I realise more and more lately that my clothes choices are less about following trends, and more often based around pieces that bring memories: nostalgia inducing choices. 2022’s ‘dopamine dressing’ for example, while seized upon as an embrace of bright colour, actually means wearing clothes that trigger happiness hormones, often related to memories. Terry towelling is one of these memory triggers for me. From the seemingly elastic free orange 70s one piece that I wore in my back garden aged four, to the matching navy playsuits that my mum and I twinned with throughout living in Hong Kong, it conjures up endless summers, the smell of suncream (factor 6 if we were being VERY sensible) and generic lost-innocence-of-youth vibes.
Now I’m older terry towelling also serves alternative retro appeal that I missed first time around, that of the louche poolside glamour of Slim Aarons photographs: with robes, heels, big hair and a cocktail in one hand. And let’s not forget what a sensible option it is: surely there is nothing that shouts summer louder, the most obvious and frankly sensible fabric for being by water.
So today I thought I’d indulge the nostalgia, with an edit of summer’s towelling fashion, including pieces made from vintage beach towels, and yes even some actual beach towels. (Because when I started researching I realised how very fabulous the latest offerings are and how my towel game is falling woefully short.) An edit you might not have been aware you needed, but in putting this together I’m personally suddenly urgently coveting.
*Runs to ebay for a vintage Hermes beach towel and dusts sewing machine off immediately.
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