Pret-a-Portea, Claremont Quarter

On Monday, I attended the morning workshop "The Perfect 10 Spring Summer Essentials" as part of Claremont Quarter's Fashion Fortnight at Beluga cafe. This was one part of a series of workshops in the lead up to the Perth Fashion Festival, which kicks off on 21st Sept.  

We were treated to a delicious high-tea, complete with perfectly dainty china, sandwich fingers, tiny quiches and scrumptious little squares of chocolate slices. Their Style Ambassador, Elizabeth Clarke, revealed the 10 key items to have in your spring summer wardrobe, as the six models weaved their way through the tables. 

1. White Shirt   Try a tailored style with shaped seams for a neat fit. When trying on, check the placement of the chest button is in the correct position for your shape, this will minimize gaping fronts. Ensure there is enough room through the shoulders for ease of movement without the centre opening pulling at the buttons. If you have a smaller bust, breast pockets are an asset not to be ignored! There are many different shades of white: crisp and clean; soft; ivory; cream - find one that suits your complexion.  If white is just a no-go colour for you, try wearing a very soft or light tone that is reflected in the colour of your eyes.

Being modeled, were three tailored styles - Country Road's White Pocket Shirt, Trenery Silky Utility Shirt (placket fly front) and Sprotscraft Ruby White Button up Shirt (linen).  

2. Summer Knit  A light weight knit is one of the most useful pieces in your wardrobe. It can be worn as an extra layer for warmth, to hide unwanted lumps and bumps, or as the star attraction. They move easily from casual through to dressy. Just check the care instructions as not all garments can be thrown in the washing machine. 

Viewed where a lightly beaded vest in silvery tones (Lee Matthews 'knitted vest'), a 3/4 sleeve knit top with a silk back and curved hemline (Jac + Jack 'Barley Beth sweater') and a 2 tone in black and caramel drop shoulder top (County Road 'Splice pullover'). The last knit would be perfect for anyone who finds it hard to move away from black as the more flattering colour of caramel will sit closer to the face. Add wood beads for a great texture in keeping with the tones. 

3. Denim Will denim ever go out of fashion? This summer, we see the denim skirt continue to be a strong trend, in slightly flared or straight versions. Look out for jeans in all sorts of colours with the skinny leg remaining a favourite in the stores. Skinny jeans are a great substitute for leggings, providing a better level of support, but please be aware that skinny jeans do not suit everyone. Straight and bootlegs are flattering to all. The 70's high waisted jeans are continuing through this summer and look best on long bodied ladies. 

4. Summer Jacket A light weight jacket is a great investment piece for the changing seasons and cooler evenings. There is a right style for every short, skirt, trouser and dress that is hiding in your wardrobe.  This season, you will find jackets in all colours, fabrics, lengths and styles. For a classic look, try a blazer that is med light to med dark in colour depth, such as navy, tan or khaki. 


Examples from Ezibuy

5. T-shirt This is a classic piece that will always be a wardrobe staple. T-shirts come in so many different styles, fabrics and colours. If wearing a loose version, keep your skirts, trousers, shorts, etc  neat rather than full. The opposite is true: when wearing a slim fit t-shirt, you can wear more volume on your lower half. Choose tops in colours that will coordinate with the rest of your wardrobe, as they can be layered over or under other items. 

6. Summer Shoe The wedge, platform and stacked shoes seem to be dominating the trends this summer. Keep them in colours that tone with your outfit and have a low vamp (sit low on the foot).  If you prefer flats, you are spoilt for choice with ballet flats and sandals in gorgeous colours. Nude shoes, either in a heel or flat, are continuing as a strong trend. They are versatile, work with most outfits and have the bonus of increasing the visual length of your leg.  

XX All Shoes from Style Tread  
  7. SwimsuitFor me, swimwear comes down to personal taste and what works for your body shape, rather than trends. Bathers will always come in all styles, colours and design features. Just remember, a tunic / caftan coverup is a great accessory to go along with your sunscreen, hat, sunglasses and favourite book!

8. Handbag The return of the oversized envelope clutch has made a return. Look out for versions in classic tan or vibrant hues to add a splash of colour. A handbag or clutch in snake skin, is an easy way to pick up on the latest animal trend. Printed handbags are also very popular, as are satchels, worn across the body or over one shoulder. 

Featured where Handbags - Cue Snow Leopard print, Trenery Soft Tan leather, Dotti Printed; Clutch - Trenery Red envelope, Dotti Vintage Tan envelope, Dangerfield Snail Mail; Satchels - Dotti Blue, French Connection Tan, Mink Pink Brown leather. 

9. Day Dress Dresses come in all flavours this summer with influences of romantic lace and ruffles, bohemian prints and peasant softness, african safari, classic vintage designs and, the always popular, nautical stripes and dots. You will find dresses with clever draping, stunning solid colours, beautiful prints and all types of hemlines. Sorry not to give you more specific trends, but there is really something for everybody this year. Get out there and try one on! 

10. Party Dress Once again, hemlines fall to the floor in sweeping maxis alongside knee lengths and higher. Go for a simple design with statement accessories or let the dress do the talking with complimentary jewellery and shoes.  You will see a lot of clever draping in evening / party wear, such as twist shoulder or neckline features, gathered halter-neck inspired details using a chocker style collar, and multiple pleats within the body of the garment. Designs come in beautiful jewel tones, gorgeous patterns and often feature lace or beading embellishments. 

The three dresses modelled were the Bianca Spender Black Jersey Twist Shoulder; Charlie Brown Multi Coloured full length; and Carla Zampatti Blueberry Georgette Dress. 


I trust this has given you some ideas on how to update your wardrobe this season.