Here at Who What Wear UK, we're all about delivering the latest and greatest shopping edits, as approved by our team. That's why we've created a new shopping column, The Joy of Shopping, which will see me, Joy Montgomery,heading to all your favourite stores to test out new-in pieces IRL. From summer dresses to the brands you might've forgotten about, prepare for changing room selfies aplenty. Is there something you'd like me to cover? Make sure to tweet or Instagram me your requests!
It's time to sit comfortably, make a cup of tea and ready your scrolling finger because the bumper summer edition of The Joy of Shopping is here, and let me tell you—it's a good'un, if I do say so myself. This week, I have plundered not one, but three of the big players on the high street (all of which team Who What Wear's editors regularly shop at) to uncover their new-season gems. Over to you, Arket, Topshop and Weekday.
From my recent shopping excursions, I'd say that this season's biggest high-street trends can be divided into the following types. Firstly, you have the small-town American dad, who loves nothing more than to throw on his fave short-sleeved shirt with khaki shorts and a matching blazer (if he's feeling a little fancy). He is also never seen without his trusty Velcro sandals (only Teva will do) that he bought for a hiking holiday aged 18.
Secondly, you have the '90s sitcom star who spends her Friday nights catching up with her girls over a cosmo or four (so Sex and the City) in a halterneck top, low-slung jeans and a baguette bag. Her fashion diet primarily revolves around a capsule of tie-dye separates, slinky slip skirts and plenty of white denim—all of which carry her from the busy city to her chic countryside bolthole with ease.
Finally, you have the minimalist. Hers is a game of clean-lined separates, immaculate tailoring and voluminous silhouettes (florals are not in her style vocabulary, thank you very much). It is imperative that these pieces blend seamlessly with her recently renovated Scandi-inspired home and help to keep up appearances at her monthly supper club.
Yes, they might be a motley crew, but I'm personally planning to champion a little of all three this season, and thankfully, the broad scope and scale of the high street's summer lines allow me to mix and match easily. So which 2019 style personality are you? Scroll down to see and shop my edit from Arket, Topshop and Weekday and decide for yourself.
Style Notes: Get ready for your close-ups knees because shorts are the new miniskirts this season. If the tailored styles terrify you, try a silky iteration, such as this zebra-print Topshop pair, which will be so nice on a hot summer's day. Complete the look with the matching shirt.
Style Notes: Hemlines have been dropping at an alarming rate over the last 12 months (I blame Brexit), yet skirts have never looked more elegant. Case in point? This Weekday pleated midi flows beautifully thanks to the light fabric. When it comes to styling, try mixing it up with an untucked, loose-fitting shirt.
Style Notes: A smock dress isn't for everyone, but if you're like me and fancy a summer dress with impact, this is the style for you. This Arket piece comes in a classic floral print, but the oversized fit means it feels a little more high-end (very Cecilie Bahnsen), and it looks so cute with my Teva sandals.
Style Notes: Here's an outfit for you minimalists. These white jeans from Topshop are super flattering thanks to their high-waisted fit and wide-leg silhouette and will look good for both summer hols and weekend attire.
Style Notes: Arket is my go-to for clean-lined tailoring in unusual colourways, and these three pieces will work super hard in your summer wardrobe (including for work). Note that the blazer comes up in quite a boxy fit.
Style Notes: This is all I want to be wearing to work this summer. The Topshop slip skirt is still going strong and I'm so into the latest abstract green print (although this one features a slit which I shifted to the back). The shirt is also super versatile and will look equally as good with jeans as it does with a skirt.
Style Notes: This season's '70s trend meets Weekday minimalism in this safari jacket. Its thick fabric makes it look super expensive, and the waist tie is great for giving shape. Sizing-wise, it comes up quite large, so size down if you want a more fitted finish.
Style Notes: When I saw Topshop's denim playsuits online, I wasn't a huge fan, but now I'm totally sold. If you lived in boilersuits last winter (guilty), you're going to love it. It'll be invaluable for summer holidays, as it's so easy to style and won't crease. FYI, it's quite fitted around the waist but looser on the sleeves (I'm wearing a size 8).
