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What To Wear This Season? Slip Dresses, Soft Silhouettes & Languid Linens

Spring is here, summer is coming and with it, the appealing prospect of gatherings, after-work celebrations and barbecues by the beach. But after so many months of wet, gloomy weather (and all the waterproof jackets and chunky winter boots that came with it), now’s the ideal time to refresh those key essentials for warmer weather, with a few statement pieces to boot (or sandal).

This season is bursting with bold, polished looks that will effortlessly take you from work to dinner; versatile garments that look just as chic dressed up with heels as they do paired with denim. It’s time to go big on colour and keep everything else simple. So just how do you make these looks work? We asked the senior fashion buyer from Farmers for their expert styling tips.

What are the colours to wear right now?

Bold brights, solid colours, saturated colours — whatever you call them, they’re the vibrant hues that will be putting a pep in our step as the weather (hopefully, finally!?) warms up and dries out. These are tones that make you feel happy; they’re sunny and bright. From dresses to culottes and shirts, there’s a green for everyone in the Farmers range, depending on the tone best suited to you, whether it’s emerald, jade, apple or lime. Blues are also popping through, with classic navy in tailored linen suiting for men, and brilliant azures in womenswear conjuring memories of seaside holidays — think of the ocean somewhere like Sardinia, a really beautiful, crystal clear, bright blue.

Likewise the hot pinks that Barbie-mania reignited are still going strong, but as summer blooms, we’ll see them soften into a tone closer to orchid, (with more of a pinky-purple hue), and veer into vibrant corals. But the shades of the season have to be sunburst yellows, lemons and limes, colours that sound almost good enough to eat. Make a statement by wearing a head-turning shade top to toe — several pieces in the Farmers range feature matching bright sets to make a real impact. Or pair a brightly coloured shirt with a simple pair of black or white pants for a fresh, summer feel. Brights also look great paired with high-waisted pants in linens and other fluid fabrications. You can soften them a little by pairing them with denim shorts, skirts or jeans.

How can you make prints look current this season?

Nothing says ‘summer’ quite like a bold print, the ultimate way to express your personality or add an element of visual texture to an outfit. This season’s prints have evolved into monochromatics and one-colour styles that move away from the bitsy-er patterns. Think striking abstracts and digital florals giving workwear a summery splash, alongside vibrant black and white dresses and blouses. From casual wear to formal, you’ll find these prints right throughout the Farmers range. When worn top to toe they make a real statement.

Is linen too high maintenance or is it worth the investment?

Linen once had a reputation for being a fabric that required ironing all the time but these days it’s beloved for its soft, relaxed aesthetic, with quality garments designed to withstand a little movement. So unless a piece is particularly crumpled after washing, you can generally get away with hanging your linen carefully to keep it looking smart. Farmers’ premium 100 per cent linen range extends to jackets, pants, tops, skirts, dresses and tees, for super comfortable wear and soft silhouettes.

Linen is absolutely worth the investment. It’s the perfect summer wardrobe hero. It has that light and airy timeless quality to it; it’s quite effortless. It’s definitely something you can wear on repeat. It’s relaxed and easy, breathable, known for its durability, and it’s more sustainable and environmentally low impact as a fabric as well.

How can we dress denim up for work?

Denim is the ultimate wardrobe workhorse, and there’s no need to retire it as the weather warms up. It’s functional and versatile, a relaxed, easy go-to on the weekends. But if you’ve ever wished you could wear your denim to the office if it just looked a little more sophisticated, you’re in luck. This season Farmers is offering an uptick in smart, feminine denim pieces alongside current favourites such as high-waisted jeans and denim shorts. The column mid-length denim skirt is right on-trend, and looks chic with a shirt tucked in and a pair of trainers or heels. There are great A-line denim mini-skirts and elegant denim dresses in the range, too. It’s all about taking a more formal sense of styling and putting it into denim. It makes for a luxe, effortless, chic look but you can make it casual as well. That way it’s really wearable and on trend but practical at the same time.

What’s the deal with mix-and-match dressing? How do you pull this look off?

The matching set is perhaps the most economical wardrobe refresh of this season. Essentially, when you buy one set, you get three different outfits, whether you choose to wear the matching pieces together or have fun pairing them with other items in your wardrobe. There are loads of matching sets to choose from in the Farmers collection. The bold among us will choose their favourite print, be it a stripe or a pattern or even a singular colour, and wear it top-to-toe. Or you can mix and match it and break it up so that creates a whole different look again. It’s really versatile.

Summer isn’t traditionally associated with tailoring. How can tailored looks be transitioned into spring?

We often think of tailored pieces as those that feature in our winter wardrobes but they’re also making their mark in spring and summer collections. This season at Farmers it’s all about brightly coloured tailoring, hues that reflect the bold shades of the season. From hot pink to soft pinks, vests to pants, the tailored look is making an elegant comeback. In particular, the jacket is great for layering. It gives you a coordinated look, but again, it’s an item you can mix and match. You can wear it with denim and a T-shirt. We’re seeing more and more tailoring coming through; it’s been really popular with our customers because you can wear it to work but you can also dress it down on the weekend.

What’s a new silhouette to explore this season?

Spring and summer are all about showing off a little skin, with the arrival of one-shouldered tanks, tees and dresses. The one-shoulder pieces can be quite a casual look, but they can also look quite glamorous. It will give you an instant style update and it’s really flattering. There’s no need to stick to black in this style, either, with our favourite spring-inspired pick in the Farmers collection: an asymmetrical lilac rib dress, and a top from the same set featuring an alluring shoulder-baring cut-out.

If you could only buy one piece this spring from Farmers, what would it be?

It’s got to be the slip dress. This is a slinky nod to the 90s, when everyone from Winona Ryder to Courtney Love was photographed in one, and it will instantly update your wardrobe. The great thing about the slip is there are oodles of ways to wear it. Wear one casually with trainers, with the addition of a shirt for a movie date, or pair it with a heel or sandal for a special dinner out. Throw on a blazer to wear it to work. The slips at Farmers come in a variety of fabrics, including viscose, cotton, or silk-satin, and they’re cut on the bias so as to be extra flattering. Ultimately they’re effortless, chic, and easy to wear, and because of their cut, they skim the body in all the right places.

Check out the new spring/summer collection from Farmers at farmers.co.nz/”>Farmers.co.nz

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