Dreamy Days in a Dress: Summer Lookbook 2020
Updated: Nov 1
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The outfits in my summer 2020 wardrobe that inspire me - Think romantic prints, tranquil pastel tones, and vintage-inspired details for relaxed days out in the sun.
A Style Evolution.
It's funny how much your personal style changes over the years.
Right now, I feel like my fashion sense has gone back in time.
Throughout my teenage years, I was crazy about pastel hues and exaggerated feminine silhouettes - all influenced by kawaii and vintage fashion. However, these tastes gradually shifted into a love for rainbow colours and graphic prints. (This was around the time I started university in 2016!)
This year, I’ve found myself appreciating my old sense of style all over again. I don’t view this as a regression, but as an affirmation of all the things that make me happy. Yes, I want lace. I want ethereal florals. I want sky blues and princessy purples. And, as the days get warmer, I see it as a fitting aesthetic for the summer months.
No aesthetic represents you entirely. You can style yourself however you want - even if you want to wear all-black one day and then wear artsy prints another day. Above all, we are mutable beings. (And that makes life much more interesting!) Just be sure to make the most of the clothing in your wardrobe.
Lo and behold: the days when flower crowns were a big thing and I wore short shorts on a daily basis. The pastel colour palette is evident.
Since I’ve been on a few photoshoots lately, this blog post is an opportunity to share items from my wardrobe that inspire me. Be warned, everything featured is either vintage, secondhand, or something I purchased a long time ago.
For summer 2020, the outfits included in this lookbook are inspired by fairytale stories, romantic poetry, and fashion from the Regency and Edwardian period.
Most of these photos are taken by my talented friend Vanessa. There's other photos that will be sold as prints in the future. I cannot wait to share them with you! You can check out her work here:
Photo Portfolio: https://vanessabarrettphoto.weebly.com/
Photography Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/vanessabarrettphoto/
Her stunning pink/room inspiration Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/vanessa.inspired/
Click on the links above for more gorgeous content like this <3
"To sit in the shade on a fine day and look upon verdure is the most perfect refreshment" -Jane Austen.
An ultra-romantic take on the maxi dress. There's no doubt that this 1970s piece was inspired by Regency era fashion. In fact, the empire waistline, puffy sleeves, and charming lace detail is like something from a Jane Austen novel. This romanticism is explained by the Prairie revival of the 1970s. Thanks to fashion brands like Laura Ashley, whimsical dresses like these were back in style.
I found this lovely maxi dress at a Beyond Retro store in Brighton. As soon as I pulled it out from one of their bustling rails, I knew I had to have it in my life. So many of my favourite vintage pieces have come from that store. It's always worth having a rummage!
The wide brim hat and cameo earrings add to the romantic sensibility of this look. Another sweet detail is the pearl necklace which was passed onto me from my grandma. Altogether, these pieces fit the dreamy, pastoral environment. For these photos I wandered through a field of cow parsley. The gentle afternoon sun shone down across the land and illuminated everything in sight.
This mirror photo showcases the dreamy length of the dress. Has to be one of my favourite finds.
“Daisies, simple and sweet. Daisies are the way to win my heart.”
- Patrick Rothfuss
Even if you're not a fan of cold shoulder dresses or tops, I hope you can still appreciate this boho-chic piece. This cheerful dress has a bodice with gentle ruching and sleeves that glide down the shoulders. If you look closely, the sweet floral print is made from a light fabric making it a perfect dress for the daytime.
I matched it with a daisy necklace I found on Ebay. I've always found that statement jewellery is a great way to cheer up a plain outfit. It's worth owning one to pair with plain t-shirts or a-line dresses. Even though my dress was already cheerful, I felt that the daisy motif complemented it well. Who doesn't love those joyful flowers?
The final touch was a cute pair of rhinestones earrings I also found on Ebay. Their delicate teardrop shape drew me in. Fun fact! My ears are not pierced so I own a growing collection of clip-ons. If you ever need a pair, I recommend searching for vintage earrings - especially ones from the 1980s! You'll find colour-block and floral varieties.
This dress is extra special as my auntie gifted it to me when I was in Thailand last summer. How nice it would be to go back sometime... Here is a bonus photo of me wearing it at the Pattaya National Park.
Time for Tea!
"It's always tea-time." - Lewis Carrol.
This beautiful blouse popped up on my Depop feed the other week. There's no way that I'd scroll past it! According to the seller, this piece is originally from a brand that recreates vintage clothing. After further digging, I found out that this blouse is based on a Gunne Sax design.* It made perfect sense. The lace collar and sweet flower broach also reminds me of the prairie revival in the 1970s.
* Gunne Sax is a retired American fashion brand that specialised in pieces inspired by the Victorian and Edwardian era. Like Laura Ashley, they played a huge part in the prairie revival.
I owned lots of tulle skirts back in the day. Vanessa brought her floaty skirt with her as it went so well with the blouse. Any skirt you can swish about is a winner in my book. The pale pink colour is so feminine and I can imagine it matching a variety of blouses that are in my wardrobe. (I ended up thrifting my own on Depop a few days later).
All these items combine into the ultimate tea party look. I envisage hot drinks served in dainty saucers and matching plates filled with fluffy battenbergs, iced-swirl cupcakes, finger sandwiches, and other tasty treats. It all sounds like a dream. When social distancing ends, a trip to my local cafe for afternoon tea is long overdue.
A fun little boomerang from the day. Swish, swish, and away.... (Take the time to admire that wonderful flower bush behind us).
Thank you for looking at my 2020 summer lookbook.
Did you have a favourite outfit? Please let me know in the comments.
I hope they've inspired you or at least made you smile - even if your personal style is completely different to mine!
Wishing you a summer filled with sweeter moments to balance out the difficult times. <3
Until next time,