples.
It’s Sandal Season
Alongside clothing, I like to buy a new pair (or two) of neutral, or gold-tone flat sandals so that I’ve always got a pair to go with anything. I get sentimentally attached to my shoes so I generally have lots of sandals from previous seasons and as long as they aren’t too shabby they will go a bit longer. We all have a favourite comfy pair, don’t we?
Toe Nail Maintenance… start now. You know how sandal season suddenly seems to land whilst you’re still waiting for the sun and this means getting your feet and toenails ready in advance. Nothing is more annoying than in amongst the usual drab UK Spring/Summer weather there randomly appears an unexpected beautiful sunny day or two, you’re heading out and you want to wear sandals but heck, your toenails and feet are anything but ready. I hate this scenario and have been caught so many times, so it’s for this reason I start with preparation now.
I remove any remaining old polish, from the last application, I can’t remember when that was. Winter may well be the only time of year when it’s acceptable to actually ‘grow out’ our toenail polish? It’s been so long between applications. Anyway, follow with a ridge smoothing buffer, I use a 4-way buffer from Boots UK and I find it really effective. It has four sides for filing, smoothing, buffing, and shining and leaves your nails really nice and smooth.
Each morning after my shower, I push back my toenail cuticles while they are still soft and trim off any excess with cuticle pliers, I do this each morning over a few days, or so, until the cuticles are pristine… Leaving the nails bare for a while gives them a good chance to be really clean and free from stains while continuing with my maintenance routine.
My go-to toenail look for summer is french polish as it looks just gorgeous with tanned feet and is neutral for any change of outfit.
I use a vegan polish Essie Muchi Muchi for the pink as it’s the perfect french pink and has long been my favourite. For the white tips, I use Essie Blanc and finish with a gel-type top coat to keep them looking perfect for up to a week.
Buff off any hard skin and massage some Organic raw coconut oil into your feet and slip on some socks to help with absorption (particularly good at bedtime). Again, do this over several days and then continue moisturising throughout the summer. Flip Flop foot is never a good look, but so easy to acquire.
Get Those Shoulders Out
Exfoliate, exfoliate. Did I mention exfoliate? If this isn’t part of your skincare routine not just for summer but all year round it should be! I’ve long been an advocate of this, I exfoliate my whole body, face, neck, and everywhere, religiously all year round and have done for many years. It’s vital for keeping skin youthful and smooth. I love the look of ultra smooth, almost shiny shoulders in those off-shoulder tops and dresses.
I will cover exfoliation in detail in a future post as it’s something I’m passionate about so look out for that. In the meantime, a great body exfoliator is my all-time favourite *Boots No7 Total renewal body. It has a texture of wet sand which I like, as opposed to a fluid with a few particles these aren’t for me and are pretty much useless. I exfoliate in the shower at least three times a week to keep my skin super smooth and see off those annoying hard little millia pimples which we can sometimes appear on the backs of arms, and tops of legs.
With continued use, you can keep them at bay. Let it slide and they will be back.
For my face I shy away from a ‘mechanical’ type exfoliator and tend to favour enzyme peels, these contain fruit acids which nibble away all those dead skin cells. Elemis Papaya Enzyme peel is my all-time favourite. I apply this at least 3 times a week, as with all Elemis products it smells divine. Go on exfoliate, you know you need to!
As for denim, throughout the summer I prefer to wear lighter-coloured denim, shirts and jeans as It just feels more summery. Lighter jeans look gorgeous with a simple white Tee or shirt and bode better with sandals, I think. What about the cut? I fell in love with the Mom style or straighter leg jeans last season as skinnies began falling by the wayside, but struggled to find a pair which I actually loved. However, Topshop at Asos mom jeans are my current favourites.
There was always just something not quite right about the fit and of course. I’m a big fan of high-waisted anything though, it gives a much cleaner silhouette than having pockets lower down near the hips and It’s definitely more slimming than regular or low-rise jeans.
I still own a couple of low-waisted stragglers dating back to pre-high-waisted. These may well be going on vacation to the charity shop this season. I gave a lot of old jeans to charity last year only to find that boy/girlfriend fit was making a comeback, wish I’d kept some of them but alas, it’s too late now.
Up-cycle out-dated pieces
Something else I like to do is dust off my sewing machine and adapt different pieces according to current trends etc. I have a wide-leg trouser suit which I purchased from Oasis several years ago in a lovely pistachio shade (think Summer wedding) the legs were just too wide and I wanted them ‘cigarette’ style so I ran my machine down the inner seam of the legs and cut off the excess thus creating a whole new look for my old suit. I didn’t actually wear it to the wedding in the end but that’s beside the point! Looking back I should’ve left them wide leg. Tops can be shortened, trousers hemmed etc.
Also, a good thing to do at this time of year is to have a lingerie cull. Time to throw out that ‘work-horse’ bra (usually fake tan stained and a bit bobbly) and get yourself a shiny new one. Nude in colour, and smooth tee-shirt style is always good for the summer season. White bras aren’t the best option under white clothing so you’ll need a nude one for that reason. It’s also a good idea If you’re planning on doing some serious bra shopping to get yourself measured as your size/shape changes over time etc.
I plucked up the courage to do this recently as my bras are always so uncomfortable (not my favourite thing to have done) the last time was pre-baby so quite a while ago now and yes, it turns out I was wearing the wrong size. After my new size was established, the assistant brought me a selection of bras to try and not so surprisingly, they were so much more comfortable (I went down a back size and up a cup size). Take it from me and get measured – you just never know.
Finally, Store Away Those Off-Season Pieces
When I want to pack away the off-season clothes I use vacuum bags, this keeps them fresh and also at hand. We live in a converted barn and the one thing it lacks is loft space so this is where the vacuum bags come in handy. I store them under our bed (for want of a better place for them to live)! We don’t want to ditch our entire winter wardrobe in favour of new as lots of pieces will do for at least a couple of seasons if they remain on trend. The vacuum bags keep the clothes clean and free from dust and god forbid, moths! When I want to get the winter clothes out again I will always wash them before switching my Summer clothing to the bags to spend the winter under the bed! these bags are widely available but do vary in quality, I find *Wilkinson’s own brand really good.
How do you prepare for sunny days? I’d love to hear from you. Read about my self-tanning routine.
How do you prepare for sunny days? Please share your thoughts. I’d love to hear from you.
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