Inès de La Fressange’s guide to classic summer style

The 62-year-old model and designer shares her summer wardrobe – whether in the city, country or by the sea

Inès de La Fressange shopping in Marseille last summer
Inès de La Fressange shopping in Marseille last summer

“This summer I will be wearing more or less what I always have. Often, before holidays, you imagine yourself with many different looks – and at the end of your trip realise that what you have worn was rather more simple than what you had planned. 

I am spending this summer in my house in Provence. Even though I already have clothes there, I always bring a few items from Paris with me. In the end, my style in the city is more or less the same as on holiday. I always take white jeans, which I cut slightly short so I can wear them with flat sandals. I also have a pair of pink flared jeans from my own brand that have a ’70s touch and look great with many different things.

The model and designer in Saint-Tropez last year
The model and designer in Saint-Tropez last year

Usually I wear simple, artisanal sandals from the likes of Rondini during the day and, in the evening, a pair of gold sandals by Roger Vivier. I also take a pair of espadrilles, which are always chic for men and women. The most traditional, handmade shapes are my favourites in black, navy blue or white.

On top, I like to wear oversized blue men’s poplin shirts, a James Perse T-shirt in dark grey, or a vintage, collarless style bought in the Provence markets. Army-surplus clothes are always great for summer, like a khaki shirt or T-shirt. There’s a great shop in New York, between the Empire State Building and the Ace Hotel, called Galaxy Army Navy where I go for these.

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Speaking of New York and khaki, I always shop at Save Khaki, either in-store or online; this season I am ordering a canvas bucket cap – in pink, of course. Straw hats are one of my favourite items also – especially Australian styles. I buy many at a time, because someone always ends up sitting on them in the car!

I have lots of sari petticoats in many different colours that I wear in summer, either rolled with a belt or worn low on the hips. The more I wash them, the softer they become – they are perfect for summer. This season I also wish to have long, hippy-style dresses, like the styles by Antik Batik, but I know my daughters will steal them from me. A friend of mine, Eric Bergère, who was previously a designer at Hermès and Lanvin, has launched a brand called DouBochi, which does large linen ponchos and dresses, which are perfect for all kinds of situations.

De La Fressange in Provence, wearing her signature white jeans, an oversize blue shirt, straw hat and Rondini sandals
De La Fressange in Provence, wearing her signature white jeans, an oversize blue shirt, straw hat and Rondini sandals

I have a collection of baskets that I brought back from Morocco or found in various other places – this season I am using one from Simonne Chic. There is also a simple rucksack from Perigot that I use. For the evenings, I usually go for a bag from Roger Vivier, of course, and I love to have many pochettes and small leather goods too.

I also always have a worker’s jacket with me – either in bright blue or a bleached fabric. I will take a satin parka because I love wearing casual items in dressy fabrics in the evening.

De La Fressange in a square in Avignon with a favourite straw basket
De La Fressange in a square in Avignon with a favourite straw basket

Above all, my advice is to always protect yourself from the sun, and my all-time-favourite products for this are by Avène. The compact sunscreen is like make-up – it’s got a convenient mirror, like a powder compact, and it’s very good quality.

Finally, I usually try not to pack too many things, because there is always a pareo or something that I find and end up wearing every day. It’s better to have a small case too – although I admit it’s hard to do!”

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