Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Fly away fashion

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June has been a fashion frenzy of style news hitting the headlines for us to feast our eyes on. And what a Royal bonanza it’s been. Despite the summer being washed away by all the flood water that engulfed the UK this month, least we could look to the smiles from the Windsor family to give us a little snapshot of sunshine.

We saw K Middy got back to basics and embrace her wild side on a children’s camping trip, but still maintain an air of class as she donned £300 leather-lined willies from French bootmaker La Chameau. The Queen named her prestigious honours list and aside from Take-That-crooner-turned-X-Factor- Mr-Nasty Gary Barlow, Sarah Burton was flying the flag for British fashion. The creative director of Alexander McQueen was given an OBE for her role in creating the Duchess of Cambridge’s stunning lace wedding gown.

Aside from all the hip-wiggling celebrations down at Buckingham Palace, the crowds came out in full-force for the Royal Ascot. Spotting displays of outrageous fashion is an annual attraction at the five-day event, but this year it was different. Organisers put a stop to the trend of shrinking skirts and fascinators, and imposed a strict new dress code, fit with eagle-eyed ‘fashion police’ positioned at the turnstiles who were armed with ties, pashminas and hats to give to anyone who failed to comply with the tough rules.

Surrounding myself with the tropical location photoshoots from the spreads of Vogue and ELLE is about the closest I’m getting to a sun-soaked holiday at the moment, but if you’re counting down the days until you jet off somewhere scorching, you’ll need to jam pack your suitcase with some summer staples.  

Life's a beach and then you get sunburn, stub your toe on a rock, break your nails boogie-boarding, snag your sarong on a palm tree and decide that maybe more sangria and less sand is really the life for you. But armed with the right dress code you’ll look great and feel even better. 

Holidays are a time to dip into more adventurous looks with graphic prints, retro cat's eye sunglasses and a European-inspired kaftan. You can push the boundaries and experiment with vibrant designs that are a world away from your dowdy day-to-day office attire. Bright, bold colours are bang on trend and also make mix and match packing a breeze, so stock up on the bare essentials at h&m.

When it comes to strutting your stuff round the blue waters and perfecting that lobster-slash-olive-skin tan, nailing the right swimwear is crucial. The one-piece swimsuit is a poolside lounger staple, but its fashion-forward cousin, the cut-out suit, is a whole other animal entirely. Whether they're slashed up in unexpected places, strung out or plunging, these tanks make a statement. If you’re brave enough, head down to River Island for a daring range of swimsuits to dive into. If you prefer to play it safe with your regular two-piece bikini, then Monsoon do a great selection of shapes and designs to suit. Not a fan of flashing the flesh? The sarong can do duty as skirt, strapless dress and shawl and the kaftan is easier and hides more faults. Next is a brilliant place to stock up on brightly-coloured necessities to make sure you tread trendy on your jollies.

Even the latest bling is being influenced by the sea, with the high street awash with necklaces, bangles and earrings sporting something fishy from crabs to corals, and buckets to boats. Topshop and Accessorize have a great selection of eye-catching jewels. So whether you’re off for a week in the Bahamas, a month’s jaunt round Australia or a weekend camping in Bognor, looking stylish should all be part of the package.

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