We are delighted and excited to share with you our latest blog collaboration with Poolside Gossip. Read on to discover how Katie & Pamela, co-founders of this 'optimistic swimwear brand', will be making the most of the warmer months ahead with their stylish and sustainable must-haves.
"And so with the sunshine and the great bursts of leaves growing on the trees…I had that familiar conviction that life was beginning over again with the summer."
F. Scott Fitzgerald
As we continue to navigate these extraordinary times, one certainty is that summer is with us. And we’re welcoming it with open and (hopefully) bare arms. Whilst we know overseas travel is looking extremely unlikely and we’re unsure whether we’ll be stay-cationing at home or slightly further afield within the UK, that’s no reason to stop the planning (and dreaming) even if things are on hold for a while longer.
We see sunshine holidays as the opportunity to push our wardrobe choices; try styles and colours you wouldn’t normally wear at home. Be braver and have a bit more fun. You just might (and probably will) just like it that way. And we’re not just talking about floating tie-die kaftans and floppy straw hats; you can absolutely weave in some glamour and relaxed-tailoring into your sartorial choices. At Poolside Gossip, with Pamela’s 25 years’ experience in womenswear and bespoke tailoring, we constantly strive to bring a quality and attention to cut often overlooked in swimwear.
Another consideration is the quality of what you buy. We’re all well-versed in the pitfalls of fast-fashion and mass-consumerism and your holiday wardrobe should be no different. Aside from our love of poolside playground glamour of course, we launched Poolside Gossip as we saw swimwear as the perfect category for us to work with more innovative sustainable materials available and to operate in a completely different way based on a made-to-order or bespoke model (so we don’t hold stock). It also offered the opportunity to challenge the accelerating treadmill of seasons and “new” collections that have become the norm; to create stylish yet sexy and fun pieces that will last. And it seems that with the impact of Covid, the fashion industry is on the cusp of a major rewiring and coming around to this way of thinking and operating.
So, with this in mind, it’s worth considering investments pieces. Those that fit really well. Perhaps have something specially made for you (more and more brands including Poolside Gossip are offering this as part of a broader sustainability strategy), that you will care for and treasure for years to come.
We’re not huge advocates of having a different costume for each day but do plan your pieces carefully. So what do you have for tanning in?
What works when you feel like a swim or something active like paddle-boarding (think gold + visor)? And what about when you feel like a long lunch or a cocktail as day slips into night? As you would your holiday staples, plan your swimwear pieces by purpose.
At Poolside Gossip we not only offer style advice based on colouring, body-shape and size but also style preferences. The objective is for clients to only order what they really want meaning less returns and therefore less waste.
Truly Guilt-Free Gossip.
Does my bag look big in this?
An obvious contender perhaps but rather than a bag for each possible occasion, we prefer something that is more versatile, and these evening totes make the perfect hold, pool, beach and evening bag.
We love Sophie Anderson’s bags and as pioneer of ethical and sustainable luxury, Sophie has long-since been championing the now so ubiquitous cause.
Just make sure your shimmering sun cream is carefully zipped up, these totes are quite special.
Dresses, another summer-time essential. Whilst there are utterly gorgeous offerings from Stella McCartney, there is also plenty of more affordable laid-back glamour to be found. We are big fans of Ganni, not least for their design aesthetic but also their refreshing honesty when it comes to sustainability.
They openly call the “elephant in the room”; the contradiction in claiming sustainability in an industry “driven by newness and opaque supply chains”, areas we at Poolside Gossip are actively challenging. Ganni “don’t identify as a sustainable brand” but are focused on becoming the most responsible version of themselves and have identified over 40 goals for the next 3 years.
Stunning is the selection of dresses so perhaps another reason to be grateful to be staying in the UK with our less than predictable weather.
Worn over your swimwear giving a glimpse of bright or metallic underneath, they make the perfect transition from day to night summertime style.
We delight in 70s style and influence and it’s everywhere (thanks Celine and Gucci). If you’re not ready to fully embrace the look, perhaps experiment with a pair of shades first. Sunglasses are the perfect accessory to go vintage with.
