5 summer staples for a city girl’s wardrobe

:: by Lizzie
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As you know, I’m a city girl through and through, and although I like a nice summer hols by the pool or on the beach, I spend the most part rushing around London. I’m very lucky to get to make annual trips to New York, Paris and Amsterdam for sourcing purposes and often visit these cities in the summer months. So, I thought it might be worth pulling together a post on how I dress for cities in the summer. This week in London we’ve had blazing sunshine and torrential downpours. We’ve had daytime highs of 25 and lows of 12. When I travel to European cities it’s often a similar story, and don’t even get me started on the inconsistencies of New York weather in September! So, along with the extra pressure of fitting everything into a carry-on, it’s hard to know what to pack.

 

This post focuses on my suggestions of 5 key pieces for any city gal in the summer, whether at home or abroad. Layering is of course the one when it comes to managing the changes in temperature, and breathable, quick drying, stretchy fabrics that don’t crease, massively help out with the occasional soggy spells and with packing it all into your case. Take a look below and let me know what you’d add to the mix. What are your summer city staples?

 

 

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T H E  O V E R S I Z E D  T E E  :

Effortless, cool, versatile and able to cover a multitude of sins, the oversized tee is the perfect summer city staple. The roomy fit of this style of tee is super comfy and sets the right tone for a relaxed summer city look. Smarten up by layering on a duster jacket or tucking into a high waisted pencil skirt. Dress down by pairing with your favourite boyfriend fit jeans – these are mine. My most worn tee colour-ways are solid athletic grey – I have several of this one from American Apparel, and navy/white Breton stripes. I’ve collected a fair few Breton tees over the years. You can never have too many Bretons! Topshop and Urban Outfitters are well worth a look if you’re on the hunt for one.

 

T H E  S T R E T C H  C O T T O N  P E N C I L  S K I R T  :

I like mine high waisted, finishing below the knee, with a slit up the back and in stretch cotton. I get them cheap as chips from asos.com The sillouette of a tight pencil skirt with an oversized tee works so well for a laid-back but sexy, city summer look. The stretch cotton is not only comfy, soft against your skin and unlikely to crease, but really breathable in the heat and flattering too. If you’ve got the waist for it, try with a cropped tee or vest to show a little more skin.

 

T H E  D U S T E R  J A C K E T  :

My go-to signature piece, a duster jacket does not only pull a whole city summer look together, but can actually become the whole look all by itself. My BDG denim duster does a great job of pulling things together and is a handy extra layer for when the evening chill arrives. The more creased/distressed/worn it becomes, the softer and chicer it looks and feels. My Pippa Lynn patterned duster below on the other hand is a complete show stopper and when you pop it over whatever you’re wearing it essentially becomes the whole look. Lightweight, uncreasable, machine washable and so pretty that you feel amazing as soon as you through it on, it’s my favourite summer layer.

 

T H E  S T U R D Y  S A N D A L S  :

Once it’s too hot for trainers then the sandals come out, but what are the right city sandals? I love a nice pair of jellies and am very partial to a pair of woven tan leather sandals but my favourite city sandal shape is the slightly platformed thick leather strap look. Think practical Harajuku sandals. The thick straps mean they don’t slip off your feet when rushing around and the platform is enough to keep your tootsies a little further from the grubby streets. They’re still summery sandals for sure, but a little more city friendly than some of their counterparts. Mine are from Pull and Bear.

 

T H E  C R O S S  B O D Y  H A N D B A G  :

When rushing around the city, be it in and out of meetings and back and fourth to the shop, or getting time to explore a new place, I like to have a wee cross body bag on hand for the important stuff. Keeping my phone, keys, wallet, sunnies and sometimes passport close by works for me and a stylish leather cross body is my top choice for this. I love M Hulot‘s whole collection but here’s my edit of the best cross bodies. I tend to have a SMUG tote with me too which I throw larger items into should I need them but often a little leather handbag is all I need. Now here’s where I cheat a little and tell you that a floaty, patterned, cotton summer dress would have to be my number 6 on the list. Have I missed anything else? What staples would you add?

 

 

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this week #03

:: by Lizzie
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The sun is out at last and I’m happily sitting on the balcony pulling together highlights from the past week. Some of these favourites were too good not to mention, so, in case you’re interested, here’s the low down on what I’ve been up to. As usual it’s a combo of great food, design, an activity here or there and what I’ve been enjoying getting dressed into and putting on my face of a morning.

 

Along with the sunshine I’m pleased to say, comes an abundance of beautiful flowers and plants. Bloomon are smashing it as usual and over the past week have delivered some of my favourite bouquets so far. If you don’t know about Bloomon, they deliver seasonal and super fresh cut flowers to your door that are oh so Pinterest-worthy. If you’re interested in trialing out their service then make sure you use my offer code SMUGVASE at checkout to get a free vase with your first delivery. I’ve found that their stunning flowers arriving every week in different colour-pallets really brighten up the shop and my home and puts a smile on my face every time I look at them. If like me you’re plant mad then check out my  P L A N T  P O T  blog post all about our exhibition for LDF upstairs at SMUG. And keep your eyes peeled for a Balcony Tour post coming very soon on The Smuggler. If you’d rather not wait then follow me right now on Snapchat at ifeelsmug. I’m often on the balcony and snapchat most days so you’ll see the most up-to-date goings-on there.

