Inspirational Summer Days | Velour Cowl Neck Tunic | By Cotton Traders

Jools
Stylist

With a little more time on our hands than usual and a new season fast approaching, now is the perfect time to hit refresh and give your wardrobe a spring clean of its own! Take your everyday essentials and make them extraordinary by investing in few key pieces that will give what you've already got a new lease on life. Take time to play around with colour, shape and style to create winning new combinations that will make getting dressed in the mornings a whole lot easier.

Our wardrobe heroes

Inspirational Summer Days | By Cotton Traders
Bored with a wardrobe full of winter greys and blacks, my first pick from the summer collection was this sweet jersey tea dress! In pretty shades of Bright Poppy (my fave) or Dark Aqua, it ticks all my boxes for summer. Firstly, for me, a dress has to be flattering so high necks and smock styles (that are full from the bust down) are out....V-necks and scoops are best for bigger boobs.
I normally lean towards shorter lengths but the midi dresses that are flooding my social media feeds look so modern that I'm mixing it up. Lastly, the drapey quality of this low-maintenance jersey makes me feel like exposed, making this dress a winner for work or play. I've styled it with my trusty denim jacket, converse pumps and a cute striped straw bag for summer, but it would look just as lovely with a longline knitted cardi and suede ankle boots when it's cooler.

In your wardrobe...

BUY... a midi length tea dress
STAY... a denim jacket
GO... frumpy dresses

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Inspirational Summer Days | By Cotton Traders
One of my favourite designers, Isabel Marant, has influenced the high street's obsession with Parisian chic for a long time, and this pretty -provençale print just reminds me of all things French! Its neat, boxy shape hides a tummy well whilst its structured shoulders give shape (oversized fluid layers and drop shoulders make us look bigger than we are!). This jacket totally transforms and lifts your look. I've teamed with with high waisted crops, a simple marl tee and studded gladiator sandals for a look that screams summer.

In your wardrobe...

BUY... a boxy embroidered jacket
STAY... studded sandals
GO... shapeless old trousers

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Inspirational Summer Days | By Cotton Traders
I can't help but buy plenty of new shirts and blouses each season, so when I was flicking through the latest catalogue, it felt like this sky blue embroidered number was just waiting to jump into my wardrobe! Not only is it my favourite, most flattering shape - hello, V-neck and tummy-skimming cut - but it's in a spirit-lifting shade of blue too. It makes me want to throw out my rows (and rows!) of plain shirts. I've gone head-to-toe colour by styling it with my new vintage wash straight leg jeans, a pair of strappy sandals and a straw hat. Summer uniform, sorted!

In your wardrobe...

BUY... a boho blouse
STAY... straight leg jeans
GO... super skinny jeans

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Inspirational Summer Days | By Cotton Traders
I was so happy to see this modern biker jacket in the new collection and, as I considered which styles I needed in my summer wardrobe, I knew I had to have it. I'm a huge fan of hi-lo styling - that's fashion speak for combining something formal with something laidback and relaxed - and believe it's the foundation of getting that effortless, fashion-forward finish to your outfits. I've gone for a basic bright white tee (also from Cotton Traders...their basics are the best quality) tucked neatly into a sequinned pencil skirt and topped off with the jacket. The look is effortlessly cool and perfect worn with mules, a box bag and a chain necklace for drinks with the girls.

In your wardrobe...

BUY... biker jacket
STAY... pencil skirts
GO... faded and unloved basics. Replace every season

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Inspirational Summer Days | By Cotton Traders
It's all about colour this season and I've been dipping my toe (gently) into some of those brighter, sun-soaked colours. Primary colours work best for me when I wear them with my usual uniform of denim, khaki and neutrals; making the transition easier and less alarming to the colour-shy minimalists among us! Red takes centre stage in this outfit so I've styled it against a simple background of my favourite cream straight leg jeans and a cool linen blazer. The pretty top combines a casually elegant shape, a bust-friendly V-neck and a drapey tie waist making it figure-friendly. It would look just as lovely with a frayed denim skirt as it would khaki chinos for easy summer style.

In your wardrobe...

BUY... colour!
STAY... cream or white jeans
GO... cold shoulder tops. So last season!

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