I Have Classic Style—These Anti-Trend Pieces Are All I Can Think About Right Now

We’re currently experiencing a heatwave in the UK, so we’re well and truly in what feels like the thick of summer. Even trench coats have fallen by the wayside, paving the way for light ensembles and one to two-piece outfits at best.

Although many people enjoy bundling up to autumn, summer is my favourite season for fashion. It's indicative of holiday dressing, which is nostalgic, and it also offers a laid-back approach to getting dressed. Hot temperatures call for simplicity as layers are shed and the crux of an outfit becomes the focal centrepiece. It makes styling intentional and fuss-free.

As a dress person, I appreciate the ease of being able to don free-flowing frocks in the summer breeze and call upon simple yet effective style implements, like dominant accessories and streamlined footwear, for example. And as we approach even hotter temperatures, I’m relying on natural fabrications, like linen. Although linen is characteristically relaxed, the tailored skirting trend has inspired smarter pieces and design elements have become considered for day-to-day wearability. Double-lined linen, waistcoat and skirt pairings and belt loops enable linen to be celebrated beyond the realm of resort wear.

Avalon wears the Wolford 'Gilda' dress and Soru 'Antica' Earrings.

Summer is also the season I introduce statement pieces into my arsenal (but still in keeping with my style).  I have classic style,  and rarely pay attention to what’s “in”, but this summer the trend-forward pieces that are beckoning me are bandeau silhouettes and low-slung maxi skirts, so I’ve pulled some pre-existing pieces that fit in with those themes. The prevalence of ‘autumnal’ hues is also a theme woven throughout some of my favourite summer pieces. Green, ochre and brown are colourways that are often characterised by cooler seasons, but they have found their way onto summer dresses and it's encouraging me to introduce earthy tones into my mostly neutral capsule.

2023 is also the year of the accessory. There are some notable collaborations, including the highly anticipated Shrimps X Daisy collaboration and emerging jewellers YSSO and Soru have also piqued my interest. This summer, jewels are inspired by earthy textures and organic shapes have permeated feeds and new season collections. Sizable studs have followed in the wake of Bottega Veneta's infamous drop earrings.

If you ask me, there’s no better way to advance a monochromatic outfit than with elaborate coined studs reminiscent of your favourite ‘80s heroine. Take it from one neutral palette wearer to another. Keep on reading for my edit of pieces to invest in or inspire you this July and beyond.


Shop My Edit for July:

It's very seldom I wear svelte dresses but Wolford's Gilda dress is one that's coaxing me towards form-fitting styles. The sculpted fit, ruched bodice and 100% biodegradable fabrication make it like no other bodycon dress on the market. I'd recommend it to everyone, even those who aren't convinced about bodycon. It may just convert you.

I've fallen for chunky studs this season. I appreciate their ability to elevate the simplest of looks. As a water baby, I can't help but be enamoured with the Antica stud, which is inspired by ammonite fossils. I'm the proud owner of a pair and they're a work of art.

Whistles SS23 has been nothing short of impressive. I'm most impressed with the shirred pieces. This smocked waist midi has a matching top you can wear as a bandeau or with the straps attached.

The most anticipated jewellery collab of the summer has arrived and it doesn't disappoint. The Shrimps X Daisy collaboration offers a 21-piece range of eclectic jewels inspired by heirloom pieces and Shrimps' signature pearl aesthetic.

I spend my working days filtering through collections, so when I continue to covet an item seasons on, I consider it worth the investment. Case in point - the Tove Cleo Top. Due to the universal appeal of TOVE designs, previous seasons' creations are often reintroduced amongst newer styles.

Granted, it was only announced last week but I’ve been eagerly awaiting Rixo’s latest collaboration with Abisola Omole. The collection comprises eight exclusive designs, available in UK sizes 6 – 26. From retro patchwork to a skimming jacquard dress, there’s something for everyone. It’s fashion at its finest and a celebration of all bodies.

I'm an avid fan of Mashu and its sustainability initiatives. Irene is one of the newly released styles. It comprises a cushioned body crafted from 100% textile waste and is lined with organic cotton, as compared to the majority of accessories which are lined with polyester. From the adhesive to the t-bar adornments, every part of the design and manufacturing process is intentional which makes investing in this brand all the more satisfying.

Savannah Morrow is renowned for its summer collections and signature plisse designs. This blouse comes in a unique leaf green and it's also crafted from peace silk, to ensure you keep cool in the heat. It's one for Island getaways and city jaunts, alike.

I usually avoid trend-lead pieces but there's something chic about the toe ring sandal trend. It lends a directional element that I think will be appreciated for summers to come.

