What to wear: outfit ideas for Christmas & summerBy Kylie McShane
No matter where you are on Earth, it's been a long, bizarre couple of years. With things slowly getting back to ‘normal’, many of us will be scheduling long-awaited catch-ups with friends and family for the festive season and summer. Others will remain home with the cat, embracing a more sedate lifestyle. Whichever is your preference, you can take the beach wherever you go with Simone Walsh’s new range.
Inspired by the lovely seaside haven where Simone works her magic, this range features ace sea urchins, marine gemstones, starfish and shells to collect without getting sand in your togs. We’ve matched some of these pieces with the kind of outfits you might like to wear over the festive season and throughout summer in general; may they all bring you joy.
Ready to dive in? Here are some of our summery outfit ideas, with an emphasis on Australian fashion and design, so you can look your best when heading out into the world (or lurking at home) and be supportive of Australian designers and small businesses while you're at it.
Lockdown to Outside Ensemble:
Some of us may be reluctant to get the party started just yet, and that's fair enough. Go gentle on your fine self; you aren't Eliza Doolittle post-transformation. You're just leaving the house.
Motivate yourself to get on out there in some comfy yet colourful pieces. We adore Madam Relove’s handmade smocks, which are put together using repurposed fabrics, including some from Marimekko and Ken Done (which we can totally condone).
Match your smock with a soothing yet sparkly Coral Reef & Aquamarine Pendant Necklace or the striking Coral Reef & Coral Gem Pendant Necklace. The aquamarine stone is a gorgeous sky blue, and the coral gem offers a pop of salmon coloured goodness that will be sure to catch everyone's eye.
You can always team these pendants up with matching aquamarine stud earrings or coral gem stud earrings to complete the ensemble and ease your way back into society.
We think the salmon-coloured coral gem pieces go especially well with this vibrant Marimekko fabric. Best of all, no coral reefs were harmed in making these pieces as the gems are ethical simulated coral rather than the real thing.
Catch Up/Gift Giving Drinks
Excited about seeing mates for the first time since lockdown? Bring a puffy sleeve to the table with ethically made Tasmanian brand Seagrass Design. Their pieces are joyously colourful and handmade, perfect for a celebration picnic, some bubbles and the chance to finally catch up on the impact of the last two years.
We’ll bring the sparkles via the new Coral Reef Open Locket, inspired by an intricate coral reef.
Or, if you prefer gold, you can stack a few gold rings together, including this Pyrite & Solid Gold Ring, adding the Pyrite & Solid Gold Stud Earrings to complete your look. Pyrite is thought to unblock creativity, building strength and stamina as it protects the wearer.
And coming into the festive season, we're going to need all the stamina we can get.
Leggings and Sheets to Chill Out
If you’re not ready to integrate just yet or have already overdone said integration, you may need some time alone on the couch with your pet or plant of choice.
That’s where leggings come in. Leggings don’t have to be tacky, or they can if you want. Some of our faves include Natopia’s fun prints in a wide range of sizes. Depending on the weather where you are, you can match these with an oversized jumper/sweater or your fave band shirt.
We think this octopus design looks pretty swish with our Seagrass Sodalite Beaded Bracelet, if you want to add a bit of glam to your alone time. The matching Seagrass Stud Earrings will work a treat too.
You may also choose to stay in bed, in which case we recommend the gift that keeps on giving; fresh linen. Australian brand Lazybones have a vintage-inspired range of 100% fair trade organic cotton sheets and quilt covers that you can melt into with a good book.
If you feel guilty about staying in, don't worry, Simone can bring the sea to you. The Spiral Shell & Yellow Sapphires Cluster Necklace features sunny yellow and sunrise pink sapphires with a shiny silver spiral shell.
For those who love a pearl (and who doesn't), the Fan Shell & Pearl Pendant Necklace can bring some glam to your alone time. You can’t quite put it to your ear and listen to the sea, but you’re welcome to have a go.
Speaking of ears, Simone has made some Spiral Shell Silver Dangle Earrings and Fan Shell Silver Drop Earrings to complement the necklaces. You can even mix and match if you like.
Heading Back Into Art
As well as being pretty, art can stimulate our brains and open up our imagination. With galleries also opening up, you may be one of those heading out to immerse yourself in said art. Don’t forget to visit the smaller, local galleries as well as the big names and support emerging local artists.
Simone recommends Hahndorf Academy in the Adelaide Hills (where you'll also find a selection of her jewellery in the shop) for a smaller gallery. Alternatively the always impressive and fun Art Gallery of South Australia is well worth a visit.
To ensure you're wearing something unique, we recommend having a squizz through your local op shop or vintage clothing resellers. Many have had to close over lockdowns etc., decreasing the money non-profit resellers make to help others, including lovely animals or decreasing income for small retail businesses.
Simone's home city of Adelaide (or Radelaide as it is known to many) has many great second-hand clothing stores, including the Sustainable Clothing Co, Fox on the Run and Chaos Bazaar Vintage. Where Simone lives near Victor Harbor in South Australia you'll find some great non-profit secondhand clothing, including from the Salvation Army, Vinnies and more.
We encourage you to seek out your local secondhand or vintage clothing store and grab a unique piece for yourself.
Match your ensemble’s colour palette with some gorgeous sea urchins, including the Pearls Post Earrings and a pearl bracelet with a sea urchin textured pendant. These pieces are some of Simone’s favourites from the new range, with the rise in period dramas making pearls popular worldwide due to their elegance. Simone has used freshwater pearls for these pieces, with each pearl adding a uniquely shaped droplet of luxury.
Alternatively take a look at the soft purple-ish blue gemstones in the Sea Urchins with Iolites Pendant and matching Sea Urchin Dangle Earrings.
You can also pair all of these sea urchin designs with the sparkling silver Sea Urchin Silver Cocktail Ring.
By The Seaside
Getting out of the city/your own backyard for the first time to revisit the seaside? You may want to update your togs with Native Swimwear Australia.
Their sustainable garments are created with eco-friendly fabrics and silk, with licenses that ensure artists and communities retain ownership of the design while benefitting from sales. They design luxury swim and resort wear, which go perfectly with our new seaside range.
We recommend revelling in your new seaside going abilities by matching your new bathers or beach kimono with our starfish jewellery range.
Simone has designed some cute as Starfish Dangle Earrings that you can team with a Lapis Lazuli Cluster Necklace or a Starfish Silver Pendant Necklace. Or why not both? No one says you have to wear one necklace at a time, right? And if it's winter where you are, a lovely jumper or 3 will still work nicely with our starfish.
However you choose to spend your festive season and summer, we truly hope it will be a good one. If you are dressing up, then we hope you'll do it in Australian style while supporting some of your favourite independent Australian fashion designers.
Visit our handy Christmas Shopping Guide for more handy festive season tips, including our gift guide.