1) Dressed Down Chic (because it reminds me of Paris)
What to do with stripes? I adore stripes as many of you will know and i have a wardrobe littered with them. I tend to incorporate stripes through t-shirts as they tend to be more forgiving placed away from legs (thighs in particular). Here's an example of how i would pull together a laid back outfit
Step 1: If i'm going to wear flats i would stick to a skinny or straight leg jean/ trouser. It also helps to keep everything looking in proportion (basically your torso will only look as wide as the dark jeans not as wide as the t-shirt).
Step 2: Layering. I make my own t-shirts at home because i struggle to find ones that are long enough on the high street. You can pick up a simple pattern for around £5 or make your own.
It doesn't look much at this stage but you have to remember that you will only see a certain part of it once the outfit has been finished. Often tops that i use for layering look awful on their own, you have to remember to see past it.
Step 3: Add the stripes. This is a really soft cotton t-shirt with great tailoring detail. The stripes are also a charcoal so not as harsh as black on white. You can adjust the layering t-shirt until you're happy with it.
Of course if you're not a fan of the layering look you can do without the long t-shirt
Step 4: Shoes. Ahhhhh the shoes. I love ballet pumps as much as i love my sky scraper heels. If you have muted colours you can avoid the obvious and give the outfit an extra twist. These are rose gold pumps (so again soft in tone) which i think look great against the dark colours.
Step 5: Jewellery. If you can pick up on one of the accent colours. With the stripes being so busy I always opt for something simple but bold. This yellow glass necklace picks up the gold on the shoes and works well with the charcoal, adding just enough interest.
If you wanted to add extra detail you could go for a wrap belt......
Step 6: Extra Layers. I try to avoid covering up with layers that are too long when i have a short t-shirt on as it gets a bit messy.
Short layers tend to work better (especially as i'm so short!)
2) Easy Beach
I'm not great with the whole beach thing. I hate feeling like a trip to the seaside needs a whole spare bag of clothes so last year i decided to try and wear something that would work on and off the beach when on holiday.
1) Swimwear: I now wear bikini tops and bottoms with small shorts when i'm on holiday. It means i can swim or paddle whenever and wherever the mood takes me without having that awful 'change in a towel tent' nightmare because they double as under garments during the day.
2) The Dress: Maxi dresses are a god send, they suit every body type and are normally quite cheap which means I don't feel guilty when they get covered in sand and suntan lotion. I try to find ones with an empire line as they sit over the bikini top, making it look structured and part of the outfit.
3) The Cover-Up: I burn quite easily so i always have a wrap handy to cover-up when i feel the sun is getting too much. This is one time when long layers work really well because they work with the length of the dress rather than against it.
It also means i have a top for when the evening comes. Long jersey tops double as excellent wraps by just tying them around the waist. Best of all the layering of the material will hide a swollen stomach (in my case usually down to too much ice-cream)!
If there are any particular styles or looks you want to see let me know, hopefully i've hit the mark for some of you!