Upbeat, colourful clothing for an optimistic summer

Some items in this blog post have been gifted

With more and more restrictions being lifted and a possible summer of freedom ahead, it’s no wonder that many of us have started thinking about refreshing our wardrobe for the new season. If you’re planning to swap your loungewear for leaving-the-house-wear, perhaps you’ll be inspired by the colourful, upbeat designs I’ve added to my wardrobe this month…

After what feels like the longest winter on record (what was with all that snow?!) and more than a year of wearing comfies at home, I’ve been more excited than ever to give my wardrobe a little revamp. As a thrifty girl, I rarely shop for new clothing and only add new items if I know they will last me for many years to come. So, when I decided that it was time to inject some colour into my wardrobe, I hopped online to see what the brands had to offer for spring/summer 2021.

My first attempt at getting-back-into-shopping was with Neon Sheep. To be honest, it was their ‘I was avoiding people before it was cool’ slogan tee that first attracted me to the brand but when I looked into their carefully curated range, I realised that all their pieces were my kind of style, including this ‘Squeeze The Day’ embroidered lemon tee, which was in the sale for just Β£8. The clothing looked comfortable yet colourful enough to feel totally different to my at-home wardrobe.

With the weather still a little unpredictable, my first instinct was to add a rainbow sweatshirt to my basket and I’m so pleased that I did. It’s the perfect item to transition myself from indoors to outdoors – it’s brighter than my lockdown wardrobe but still casual and comfortable enough to feel familiar. Not such a massive leap into ‘proper’ going-out clothing! Plus, you wouldn’t believe how soft the brushed interior is – I never want to take it off.

But when the weather warms up, I’m already prepared with a super-soft jersey t-shirt in a peachy-pink with contrasting trims. I love a slogan top more than anything so, with this lovely ‘think happy’ slogan embroidered across the chest, I think it’s going to be perfect for throwing on with a pair of denim shorts when I can head to the beach again.

Knowing that I have a couple of smart occasions to attend this summer including a wedding (all being well) I hopped onto my go-to site for dressy clothing Chi Chi London, where I’ve previously shopped for a wedding guest outfit. The outfit I chose is this floral midi dress with flutter sleeves. It’s much longer than any dress I’ve previously owned because, at 5ft 2, midi dresses are usually full-length on me! But in this instance that’s a good thing because it’s so floaty and summery, and is the ideal special occasion outfit.

Casual dresses were next on my list because I love feeling cool when the temperature warms up. While looking for a wedding outfit, I couldn’t resist this bright green floral day dress, again in a midi length. The fitted top and tiered skirt reminded me of a ‘buffet dress’, which I hadn’t heard of before watching The Great British Sewing Bee this year, but that I have wanted ever since seeing the sewer’s creations on the show. I already know it’s going to be the dress I wear all summer for seaside strolls.

Other than buying gloves and thermals, I hadn’t really explored the Mountain Warehouse website for clothing, but when I spotted some colourful dresses the sale section I was intrigued. This patterned red jersey dress was half price and is 95% cotton, making it breathable and lightweight. But the thing that interested me the most was the fact that the dresses offered UV protection, texted up to UPF 50+ which means it blocks at least 98% of the suns rays.

I didn’t even know that UV protection was a ‘thing’ in fabrics but I’ve done my research into sun protective clothing and apparently the lighter and more sheer a fabric is, the more UV rays will penetrate it. So the bonus of these dresses is that they are still lightweight enough for summer yet the fabric is constructed in such a way that it provides excellent protection. I think I’m going to stock up on more colours of the jersey wrap dress because I love the pattern and casual pockets!

I wanted to find a top to dress up the loose tapered trousers with elasticated waist that I bought from H&M and have been living in all year, so I picked a lightweight spotty shirt in pink. The collared shirt smartens up my outfit yet it is loose enough to still feel relaxed – it has an open neckline so it’s one for casually wearing over a cami. And who doesn’t love a polka dot?

Which brings me nicely onto another piece that caught my eye – a white and black polka dot tiered dress. It’s lined and has a mandarin collar so it feels quite smart but the shape is really swingy and relaxed so could easily be dressed down with a denim jacket. I always think that black and white clothing are wardrobe staples for all year round so I’m sure I’ll get a lot of use out of this.

What do you think my wardrobe refresh? Do you like the look of these colourful, upbeat outfits? Would you choose any of these patterned or embroidered pieces for your summer look this year? Let me know what you’ve been doing to prepare for leaving the house in the comments below and I’d love to hear how you plan to update your wardrobe this season. πŸ™‚

Some items in this blog post have been gifted to me and the pink links indicate a gifted product, affiliate link or information source. All thoughts and opinions in this post are based on my own experience and I am not responsible for your experience πŸ™‚

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Cassie is a freelance writer with a Masters degree in lifestyle promotion studies. She loves to 'get the look for less' so regularly shares thrifty fashion posts, DIY interior design ideas and low-cost recipes on her blog.

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