Scour your vintage and charity shops. We’re particular fans of Traid, a fantastic “fashion reuse” charity that focuses on reusing and reselling unwanted clothes and accessories.
It’s a treasure trove of fashion goodies and has stores all over London and an eBay shop for those residing elsewhere. Traid are currently planning a phased re-opening of their stores from the 18th June.
We do know that there are more important things in life than shoes, but nothing quite beats the feeling of finding the perfect sandal, which is no mean feat.
Penelope Chilvers is a brand that always manages to bridge the gap between style and quality with personality and these colourful espadrilles would look effortlessly gorgeous by the pool (or in your back garden / local park if that’s a far as we make it this year).
Penelope Chilvers sustainability ethos focuses on creating “timeless pieces” (not dissimilar to Poolside Gossip) using “age-old techniques” working directly with craftspeople and artisans in local family run factories across Spain. All surplus materials are re-purposed.
Day to night glamour is always perfected by your choice of headwear. Not only will it cover any poolside-hair malfunctions, but also elevates your sunshine look and is another opportunity to bring some colour to your wardrobe. Don’t worry about matching, that’s a concern for the Queen only.
A trilby or panama is hard to beat, and we do so love the collection from Cotswolds-based milliner, Nicola de Selincourt.
At Nicola de Selincourt the emphasis is on style and sustainability. All materials are ethically sourced (almost all of which are handmade); the Panama hoods are handwoven in Ecuador and are then handblocked by Nicola in her studio. Like Poolside Gossip, Nicola avoids further waste as all her creations are made to order.
Another brand we think pretty special both for its product and vision is Goddess Charms. Beautiful bespoke charms made using traditional methods and in small quantities to guarantee utmost quality, a number of different talismans are available in gold or silver complemented by delicate power stones.
Deliberately avoiding mass production, even if that means missing out on large orders from distributors, Maree and Jenny (founders) have resisted pressure to ensure each piece is 100% handcrafted using small workshops and local craftsmen, honouring them as the sacred objects they are.
Whatever your beliefs, these pieces look stunning in the sunshine against bare skin and we’ll be channelling our inner Sun Goddesses again this year (no further encouragement really needed).
Our best-kept holiday (not so) secret is Weleda. Weleda have been creating natural health and wellbeing products for almost 100 years.
We’re fans of the entire range from Skin-Food to Hair to Sun (they have a fully natural range that uses minerals and the edelweiss flower) but a favourite and a must-have for our holiday is the gorgeous Pampering Wild Rose Body Oil.
We actually use this all year round but on holiday it’s perfect for post-tanning and swimming and we also use in our hair and on dry hands and feet. A little green bottle of splendour.
Live a Thousand Lives
Obviously, we save up a stash of our favourite fashion mags and popcorn rags but summer holidays and lazy pool or beachside afternoons are also a great opportunity to revisit the classics on your list. Perhaps enjoying a couple from the same author…
Truman Capote: "In Cold Blood" & "Breakfast at Tiffany’s"
James Salter: "Light Years" & "A Sport and a Pastime"
John Williams: "Stoner"
Richard Yates: "Revolutionary Road"
John Steinbach: "East of Eden"
Peter Benchley: "Jaws" (not recommended on a beach holiday!)
Music as Sunlight
Holiday playlists are essential….whether exercising (easy-breezy), chilling by the pool or being a little more sociable. As with your wardrobe and reading material, plan your playlists before you leave so you’ve got them on tap as you need them…avoiding any stressful battling with dodgy WIFI.
Some holiday classics on our playlists are Donna Summer, Chaka Khan, CHIC, Diana Ross, Blondie, Grace Jones, Kylie…and we also love to follow Dirty Soup for their monthly recommends and their LA & London summer-vibe playlists series.
Whether we’ll be getting away at all this year or not, we at Poolside Gossip plan to mark our favourite season in whatever we can, however small, and we hope to have brought you some inspiration and sunshine for your staycations.
Wishing you all a happy and colourful summer.
Katie & Pamela x