The winter in London is a long, hard, slog but by the grace of All That Is Good it is finally over. The blossoms are out in full force and I am feeling a spring in my step. (Perfect springy photo above courtesy of @lost.in.ldn’s lovely Instagram feed – go take a look for a few more. I’ll wait. Okay, you’re back. Let’s continue…) I am so ready to think about the summer now. That is what this season is about, right? The intermezzo between winter and summer. The small, light, refreshing palate cleanser before we head into shorts, flip flops, sunscreen, swimsuits, beaches and seafood and my childrens’ sun-kissed cheeks?
But hang on a minute. There are a few things we need to do between now and then. We need to shed the heavy wool sweaters and brighten ourselves up from the inside out. We should clear out our closets and then pick up a few wardrobe refreshers and a bottle of rosé. We must, above all else, sit back, let the sun warm us through the window and wait for the heat to arrive.
The first thing you are going to need is a new pair of sunnies. I am head-over-woven-heeled-espadrilles over the Havana Olivia glasses from Triwa. They look like a million Euros on and they slide up ever so effortlessly to push that beach babe hair out of your eyes (as much as I love my Ray Ban Aviators I can’t take one more occurrence of pushing them up onto my head and then having the nose piece caught in my hair and gingerly disengaging my tresses while a tear of pain glides down my cheek). These fit great, look great and feel great. No tears. Done.
Now, beverages. There is one drink for summer. Well, one wine for summer. That is a dry rosé from Provence, France. I switch it up each year and offer my loyalties to a different producer and this year my heart and soul are with Mirabeau. First up, the story in their press materials is real. A couple with young children were tired of the grind in London and when redundancy presented itself (for my American readers this means that a company gets rid of your job but pays you a few months or even up to a year as an apology) they took it as a sign and they packed up their three children and everything they owned into a truck and drove down to Southern France to start a new life. I, for one, appreciate their sacrifice because their wine is simply one of favourite things on the planet right now. Check Wine-Searcher.com to see who is carrying it near you and order a case.
If you follow my Instagram account you will probably have seen that I have a love affair with Kiehl’s. In all fairness it didn’t *just* begin with social media. It actually began in 2000 when I moved to a studio apartment in the East Village of NYC just around the corner from the first Kiehl’s. I used to visit monthly and pet the bottles and beg for samples. Today I have a cabinet full of it thanks to social media photography projects I do with them — which means I have the option to try loads of their different products. I really like them all but I think I have a genuine addiction to their Revive & Replenish Duo. Every morning…every evening. See if they will send you a sample … first one’s for free.
I am going to put this dress on on June 1st and take it off August 31st. Don’t wear it if we have a social occasion together because we will 100% be wearing the same outfit.
When I lived in NYC in my 20s the thing to do was to give someone an LL Bean canvas boat bag with the postcode of their summer share in the Hamptons. That seems unbelievably obnoxious now but somehow painting my initials onto a straw bag and turning it from a $20 market purchase to a $120 Etsy purchase seems totally rational. It is, right? Right?
That straw bag is just a day bag. You just can not go into the summer without amazing packable. How else could you take this shot in a bathroom in the Cotswolds? You couldn’t . That’s how. Check out Steamline luggage for durable, gorgeous, show-stopping bags for your next trip. And don’t skimp on the vanity bag. It makes the set.
And really, these two seasonal lipsticks from Nars. They have sold out in London so I had to resort to have a friend in the US accept delivery for me and just hope that she didn’t open the package, try the lipsticks and then steal them for herself and blame a random passerby.
Now…to cooking. I love wearing an apron when I cook. It makes me feel like I am serious about what I’m doing. Like I am committed to my trade. Like I am so true to my dinner plans that I am dressing the part. Like I don’t have to worry about finding a kitchen towel because I can just wipe my hands on my clothes. I love that last part the most. The downside, of course, is that I have a small thing about aprons. They need to have long enough ties that I can wrap around my back and then tie on my front. They need to cover my top – no half-shape bistro aprons for me, thankyouverymuch. They need to be gender neutral (for cooking guests) and they need to look good when I’m wearing them. They must never have ruffles. Ruffles have no place in my kitchen. And, whenever possible, they should be designed by my friend Joy, manufactured by the awesomest apron people. Hedley & Bennett and named after the neighborhood my mom called home.
Scrub up! The summer calls for brighter, lighter, fresher skin. I have a new love affair with a GlamGlow masque that actually makes your face feel lovely and tingly all over when you use it! Quick summer sleeveless shirt tip: use a thin layer on your upper arms and shoulders as well!
Very, very lastly – I know I said I’d be wearing that dress above for the entire summer but for the flight to and from summer I’ll pop a navy blue pair of these babies from Zara on. Super comfortable and really flattering…perfect with a t-shirt and drapey scarf or a leather jacket and slip on sandals. They also don’t wrinkle. I don’t know what kind of pact they made with the devil but it works for me. I don’t really know – I may not be super fashion forward but I fly a lot and I know these feel so much better on a flight than jeans or belly compressing leggings.
Now go out there and get those pasty white toes walking barefoot on some grass. Let the kids stay up late. Throw an apple in that expensive straw bag and have a snack in the park. Enjoy the weather…and look for something else to complain about for once. How about hay fever?