It's freezing cold; you're flipping though all the latest magazines telling you about a zillion different trends for spring/summer - and you're too busy mulling over whether you can actually be bothered to brave taking off your layers of winter warmers to try on a skimpy dress, let alone what your wardrobe actually needs come spring. As a woman who shops...a lot; and understands that fashion can sometimes offer far too many choices than your wallet can handle, I have compiled 'The List': an easy what-to-buy list of all the items you'll need when the temperature rises. Once you have these basics in place; you hopefully won't be tricked into splurging on those tricky-trend items that you buy with the best intentions, and then never seem to actually be able to wear....
- Tank Tops in black, white and grey - ideal for under sheer summer blouses or light layering in early spring
- A maxi dress - this is THE item for summer. Available in broad stripes, floral and tropical prints, solid colours and white...perhaps buy two: one in a print for the day; and one in a solid colour (or white), which you can accessorise with bold jewellery for more of an evening look.
- A trilby hat - choose a light coloured straw or woven style which you won't get hot and bother in.
- Comfortable, flat sandals - treat yourself to a good quality pair, because you know you'll live in them all summer...go for a colour that will go with everything, like tan.
- A skinny belt - ideal to wear with shorts, or to give floaty dresses and tops definition around the waist or hips.
- An item in a solid bright colour - coral, orange and yellow are going to be particularly trendy; so I would suggest you find an item in one of these shades. However If you're not sold on wearing vivid shades; then you can always find a bright bag to add a pop of colour to a neutral outfit.
- A sling bag - this is a small to medium sized bag with a long strap that you wear across your body. Bright colours or brown/tan shades are both going to be very popular, so take your pick.
- Platform wedges - the essential shoe to polish off the 70s look which is massive in fashion for spring/summer. Trust me, if you don't like the look of these now, by the end of summer you will want a pair; they're going to be available in so many styles and colours you won't be able to resist for long.
- A jumpsuit - yes they're back, so if you don't have one already, you should get one this season. Personally I find black to be the most versatile.
- Shorts - I'm sure some of you are inhaling sharply at this point; shorts seem to be the most dubious of fashion items - yet, if you find the right fit and length for your body type, they can be the most flattering and easy-to-wear item you'll ever own. White is going to be a fashion hit, but understandably we can't all wear such an item - so try navy, which goes with most of the summer colours, and looks softer than black.
- Nail polish in a shade of coral, orange or yellow - to compliment your tanned toes.
- Sunglasses - the wayfarer style is still around, though personally I love the retro 'cat-eye' styles, and the bigger-is-better oversized frames which have become the standard solution to dashing out the house sans make-up.
- A big bold watch - either white, super-bright or bling-bling; the statement is all in the size.
- A light weight scarf or two...either in cotton, linen or silk, these are ideal for adding a dash of colour or print to an outfit; transforming the look completely. This is my style staple all your round - a simple top, or dress, can look far more stylish when you simply tie a scarf around your neck.
- A summer jacket - something tailored in a light weight fabric, which can be worn over a dress or a sleeveless top. This season sees some very bright versions hitting the shelves, especially in shades of salmon, coral and hibiscus.
- Wide leg Palazzo pants - the new 'trouser' style for summer, nothing could be more comfortable and easy to wear; just add a cropped tee or tank top, flat sandals and...relax! According to Cape Town fashion week; wide leg, pleated styles are bang on trend.
- Feather earrings - the perfect accessory with a 70s inspired floral dress, or a soft kaftan-blouse
- Something in crochet - the most unexpected trend of the season has taken off to eyebrow raising priority on fashion's Must Have list. If wearing a crochet dress makes you feel like your crazy hippy aunt - then you can just add a touch of handy-work to your wardrobe with a cropped waistcoat; or a top with a subtle crochet trim.
- A cropped tee shirt - you can either wear this as is, or over a tank top if you want to feel more covered on the hips; great with shorts or jeans on the weekend.
- Boho bangles - a set of bangles is the easiest accessory to grab on your way out the door; just to add a little extra 'something' to an outfit. The more variety in the set the better, as you may want to wear just one or two bangles at a time, instead of the whole collection.