As a Northern gal, my body has the natural temperature best likened to a crisp-and-cool glass of Chardonnay wine, straight out of the cooler. Thus, it is not suited for anything above 75 degrees. I don't like winter, either - which is when I feel my supposed Scandinavian genes have failed me. I get too cold, Chardonnay wine is best served at 50 degrees F (10 Celsius) and my ideal serving temperature is somewhere around there (ok, maybe a TINY bit warmer). I love spring and fall, for these reasons, when you can just BE in the weather without having it interfere with your day in any way. I like summer, for a limited amount of time, when it's sunny and manageably warm. Because of this, I always try to escape my otherwise CONSTANT number one choice of home, New York City, during this season. There is nothing manageable about New York summers.
This past week however, I did venture to a place where New York would have met its tough competitor. Ladies and gentlemen: let me present to you how I, a Northern cool-like-Chardonnay fashion-industry gal, managed 7 days in 90 degree weather with the aim to keep up with my habits of dressing creatively.
Here we go, 7 days, 7 looks, why (and how) I wore them:
DAY 1: CHANNELING MY INNER VESPA-RIDER
What: I opted for a pair of semi-denim frilly shorts I bought one year ago from Zara, an off the shoulder top from H&M (maybe one of the most flattering summer items in my opinion), my standard flat shoes & , of course, my favorite 'Le Grand Depart' Clare V. clutch.
Why: I was still in Swedish summer *OMG-my-body-cannot-adjust-to-this-heat* mode and when out for a drink before dinner at 8 pm (dinner times in Sardinia are naturally at around 10 pm, due to the fact that NO SANE PERSON would enjoy a meal with gassing 100 degree sun as an, uninvited, side dish).
DAY 2: GREAT DRESS-PECTATIONS
What: On Day 2, I switched up the shorts for the dress. A nice change for a breezy evening (that's the winning thing about Sardinia: it is very windy, which makes it bearable and sweet even though it's ridiculously hot in July).
Why: My process of putting myself together has always been, and will always be, based on channeling a specific character I want to be that day. That's my "secret", if there is any. I don't look at trends and I never really have (a shameful secret to admit as someone who has been in the fashion industry since she was 16). For this, I channeled my best "Rich Italian girl who has the entire world served in front of her on a silver plate, but who feels highly skeptical towards it. In other words, she has all the great expectations laid out in front of her, but only a wistful lens to see them through ". Successful channeling or not, it did achieve the kind of feel I wanted that evening.
DAY 3: ALL THE BAYWATCHING
What: a red bathing suit from BERSHKA.
Why: okay, this is a lie. This was not a "one day wear", this is what I wore for the most part of the trip - 80% of the time I was in this red bathing suit and I have to say: it rocked my world. I'm not a big fan of swimwear, as much as it seems to be something our culture, magazines, social media, fashion, and, as a consequence, a lot of us (meaning women, girls) are supposed to be absolutely obsessed with from May-August EVERY YEAR. Maybe this is where my resistance comes in - after so many years of opening up fashion magazines and seeing swimsuit reports, it seems the most boring thing to me. It is usually also the most tedious, sweaty & confidence-draining item one will try to find. But, as with any piece of new clothing I set my mind on buying, I have the entire image of it illustrated in my mind long before I find it.
And this season, I knew I wanted nothing but a red swimsuit. And as an avid bikini wearer (I think the most recent time I wore a swimsuit was when I was 8) that was a refreshing and big step to take. It took some hardcore online scanning and finally, I found this, and it was perfect. And now I sort of even like swimwear. And specifically, bathing suits. Which in itself is a major achievement for a tiny piece of clothing to accomplish.
DAY 4: PLAYSUITS GALORE
What: On Sunday we took a boat over to the island of Corsica, France. Maybe one of the main perks of being a European is the relative closeness to the world around you: one trip can easily be made into several. A two hour boat ride and we were in yet another country. And it was, not surprisingly, equally hot. For this I brought out my secret summer outfit weapon: the sleeveless, short playsuit. Maybe my ALL TIME favorite item. It's like a dress & a top and shorts all in one. It can be equally cute as it can be sophisticated.
Why: In addition to the obvious reason (I LOVE A GOOD PLAYSUIT) - it also seemed to be suitable for a tiny tour de France, as well as for crossing a tiny part of the Mediterranean. Airy, nice Mediterranean-ish pattern (well, my imagined version of what "Mediterranenan-ish" is defined as) matched with Clare V. (what else?) to get even more oh-so-French. Oh, and I wore a white baseball cap that I bought for €3 by the beach on my very first Sardinian morning, after realizing I had no hat and hats need to be worn at all times under this sun. But, I sort of love it for more than the protectiveness it brings: it seemed to go well with a lot of my planned attires, as you will see further down.
DAY 5: THE LATE NIGHT PLAYSUIT
What: a black, wrap, lyocell playsuit (duh!) from H&M. I'm repping H&M a lot this summer because H&M is rocking it on the summer-wear front in 2017, it's also more or less a mandatory requirement written in the birth certificate if you're from Sweden (after legal drinking age, but before laws on income tax), that we all have to wear at least 5 H&M outfits per year. It's a tough life, in other words.
Why: It's a playsuit! But better than that, it's a real fancy-looking, sophisticated playsuit which feels fun and playful but also can look proper enough to wear to a semi-fancy restaurant or nighttime drinking place by the beach (as seen above, Gin & Tonic in hand - which is now my unofficial official signature drink).
DAY 6: THE TENNIS TOURNAMENT
What: Oh summer and white clothing might just be the most timeless love story. In this I am wearing a pair of dungarees (bought them from Banana Republic a couple of years back), a blouse from ...and Other Stories, my €3 baseball hat & my favorite favorite Alice bag from, you guessed it, Clare V.
Why: I originally was inspired for this (albeit maybe not visible through what I'm wearing) after getting absolutely obsessed with a recent New Yorker cover (THIS ), which I initially thought to be a photograph (I was convinced to the point where I was staring at it whilst doing heavy research trying to find the model in it and realized it was, eh, not a fashion editorial.), but it's, instead, a beautiful drawing by artist Kadir Nelson. Anyway, I thought it was genius - so I had it in my mind when dressing for this and planning the composition for it. Additionally, I got deep into feeling like a an East Coast American prep socialite going out for post-tennis-game drinks (if you're an East Coast American prep socialite you can be tennis in all white without getting either sweaty nor dirty, yes? Yes) .
DAY 7: THE EVENING WHITES
What: white silk top, white silk shorts - both from H&M (no I am not sponsored, but I should be at this point), flats from Other Stories and foldover midnight blue clutch from Clare V.
Why: Oh yes, if there's anything more timeless than white in the summer, it's wearing white on a sparkling summer night ("sparkling" is optional, but if you have ever experienced a Mediterranean summer night, you know what I mean). On my last such night in some time (likely until next summer), I could think of nothing better to wear. In an all white silk top & short combo, matched with my Clare V. folded midnight blue clutch & my go-to flats from Other Stories, I felt a slight breeze from Katherine Hepburn in the 30s/40s sweeping across my skin. And that's NEVER a bad breeze to feel.
Au revoir! Ciao Italia!