Breton stripes and espadrilles will always feel like shorthand for a summer in France, even if the English climate is a little different sometimes.
The English coastline, in my experience, is never a hot and sizzling one. I can’t remember ever properly sunbathing on a British beach (although I imagine I did run around half naked on one when I was little). So whether I’m home or on holiday (usually a bucket and spade staycation), this kind of outfit is about as South of France as my summer gets. But that’s okay, because I really rather like it. Cropped trousers or my newly-discovered alternative of culottes, expose enough ankle or leg to feel summery on even the greyest of English days. These ones are the wider Boden style but the navy Richmond 7/8 trousers are currently in the sale. Meanwhile a lightweight summer knit is also my best friend on days when you don’t need a coat but a flimsy blouse or strappy top isn’t going to cut it against those nippy breezes or showers. I picked this one out from the current Baukjen collection (now reduced in the sale) because it ticks all those boxes but also the deep V and open texture is perfect for in between days and looks really feminine with a hint of bra on show or slipping slightly off one shoulder (you can also get it in the boatneck style if you prefer). And yes, I most definitely would wear it on a draughty British beach when the sun is playing hide and seek.
So far, so usual but I think it’s the accessories that probably elevate this outfit to ‘summer holiday’. Maybe it’s my age but a gold tote just really appeals right now (watch out Judith Chalmers!!) and when teamed with a pair of really good quality espadrilles, just makes me want to fill it with flowers and a baguette (and maybe ride on a moped). On the subject of espadrilles, I will just add that wearing them takes me right back as I wore the proper laced variety non-stop one summer when I was about 18. So part of them will always remind me of my brother’s wedding and A’ Level exam nerves. While these ones are really nicely made, it did take me longer to get in and out of them – I’m too used to my trainers and slip-ons I guess. But once I’d navigated the criss-cross lacing, (and admired the cute leather tassels), I have to say they are really comfy. Just make sure you double knot them or you’ll be stopping every five minutes to re-tie; lessons re-learned!