Style Notes: Gemma Hayward

It’s the great spring wardrobe transition. Pastels versus florals. (We’re in the ‘both’ camp.) When to eschew tights for bare legs? How to reintroduce colour after a winter of neutral shades?

Gemma Hayward, Grazia’s Senior Fashion Editor, tackles the season’s most pressing issues - and picks the key pieces to see you through to summer - in the latest instalment of Style Notes...

Florals are huge for SS18 and seem like the ultimate way to say goodbye to winter – how would you wear the trend?

Although it’s a huge trend, I wouldn’t wear florals in the obvious bright and bold way – I’m happiest when I’m dressed more androgynous. With this in mind, the Panel Maxi Dress is the perfect way for me to embrace feminine florals, but in a monochrome colour palette, it doesn’t feel too girly. I love the voluminous vest style which is not only figure-forgiving (bonus!), but also super cool for the summer months. The great thing about such a simple silhouette is that almost all footwear goes with it, but I think a flat-form sandal will give it that fashion edge. Lastly, I’ll style it with the amazing Santorini Bag – which nails two of spring’s biggest bag trends in one, circle shape and straw – result!  

What are the essential basics every wardrobe needs?

I couldn’t live without a simple shirt. Striped or plain, it doesn’t matter; but a little oversized always looks more stylish. And I’ll always have a soft spot for the eternally chic white shirt (it’s a classic for a reason). More formal than a t-shirt, a great shirt gives the impression you have made an effort, even if you’re wearing it with jeans and sneakers. I have a wardrobe full of good shirts, which I will wear on-set.

Jeans are just a way of life – they’re not just for off duty anymore – and it’s surprising how quickly different styles go in and out of fashion. At the moment, dark denim is on the catwalks so I’ll be investing in this wash in a boyfriend style, which I’ve found is the best cut for my figure.

Hands down the biggest summer staple is sunglasses – where would we be without them? I love the way they can transform an outfit and nothing says ready for summer more than a pair of cool shades. I’ll be adding the Isla Sunglasses to my already vast collection! 

What are your three top picks from the new hush collection?

That’s a tough one – there is so much on my shopping list already! Firstly, it has to be the denim Dungarees, I’ve been on the lookout for some that are a bit different and these are superb. I think the fact they are black denim too, rather than indigo, makes me want them more (more posh than plumber!) Then there’s the Printed Jamie T Shirt Dress which ticks my box for the perfect holiday piece. Covered up with a cool print, and so easily accessorised, it’s the ideal dress to take me from the beach to the bar (and back again). For the third piece, I’m torn: I know I’ve already mentioned the straw circle Santorini Bag which is fab, but I also am really into the satchel style Sara Bag. It’s a great size for the weekend and I like the minimal styling and hardware which enables it to go with more outfits. At just under £100, it would be rude not to. 

How do you dress warmly when it’s still too cold for bare legs…but you’re sick of the sight of tights?

Ah, one of the dilemmas of trans-seasonal dressing. I tend to just brave it with bare legs but I’m not averse to wearing trousers under dresses – I think you get more wear out of them that way and it’s a catwalk trick that is used often. I’m also totally on board with the ankle sock trend, it adds a quirky edge to otherwise classic looks, and gives spring sandals mileage for now. 

How/will you be embracing pastels this season?

I’m not going to lie – navy is normally about as adventurous as I get when it comes to colour! I’m not naturally a person who’s drawn to lots of different shades for my own wardrobe, especially pastels. Having said that, I actually do have a soft spot for candy pink. I think the key to making it work is teaming it with more pared-back or boyish pieces to temper the sweetness. A simple pink tee underneath a military jacketblazer or denim jacket would look great and is just a nod towards the trend without going full on. I also like the idea of adding a pop of colour with accessories too, and the Alina Scarf is perfect for welcoming in the new season.

Follow Gemma on Instagram @gemmajonks or on Twitter @gemmajonks, and keep an eye out for more 'Style Notes' next month...

Illustrations by @zoedrawsfashion