A Taste of Summer

Prue White


Guest editor Prue White is ready to relax in the Med again. Offering a delicious reminder of what we’ve been missing, the chic London-based stylist shares her top picks from our Autumn Winter preview collection - perfect for your next getaway.

There’s hope in the air – it’s veritably palpable. Hugs are in abundance; celebrations of human life – births, marriages and even funerals – are returning to the merriment and commemoration that they once were. And golly, it’s good. There is even – if we dare dream – the possibility that travel may become, if not normal, at least possible in the coming months. With a summer that has, so far at least, failed to live up to its promises (or even its definition) the prospect of travelling to some other corner of the globe or simply across the Channel for that matter, is exceedingly attractive right now.

Is there any nicer feeling than sitting outside a simple taverna on a remote Mediterranean coastline of an evening, skin still warm from a day spent soaking up the sun and sea, imbibing local wine and seafood with the sound of water lapping the shores? Crystal clear waters, good company, and fresh food are my three absolute must-haves for any summer holiday.

But when the weather here remains so dreich (warmer, perhaps, but still grey and damp), finding the right travel attire is essential. It must be something that takes you from cold to warm; that’s comfortable for long flights; practical for increasingly intrusive security screenings and doesn’t take up so much room that you wish you hadn’t packed it when you reach sunnier climes. Step forward loungewear.

An open suitcase, suggestive of summer holidays

At this point you may be rolling your eyes at my suggestion that loungewear for travel is revolutionary. It’s that dry line delivered by Miranda Priestley with a withering glare in The Devil Wears Prada: “Florals … for spring? Groundbreaking”. But bear with me.

Shearling boots (often, but not exclusively, referred to as ugg boots) gained popularity with surfers in California in the 1960s when they realised the warming and cooling properties of wool. We all know wool and cashmere keep us warm, but their moisture-wicking and temperature controlling properties are what make them so ideal for warmer climates, too. Cold from highly air-conditioned airports and planes? Johnston’s superfine merino collection will keep you warm on the flight, but when you step beyond the airport doors into that hot air that screams holiday, their knits will keep you nicely temperate, too.

So, the first of my go-to’s from Johnstons’ latest loungewear collection is, of course, the Superfine Merino camisole in Haze. New to this collection, Haze is a deliciously cool shade of lilac that feels both classic and modern in the same breath. Additionally, the delicate V-shape detail at the front is a universally flattering neckline, so it’s great both on its own or layered underneath a cardigan or jacket.

Also in Haze is the seamless cashmere jumper for men. With raglan sleeves, this piece has a distinctly sporty vibe to it but worn with white chino shorts, or blue jeans, it feels both relaxed and polished at the same time.

I also adore the cashmere boat neck sweater in ecru with bracelet sleeves for her. The hefty weight of the cashmere is balanced with a loose weave and cropped sleeves making it the perfect piece for a summer evening stroll when you need something to keep a cool sea breeze at bay. I’d team it with a striking gold necklace to balance the boxy shape.

And of course, it goes without saying that Johnstons’ easy jogger remains a firm favourite – once you try them, you’ll never wear anything else to travel. The deliciously soft cashmere makes long journeys exceedingly comfortable, and whether worn with a crisp white sneaker (for take-off), cashmere socks (for the flight), or leather sandals (for stepping out into that heat), they’re always achingly chic. Equally versatile and comfortable are the seamless shorts for men. Stopping just above the knee, the loose fit style in a soft grey colour known as Pumice, is that easy piece that will take you from the plane, straight to the beach.

Any stylist worth her salt will wax lyrical on the importance of accessories, especially when travelling with a capsule wardrobe. A banging pair of earrings, statement sunnies, or a lightweight cashmere stole in a jolly colour, can instantly lift the most simple outfit. Johnstons’ tissue weight cashmere stoles are so lightweight that when draped loosely over the shoulders they will catch the breeze, showcasing the scarf’s diaphanous texture. If there is a nip in the air, however, wrapped snuggly around the neck it will provide you with all the warmth you need for a cool summer's evening.

Now, my mouth is watering and my skin is dreaming of some heat.

Prue White offers completely personalised styling and wardrobe consultations online and in person (within London). For details, go to pruewhitestylist.com. Clients using the promotional code PWSJohnstons during July and August 2021 will receive a 10% discount.

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