by Liz Cocozza
Leading fashion director and stylist Liz Cocozza shows you six ways to turn an on-trend maxi skirt into your ultimate trans-seasonal wardrobe essential
Ridley London's new collection of bright block colour and printed skirts come in a spectrum of uplifting new shades in both silks and cottons
With climate change and the cost of living on everyone's mind, cleverly maximising the versatility and wearability of your wardrobe has never been more important. ‘Smart Dressing,’ is the term everyone is talking about in fashion right now, and with this in mind, I wanted to show you what this means in practice. In other words, how you can build an on-trend modular wardrobe around a few clever essential pieces, that will take you from April into high summer, through autumn and beyond.
Among all of the glitz and experimentation of this season’s catwalk shows, were two wearable essentials, that really stood out. The bright statement summer dress and the versatile maxi skirt. I agree that nothing says summer like a fabulously bright, flattering dress, but if you’re looking for real stretch from a piece that’s going to work extra hard to give you unmatched wearability, that’s ready to go right now, then I would invest in a super flattering maxi skirt. Not only are they bang on-trend, and so so easy to wear, but the simple fact is they can be dressed with so many different looks, seamlessly shifting from casual to smart, but most importantly, magically elongating even the most petite. Furthermore, I can promise you, that at at 5”4’, this magic really delivers.
To demonstrate the incredible versatility of a maxi skirt, I’ve created six spring into summer looks based around my favourite Ridley piece. A piece that has been in my wardrobe for three years now, and I've literally worn it to death, so as an investment it’s been incredible. Like all of Ridley’s amazing skirts and dresses, it’s also been made locally, so it’s completely climate friendly, and it’s been adjusted to my perfect fit, something Ridley do with all of their made to flatter garments. While Ridley offer skirts in cotton and viscose fabrics, I would always opt for their silk, which is incredibly warm when the temperature drops, but keeps you cool in summer.
Look 1: Early Spring
As the climate starts to get a little warmer, wear your Ridley maxi skirt with a light-weight jumper and leather biker jacket. Team with low heeled ankle boots or cool trainers, to give a more trans-seasonal feel.
Top Tip: If it’s still rather cold, try wearing with a thin roll neck sweater and a longer, warmer coat, you could also add trainers to give a more relaxed feel and they will look less wintery than boots. Or where your skirt over opaque tights (one of the benefits of a maxi.)
Look 2: Relaxed Summer
Silk maxi skirts in summer are a fabulous way to look great, still relaxed and stylishly comfortable. For a more casual work / daywear look, wear with a soft cotton blouse or t shirt and throw on a light denim jacket and strappy flat summer sandals.
Top tip: If you are heading straight from work to drinks, swap your denim jacket for a Ridley London needle cord blazer and a slightly higher summer sandal or kitten heel.
Look 3: Smarter Summer
For a slighter smarter summer look to wear to lunch with the girls, or a more dressed up daytime occasion, wear your maxi skirt with a gorgeous ruffled blouse and soft suede kitten heeled ankle boots, team with a chic on-trend hand bag and chandelier earrings. If it’s a little chilly, add a sleeveless cashmere tank top.
Top tip: You could try belting this look to give it a more polished finish or add a cool Ridley London needlecord blazer.
Look 4: Summer Evening
Summer evening - Ridley London make the most gorgeous maxi printed skirts and matching tops. This is my number one tip for investment dressing at its best. When you buy co-ords, (matching skirts and tops) you buy not two, but possibly 4 or 5 outfits. Wearing together will immediately give the effect of wearing a dress, which can be belted to give the illusion of one piece of fabric. This can be styled up or down depending on the occasion. If it’s a cooler day you could wear over a thin wool roll neck sweater and a light coloured suede boot, for a meeting or early supper. Or if the weather is warm, wear as a dress with gorgeous summer sandals and a chunky necklace or choker. Alternatively separating the skirt and top, will give you more outfit options and styling choices throughout the spring and summer.
Top tip: For a dressy occasion, wear your co-ord with high summer gold or shimmery heels and lots of coloured precious stone costume jewellery. Finish with a bright or diamante jewelled evening bag.
Look 5: Summer in the City
Summer in the City - The perfect throw on for a really hot summer day in the city is a bright floral maxi skirt. Effortless and always noticeable, simply team with a white cotton t shirt, sleeveless cotton shirt or cotton peasant top. Wear with Birkenstock’s or flat summer sandals and a raffia tote bag. No jacket required.
Top tip: For work or a summer lunch, just add a bright beaded summer choker style necklace or bright beaded earrings or a matching silk neck tie.
Look 6: High Summer and Holiday
As the ultimate summer wardrobe, or holiday statement piece, your versatile Ridley London maxi skirt will roll perfectly into your suitcase (without creasing.) This wardrobe staple, will work harder than any other item while you are away. Wear to the airport with trainers and a light-weight summer sweatshirt. Wear over your swimsuit to the beach, with a vest top, flip-flops, a sun hat and straw basket. Wear to lunch with a t shirt, Birkenstocks and extra large shades and for the evening, simply add flat gold sandals, an off the shoulder peasant style top and lots of summer statement jewellery. Voila!
Top tip: Always invest in pieces that have longevity and will work the hardest in your wardrobe. The Ridley London maxi skirt does not disappoint and is certainly a winner this season.
Ridley London's new collection of statement summer maxi skirts, tops and accessories is available to purchase on-line and in Ridley's Barnes store. Celebrate your individuality this season with a unique skirt or outfit that's individually crafted to flatter from your choice of any of our stunning new printed floral or solid silks or cottons. Or call us to arrange a virtual fitting:
Ridley London, 82 Church Road, Barnes, London SW13 0DQ T: 01730 823097