No one does relaxed summer style quite like the Australians. Not only are they excellent with a tonal colour palette but they also get their fabrications just right. Think breezy linens, cottons and lightweight woolens. (It's a humidity thing, you know.) They favour a well-put-together-but-thrown-on look. As such, outfits are never overstyled, and stilettos are rarely worn. Instead, they remain advocates of the "day" heel—that 2- to 3-inch maximum heel on what is usually a mule or a slingback pump—which only adds to the nonchalance of it all.
Naturally, for a country that enjoys what to a Brit is essentially a permanent summer, the best time to capture such sartorialism is during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia, held annually every May (aka Australia's "winter," when temperatures hover around a pleasant 16°C). For one thing, it's when Aussies actually need to wear layers—cue a whole mood board of outerwear ideas more fitting with the British climate.
This year's street style did not disappoint. From the chic tailored blazers paired with sneakers to the winter white button-down midi skirts styled with a cardigan-coat—a tonal look that somehow managed to look thrown-on as well as expertly put together)—we rounded up the best looks of the season for your viewing pleasure.
Fresh summer whites mixed with shades of tobacco form a warm-weather winner on all counts. White jeans are everywhere at the moment and work to casualise the structured nature of the blazer while the gauzy blouse adds a chic edge.
Who What Wear UK columnist and Net a Porter retail fashion director Lisa Aiken's knitted asymmetric sweater dress is the perfect item for those transitional weather days: exposed and light enough to feel summery yet nowhere near revealing enough to regret. Also, may we please draw your attention to her rope bag (from a new brand called Alienina) and yellow Neous mules.
From that sold-out Tibi number to Jacquemus' mustard slips, yellow shows no signs of flailing as this season's must-wear shade. The pillowing sleeves of this blouse are perfectly offset by the waistline on the matching skirt and those plastic shoes—which we are seeing everywhere from Alexander Wang to ASOS.
Pearls are everywhere this season, appearing on everything from hair slides (Simone Rocha) to bags made entirely of them (Shrimps). This neat bucket bag has just the right amount of embellishment, and the pearl details soften the aesthetic—making it the perfect accessory to style with a white cotton dress.
There's no better way to up the street style ante than by coordinating your palette with that of your pals—if Sydney is anything to go by, then neutrals are in. So too are yellow-lensed sunglasses, which add a sense of down under fun to what is otherwise an undeniably chic and minimalist trio.
Everything about this look is great. From the trousers with that delicious open seam (that means they work with summer heels and as winter boots) to that lightweight, oversized check trench and yes, that Céline carrier bag, this outfit is pared down but packs a punch. Who knew wardrobe basics could look so on trend.
When you're desperate to wear your pinafore dress already but the weather doesn't quite permit, make like this preppy lady and style yours with a white buttoned-up shirt underneath and the kind of accessories that scream summer.
Ever wondered how to make that summer white evening dress work for daytimes, too? Well, now you know. Pair it with a button-down white shirt—which in this case creates a nice contrast between the starched cotton and the billowy hem—and sneakers. And mega minimal sunglasses, like these ones from Le Specs.
Not only is this a true ode to the beauty of beige, but this street styler is carrying the bag we've all been thinking of investing this summer: the unique bamboo-handle tote is from a new label called Carolina Santo Domingo, and you can shop them in different colourways.
Nothing is chicer than a nude velvet slide, especially one being worn in the rain. This look epitomises off-duty nonchalance, but rendered in luxe fabrications: Leather joggers? Check. Rose-hue sweater in cashmere? Check. Oversize leather overcoat? Check. It's like wearing pyjamas. But better.
Everyone loves a good summer co-ord. But this checked number shows that two-pieces don't have to mean suits. The lace-up boots add a touch of grunge to what would otherwise be a strictly sweet look, but what we particularly love is the subtle style details like the matching socks.
The statement button trend basically started in Australia via homegrown brands like Ellery and Christophe Ebser, so it's no wonder the detail is a prominent fixture on the scene. What's more, this cornflower blue jacket is the kind of piece that will work thrown over a dress at weddings as nicely as it will do with the match.
Another take on the two-piece, this time from Chanel. The double-breasted, elongated jacket—with its short sleeves and nipped in waist—is a refreshing antidote to all the mensy styles on the market right now. We also love the cropped length of those flared tweed trousers. Because no one does a co-ord quite like Karl. Summer suiting at its best.