By Ellie Thompson

With spring finally here and summer on its way, now is the time to update your wardrobe.

From super natural accessories to bold utility wear, I give you some affordable but fashionable ideas to take your closet into next season – whatever your style.

Whether its days at the beach, walks in the countryside, festival going or city shopping, the spring/summer catwalk has something for everyone.

The perfect slip

Not just for evenings, the 90s slip dress has had a versatile update. Dress it down with a parka coat, black vans and a matching black backpack for a casual feel or make the look more grunge by pairing it with with a grey cotton cardigan and heeled chunky sandals. Out for a night on the town? Dress up by buying a black version of the slip dress and go rebel with all-black everything including a leather jacket, clutch, sandals and earrings. Look to the catwalks of Rag & Bone for inspiration on how to give your dress more attitude. Softly coloured silks are also having a moment as seen at Chloé and Calvin Klein. Go for pinks, whites and soft sandy colours and you’ll soon go to the trusty slip dress for the everyday outfit ensemble. On the high street, Matalan offer a bralet which is a nod towards the trend alongside Yumi with their polyester camisole, perfect with jeans and flats.


This is possibly the easiest look to master this summer. Alongside being effortlessly cool, the nineties is the perfect era to nail while walking around university as you can look comfy but individual at the same time. Look no further than icon Kate Moss for pin-up inspiration – her leather jackets, dungarees and cool street style in general (just give ‘Kate Moss 90s fashion a Google) has definitely made a comeback so opt for street wear such as jeans and slogan t-shirts. At Chloé, girls were kitted out in sporty tracksuit pieces but weren’t afraid to go half-feminine with free-flowing floral pieces. At DKNY street style was perfected to a literal tee where dresses draped over a t-shirt ran the catwalk and were completed with white trainers. Go for relaxed colours like red, navy blue and white for that summertime feel. On the high street, look no further than Topshop for a sophisticated tracksuit and Primark for it’s neutral separates such as a halter-neck top. As well as being cool, the 90s trend is an affordable update so finish your look off with simple gold jewellery and canvas backpacks that offer durability and space.

Prairie chic

While not for everyone, the notable feminine look breathes lace, soft ruffles and a comfy colour palette which will take you into summer. Look no further than Canadian fashion line Erdem for high-fashion inspiration and Alexander McQueen for a more futuristic on Victoriana clothing. Both brands revealed tailored white dresses with matching shoes and a pared-back face. French brand Claudie Pierlot offers some beautiful broderie-anglaise blouses for you to get all your style vision from and embrace your femininity. As for high street versions, Miss Selfridge offers some lovely summer dresses (a possible early summer ball search?) and Warehouse houses an impressive range of cotton separates too if you don’t want to go all-out Victorian. Take the roundness off the trend and give your look an edge by going for a loose pair of striped linen trousers – Zara offer an excellent selection. Pair this look with equally delicate accessories such as lace-up-the-leg sandals.


This bold fashion statement is back for summer, with a rich red being the colour to dominate the catwalks. The brighter the colour and bolder the pattern the better, so this trend is definitely one to embrace if you want to be noticed. For a typical day at university, wear a red chiffon blouse under a black pair of dungarees that you already have from your autumn wardrobe. Bardot necklines and ruffled sleeves will add extra style points and are perfect for evening cocktails with the girls. Check out Mother of Pearl for a light and floral mood board or Oscar de la Renta for a more Latino one. As for shops on the high street, New Look offers some lovely Bardot tops that could be worn at the beach for only £7.99 (on trend and in-budget, win-win!) while River Island offers a smarter approach to the trend with colours and ruffles galore.

Glam rock

A catwalk favourite, soft grunge was all over the summer runways. Black is definitely back but with a slight twist this time as fierce leather meets fine lace and ruffles merge with heavy-metal accessories. Wear biker-look leathers with softer alternatives such as a pretty pastel blouse or a cream lace skirt with a black top. Cara Delevigne nailed the glam rock style in a for Love & Lemons dress and delicate black heels (give ‘Cara Delevigne for love and lemons’ a Google to see what I mean) while on the catwalk Coach gave the perfect equilibrium of literal lace and leather. What is great about this trend is that you don’t have to spend a thing to get in on it – just dig out your leather jacket, throw it on with a white lace top, pair with black jeans and boots and you’re done – who says black isn’t for summer?

For the men…

This summer the catwalks had two surprisingly plain colours on display with grey topping the list for the most seen hue. Green was the runner up and seen on coats, jackets (see Canali’s collection for a way to nail this look) and accessories such as backpacks. Jeans were more distressed than ever as seen at Tiger of Sweden’s show while a chinoiserie vibes (patterns that are influenced by Eastern elements) were seen amongst all the high-fashion labels such as Marc Jacobs, Dolce & Gabbana, Valentino and Louis Vuitton. It’s safe to say that summer style is set for adventure – so try something different and experiment with your look.


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