Thursday, 5 August 2010

Summer in another city

Summer in the city...the holidays are upon us, the sun is shining...which means one thing in London; tourists! Everywhere – on open-top buses, outside Buckingham Palace, wandering around the museums and swarming outside Abercrombie & Fitch (I know, I don’t understand either...apparently it’s the lure of hot men that work there!).

Walking past Buckingham Palace on the way to work this morning made me think about the quandary that is dressing for a full day as a tourist in a city. The thorny marriage that is comfort and style! Of the crowds I saw, a large number looked dressed for hiking up Snowdon rather than city rambling...comfort was clearly the dominant partner!

I did spot one woman flying the style flag in skinnies, a blazer and 5 inch wedge espadrilles...go sister! But even at 9am she looked to be moving slowly and painfully...the walking part of the day looked like it would be wrapped up pretty quickly.

So where is the middle ground? As someone who in the past has been more on the side of skinnies and sky high heels, it has been difficult to finally come down to earth and realise that walking around a city joyful. And that skintight denim for a full day of activity can chafe!

These days I’m a fan of jersey dresses, leggings, brogues in pretty colours and a blazer (my uniform in Manhattan recently). Jersey is a woman’s best friend, particularly when you want to be able to move with comfort. If you’re slim without too many lumps and bumps you can get away with cheaper jersey, the more lumps and bumps the more you need to spend. But it is really worth will always be your friend.

In terms of shoes, for summer I think any of the sandals featured in my ‘comfortable shoes without the frump factor’ blog would do you well.

And finally, the item I struggle with more than anything for a long day out...the handbag. Tourists and rucksacks are ubiquitous. I will reserve negative commentary on the rucksack and just do what most Londoners do when faced with one at face level on the tube ... ‘tut’!

I know they are practical...and the pain I’ve still got with my right arm could mean I am on the path to rucksackdom...but I’m not yet a fan. However, in deference to the fact that they exist for a good reason and fashion dips in and out of its embrace of the sack, I have picked a sweet canvas one from Asos to show that they don’t have to be the enemy of style!

To go along with the rucksack, I have shown a very pretty cross body bag for essentials that require easy access...such as lip balm!

So for my imaginary summer day out in a city...which if I could choose right now would be Berlin...this is what I would be wearing...and if my right arm had completely packed up, I may (possibly) have the rucksack with me...

Topshop navy playsuit – £32
Not in jersey but I saw it in the flesh tonight and it looked great, really nice feel to the fabric, the navy made it a little more chic, great racer back...perfect!

Uniqlo men’s merino and cashmere grey cardigan - £29.99

Black & purple tie-dye scarf, H by Henry Holland, Debenhams, down to £7.50 in the sale

MADE skull with rubber and brass rings bangle - £50

Oasis earrings - £6

Irregular Choice strap attack sandals - £67.99 (in the sale)

Urban Outfitters across the body satchel - £22

Asos canvas rucksack - £35

Hopefully this outfit would take me
up town and cross dale of any urban jungle...with comfort and style happily holding hands!

p.s. if you do really love a rucksack and want to invest in a well-made stylish number, you could do worse than this beauty from Ally Cappellino. Got to love an orange detail on a bag!

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