 

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A rather tasty highlight this week and a patisserie which is totally new to me is Maitre Choux. Every day with a rigorous precision, Joakim Prat, the three Michelin star winning chef, bakes the most perfect eclairs, choux and chouquettes at their South Kensington location. Expect delightful attention to detail and explosions of creamy flavour. Thanks to Ben and Knomes for serving them for pud last week!

 

Also on the pretty train this week, are our SMUG X MATT PUGH owls. Manolya and I get together at SMUG once a month for an in-store photoshoot and most recently we focussed on spending some time snapping all of our SMUG exclusive colour-way Matt Pugh owls. They featured in our recent newsletter as a bit of a GIF and it’s such a nice little thing I wanted to share it here too. Thanks Manolya for your GIF making skills :)

 

 

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There are lots of new and exciting things coming in at SMUG very soon and this week I’ve had the pleasure of choosing our Bonne Maison sock and Rifle Paper Co stationery edits for the season. Socks and sandals for a picnic in the park anyone!? Faves include the Hunting Socks and Tapestry Notebook Trio both coming soon.

 

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As you know, I love food, and I’m lucky enough to have several friends who cook me delicious meals and take me out to fabulous places. Case in point – Morito Hackney Road and Gemma Bell. The newly opened Morito Hackney Road is a sister restaurant to the world famous Moro and Morito both on Exmouth Market and created by husband and wife team Sam and Samantha Clark. Morito Hackney Road has Marianna Love (previously head chef of Moro) at the helm serving up tapas, mezze and larger sharing plates all with the signature Moro style but with her own Cretian flair. Get the labneh with caramelised chillis and the kid. Both were out of this world!

 

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My Lisbon Must Dos blog post has been getting a lot of love this week – thanks so much to those of you who have read it. Seems like lots of people are off to Lisbon this summer so hopefully my suggestions have been helpful. Danny was in Utrecht last week opening the new Urban Outfitters store which looks amazing! While there for ten days, Dan fell in love with Holland and we’re now thinking of doing an Amsterdam, Utrecht and maybe Rotterdam mini tour in September/October. Any suggestions? I know Amsterdam a little already but do let me know in the comments below anything you’d recommend doing/seeing/eating in any of these three Dutch cities please.

 

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W E E K L Y  F A V O U R I T E S  :

Most Loved Beauty Product This WeekNYX Soft Matt Lip Cream in Stockholm Perfect ‘your lips but better’ shade and amazing creamy lip stain formula that lasts well and fades subtly.

Most Worn Item of ClothingTopshop High Waisted Indigo Jamie Jeans Been living in these. So comfy. Great colour that goes with everything. Nice high waist and flattering pockets on the bum. My new go-to jeans.

‘Sporting Activity’ of the Week – Turns out Beer Pong rocks! I kid you not. We went to Sink near Old Street and had a wail of a time.

Recipe of the Week – Dhal with Crispy Sweet Potato from Anna Jones’s ‘A Modern Way to Eat’ Cookbook. This meal is utterly delicious and tastes far more complex and time consuming to make than it actually is. I’m making it again tonight!

 

Anna Jones’ Dhal with Crispy Sweet Potatoes (serves 4)

For the sweet potatoes: 2 sweet potatoes, skins on, washed and roughly chopped into 1.5cm cubes, sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, 1 teaspoon cumin seeds, ½ teaspoon fennel seeds, olive oil.

For the dhal: 2 cloves of garlic, peeled and chopped, a thumb size piece of fresh ginger, peeled and roughly chopped, 1 green chili, chopped, 1 red onion, peeled and roughly chopped, 1 teaspoon cumin seeds, 1 teaspoon coriander seeds, 1 teaspoon ground turmeric, 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 200g red lentils, 400ml coconut milk, 400ml vegetable stock, 2 large handfuls of spinach, a bunch of coriander, with stalks, roughly chopped, juice of 1 lemon.

 

Preheat the oven to 220C. Put the sweet potatoes into a roasting tray add a good pinch of salt and pepper, the cumin and fennel seeds and a drizzle of olive oil. Roast in the oven for about 20-25 minutes, until soft and sweet on the inside and crispy brown on the outside.

In a large saucepan, sizzle the garlic, ginger, chilli and red onion in a little oil for about ten minutes, until soft and sweet. Grind the cumin and coriander seeds in a pestle and mortar then add o the pan with the other spices and cook for a few minutes to toast and release the oils. Add the lentils, coconut milk and stock to the pan and bring to a simmer then turn the heat down and bubble away for about 25-30 minutes.

To finish your dhal, take it off the heat then stir in the spinach and allow it to wilt a little, stirring in half the chopped coriander and the lemon juice. Pile into bowls and top with the crispy sweet potatoes, spoonfuls of mango chutney and the remaining coriander.