It’s official: we have a new dress code. Picnic chic is the sartorial mandate for dates-a-deux in the park.

It might be a little nippy still for bare legs and summer dresses, yet this is no time for the leggings-sneakers-giant puffer jacket combo in which you’ve hibernated since November.

This, friends, marks our first opportunity of 2021 to expunge the elastic and revel in the delights of dressing properly once more.

A game of layering is the key to braving the springtime chill in serious comeback style. And it’s as easy at 1, 2, 3…


A long-sleeved maxi dress is your versatile foundation layer. Wear now with chunky combat boots, tights and a polo neck then swap in sandals and sunnies as the weather warms. Essentiel Antwerp has a selection of really gorgeous puff-sleeved floral maxi shirt-dresses (from £230, or alternatively new sustainable London label Ro&Zo does a lovely sky blue leaf-print wrap maxi for £89 (

Essential Antwerp

A jumpsuit is a practical alternative for cycling and sitting cross-legged. Shrimps’ pale blue wide-legged gingham jumpsuit comes with flattering fitted sleeves and an oversized collar, and would look sweet and nostalgic paired with white tennis shoes and a basket bag. For something more affordable, Cefinn x LabelMix has a summery coral polka dot jumpsuit for £129 (

Shrimps’ jumpsuit will be available to shop later this month, but in the meantime Anthropolie has another lovely blue gingham version available for £120 (


A lightweight layer is key for sticking it out post-sundown. Arket’s oversized quilted jacket (£89, is not only cleverly made from used recycled bottles and polyester yarn, but it can double as a picnic blanket should you forget yours.

Loeffler Randall

Our lived-in trainers are off the menu but flat shoes are essential. For a summery update on stomper boots try Russell & Bromley’s blush pink gem-trim biker boots (£415, or for warmer days, Loeffler Randall has a great selection of ballet flats, try the buttercup yellow Georgie style ( £103,

Hobbs Camber Beach

If it’s your job to bring the wine and snacks, Hobbs’s raffia tote will add some chic to the supermarket sweep (£99, If not, then stick to a hands-free crossbody – Jigsaw’s leather Denbigh style (£110, will ensure ultimate prosecco-swilling comfort.