I'm undecided about waistcoats so Massimo Dutti's crossover top makes a welcome change that fills the 'nice top' brief. Pair it with a free-flowing linen skirt and add a chained belt for added flair.

My favourite bag now comes in the most unique chartreuse. If I didn't already own the brown version, I'd be tempted.

'Tis the season for overstated '90s-inspired accessories and I have my eye on this chocker courtesy of the independent brand, Demi Sel.

Boteh pieces come to life in the summer. Inspired by a bohemian spirit, the offerings are reminiscent of the styles we're most drawn to whilst holidaying, though they transcend from tropical climates to city life.

These heels look like the perfect dancing shoes!

A classic piece you can layer and build many looks with. I'm forever tucking bandeaus into full skirts and tailored trousers.

This season Miu Miu paved the way but Loeffler Randall has my heart.

You may be familiar with Labeca for its knitted offerings but did you know they also create summer pieces fashioned from natural fabrications? This asymmetric top comes with matching shorts if you're hoping for something that differs from the shirt and shorts co-ords on the market.

Stellar 79 is no stranger to a gemstone and its latest release includes a 12-piece birthstone collection.  The pieces are crafted from 18k Recycled Gold Vermeil on recycled sterling silver and boast the perfect burst of vibrancy.

There's always a Sir dress on my radar. When it comes to bridging the gap between resort wear and an at-home summer uniform, Australian brands do it best. Some trend-lead elements have been implemented in this design but it continues to boast a timeless feel. It also has a weighty drop which is evidence of a good quality linen number.

Although the ballet flat trend is dominating, I prefer the mature feel mules and slip-on shoes loan an outfit.

I'm forever in awe of the pieces Olivia designs and creates in-house. Blooms are a recurring theme in her work, so introducing 2023s floral appliqué is fitting. This rose-adorned top is one of the most memorable pieces I've seen this year and despite it being trend-influenced, I'd wear it forever. Click the link to see the open-back detail.

This gown is what dreams are made of. My wardrobe now consists of neutral tones with pops of green and brown, so this would slot in seamlessly.

Romantic ruffles on a free-flowing slip dress. I'm very much on board.

My sandal wardrobe is scarce and Emme Parson designs are calling. It seems to fulfil the brief when it comes to subtle but impactful designs. It's the subdued details, like the micro wooden heel and dainty straps that makes this appealing.

I'm continually impressed with Filiarmi, and their approach to occasionwear. Their pieces evoke a vintage feel, with modern shaping, whilst in keeping with their slow approach to fashion. Their SS23 capsule features classic pieces with a subtle twist - from two-toned colourways to scalloped bodices. This A-line midi, for example, features a rose-coloured ribbon tie for a pop of colour. If your size is unavailable, you can inform customer service by email.

I'm living in bandeau silhouettes at the moment. This offering by Remain is crafted from the airiest cotton fabrication that will provide ample comfort in the hottest of climates. The washed blue is a subtle hint of colour I can get on board with.

Strathberry partnered with Tara Swennen to produce a considered edit of black bags crafted from vegan grape leather, a byproduct of the wine industry. All designs are in keeping with its sleek aesthetic and boast its signature metal t-bar that's synonymous with the accessory house. The East/West mini comprises a crochet trim that juxtaposes the smooth grape leather.  

A belted linen skirt is a smart approach to the tailored trend. You can transcend it into officewear whilst continuing to boast heat-wicking material.

One dress bears many components. As with all of Matteau's pieces, the bohemian essence dominates. This piece features a deep neckline and a shirred waist to further accentuate the waistline.

This summer independent brand Sunday Archives is fresh on my radar. The new collection celebrates natural fabrication in fluid silhouettes. The fluted hemline is unique for linen that's usually cut in a straight column shape.

First came Mary-Janes and now we're stepping into open weave and laser-cut T-bar flats. If you're looking for a purse-friendly version, Source Unknown compares to the likes of Alaïa but with its own distinguishable feature.

Ethical and demi-fine jewellery brand Otiumberg are always on my radar. Recently released is its capsule with art-deco-inspired designs featuring touches of smoky quarts, moonstones and topaz. The Dominio huggies are the type of jewel you'll never want or need to remove.

I haven't seen a sweeter pair of heeled mules in quite some time.

The Priam dress is one of my newest pieces and each time I reach for it I'm as excited as the day it landed on my doorstep. Marie Kondo would be proud of this joy-endorsing addition to my capsule.

If you're looking for a sturdy tote bag I recommend Been London. Their pieces are not only sleek but they're also crafted from waste material that would otherwise end up in a landfill. It's the best type of innovation that meets fashion.