Style Notes: I bought a khaki-coloured jumpsuit from Arket last year and wore it constantly in the heat wave. Thankfully, the brand has released a new version, but this time it features cropped legs and a belted waist, arguably making it a little easier to wear. The khaki isn't currently available online, but here's a great alternative.
Style Notes: One of my colleagues wore this to work the other day, and it was love at first sight. Like boilersuits, a statement suit is one of the easiest ways to look on-trend with minimal effort—you can just throw it over a white tee and you're good to go. The fabric isn't super thick, which isn't ideal quality-wise, however, it is arguably better for when the mercury rises.
Style Notes: Arket always does the best summer dresses for those who prefer a more conservative silhouette. The classic shirtdress has returned this year, but in chic, vintage-style florals. I like how the sleeves and skirt are fairly loose but the waistband is fitted enough to give the whole thing shape.
Style Notes: I don't know what to say except the halterneck top is back, and I kinda love it. Admittedly, it's an easier look to wear if you're bustily challenged like me, but I will say that because you're in control of the fit (it's knotted at the back and neck), it feels surprisingly secure. Keep it modern by styling it with a pair of wide-leg, tailored trousers and minimal jewellery.
Style Notes: This is the epitome of "dad chic." From the oversized blazer and knee-length shorts, right down to the hiking sandals. The shorts are quite roomy, so it's best to wear with a fitted tee and a belt, if needed. Also, they didn't have my size in the blazer, but I quite like the effect of wearing it oversized.
Style Notes: I feel a bit like I've just joined a cult in this tunic dress, but thankfully that hasn't put me off. Coming in a structured denim fabric, this Weekday piece will take you from the beach to the bar with ease. All it needs is a belt and strappy heels to make it cocktail-ready. The style isn't currently available online, but you can shop a similar one below.
Style Notes: You can always rely on Topshop Boutique for dresses that work for all seasons. I would wear this midi with knee-high boots in winter and then with sandals and sunnies in the summer. The fabric is weighty, which gives the dress an expensive feel, however, it is quite oversized, so size down if you're petite.
Style Notes: Dad-chic part two. This is his "making an effort at the neighbours' barbecue" outfit. I've seen so many of these short-sleeved shirts on the high street this season, and they've slowly grown on me. I'm a sucker for a bit of "borrowed from the boys" styling. In fact, this Weekday piece is literally from the men's section (I'm wearing a size small).
Style Notes: This kimono is a bit of a curveball (I don't think I've ever worn a kimono in my life), but I think that sometimes picking the more niche styles on the high street is a great way to make your outfit feel more high-end. I'll wear this with chandelier earrings and heeled sandals for summer parties.
Style Notes:Neon is another trend that has taken me by surprise this spring. I'm usually a monochromatic navy-and-grey kind of gal, but there's something about lime green combined with beige that feels so chic right now. This pairing is one to bring out for high summer and is a fun alternative to minidresses or skirts.
Style Notes: Fashion girls have gone a little loopy for tie-dye, and according to Lyst, it's the fastest growing fashion search term of 2019 so far. This dress is hardly subtle, but I like the blue hue, scoop neck and simple cut, which feels suitably '90s. The only slight issue is that the neckline is quite low and baggy, so it's less good for smaller busts.
Style Notes: This won't win prizes for being the most out-there summer dress, but we all need those simple yet flattering stapes in our wardrobes. I like the knitted fabric of this Arket midi, which is ideal for the in-between spring weather we're experiencing. I also think it could look good worn over black trousers in autumn.
Style Notes: Confession: I've only just discovered Weekday jeans, and it's a bit of a revelation. They don't look like anything special on the rails, but the fit is just dreamy. They're high-waisted and fitted on the hips yet gently flare out from the thighs and stop at the ankles. All-in-all, they're a recipe for denim success. They also look fab with this shirred crop top.