I am a pain in my own butt for many reasons, but chief among them is the fact that Monday to Thursday all I want to wear is jeans, and Friday through to Sunday I can’t think of anything worse. It’s exactly like the thing where you can’t find anything nice in the shops when you have money to spend, but as soon as you’re skint there’s adorable tops as far as the eye can see. However, while I have no control over the retail options presented to me in Wellington, I can balance out my own contrarian nature by buying fab summery dresses to wear in the weekends. Exhibit A is this little number from Aida Maeby.
Jess kindly invited me along to the look book shoot for this season’s collection, and as soon as I saw this dress on the rail I knew it was going to go into my wardrobe. At the pre-order evening I literally shoved Lucy out of the way so I could order it – the sleeve fabric is limited, so I wanted to get in quick. (Don’t worry: it was only a gentle shove, no Lucys were harmed). All up, from the first time I saw the sleeve fabric, to seeing it made at the shoot and pre-order evening, to actually receiving it, I patiently waited for months. I’m pleased to report that I totally think it was worth it.
For me, a linen shift dress is the perfect summer dress. I find linen evocative of holidays – it makes me think of hot days at a tumble down estate in Spain, lying in the shade of a tree with a book, and long languorous lunches on tables made of wooden planks, with lovely friends and just an absolute mountain of cheeses. That’s where the shift shape comes in – you could fit an actual 4 month pregnancy into this dress, no problem, so a cheese baby has more than enough room. (I think we all know that a cheese baby is my preferred type of baby). I can definitely imagine wearing this with a flat woven pair of sandals over my swimsuit, with nothing but a tan and some sunscreen on my face.
Obviously, it creases if you sit in it for too long, but if you can move from “everything must be perfectly pressed” to “wrinkles add a bit of casual character” then you’re away laughing. I wouldn’t bust this out for a Monday to Thursday at work, because it is a touch casual. It’s the perfect option for a Friday styled with these sandals and earrings, particularly if you’re planning an after work drink in the sun or a dinner date with someone cute. To bring it down a notch for Saturday or Sunday, it’s easy enough to pop on a pair of sandals (I found these from a company in Raglan, I’d buy them in yellow), and switch the earrings for a pair of great sunnies. Suddenly you’re dressed perfectly for a quick whip round the supermarket, a barbecue with mates, or a stroll along Oriental Parade.
Linen is really easy to look after: just wash it in cold water, hang it up, and make sure you iron it before it’s totally dry (so the wrinkles don’t set). To be honest, the hotter it gets, the less likely I am to feel like standing around sweating as I work my way through my ironing. This is unfortunately ass-backward, since my summer clothes are much more likely to need ironing due to my obsession with natural fibres. My pro tip is that most drycleaners will do your ironing for you – take your item in already washed and just ask for it to be pressed. I learnt this long ago when I bought a shirt with many embellishments, and realised my standard iron was not going to cut the mustard. While I can overcome most adversity these days with my steamer (BEST household appliance ever, but wait for a sale like I did), I am still more than okay with paying a very nominal fee to have the trickiest jobs done for me. Highly recommend as a shortcut.
All this dress needs now is for me to get a tan (sprayed on, not baked in) and for Wellington to get some warm days.
Dress from Aida Maeby (not sponsored, my obsession is all my own) and comes in three colours. Shoes are from an age ago, I’d stick with more of a clog style like these Elk jobs from Wanda Harland for weekends if you want some height. Earrings are from Lovisa from a year or so ago, they now have a billion colours!