Add To Cart: What The Viva Team Is Buying For Summer

We're coveting everyday staples from New York-based Nu Swim, and more. Photo / @Nu_swim

Summer comes once a year but our wish list is almost always filled with investments: comfortable pyjamas, a crossbody bag that goes places, a breezy work shirt, and more.

A new year arrives with renewed goals and an unreasonable devotion to air conditioning. But let’s not talk about the heat,

My wife thinks it’s outrageous that I’ve swapped my usual bedtime attire of a shredded Smashing Pumpkins T-shirt and lavalava for a blue Tekla PJ short set, and now I’m ruined because I’m pining after another. Specifically, the Tekla x Birkenstock collab kaftan and matching trouser set made from the softest cotton poplin. Yes, I know it looks like something a cult leader might have worn in LA during the 70s but I’m sure I would wear this all day every day this year and convince myself that this is what they mean when they say investment dressing. — Dan Ahwa, fashion and creative director

Beach, bar, restaurant, park, library, office — there’s not really a place on my summer roster where this Oosterom piece would look out of place. The painter’s shirt is breezy and voluminous, appealing to more casual settings, but it’s also precise and thoughtful, with its rounded collar and stunning cut-outs. Its sandy colour promises to provide a seasonally appropriate antidote to harsher corporate colourings. Like many of Oosterom’s pieces, it’s also made with 100 per cent cotton deadstock. What’s not to love? I’d style this with my togs, a beach basket, and my favourite seasonal adornment, a grapefruit and lemon Fruju. — Madeleine Crutchley, multimedia journalist

I have long struggled to find a pair of shorts I can truly wear on any occasion. That was until I came across these long, tailored shorts from Rebe. Cut in a lightweight wool suiting material, these would be the perfect elevated work-to-play shorts, and I love how you can wear them with a simple tank top or as part of a relaxed suit by adding a blazer. — Annabel Dickson, fashion assistant

I’m toying with the idea of ditching my nappy bag (a scuffed and sorry-looking backpack that doesn’t look too chic with a summer dress) for a seasonally appropriate “mum bag” that’s actually pleasing on the eye. My son’s now a toddler and it’s time to purge the baby essentials that have been bogging me down for two years. The Bonnie and Kind Kit bag is deliciously compact. Suspiciously so. Can I really leave the house looking like a woman sans child, complete with a stylish crossbody bag? I dare to dream but I haven’t yet committed. I definitely don’t see space for Buzz Lightyear; the toy du jour. However, one more Instagram ad, of a perfectly poised mother and her perfect bag, and I think it’ll be game over for willpower. — Anna Sarjeant, deputy editor, lifestyle premium

A semi-regular perusal of Nu Swim’s online store this week revealed that my favourite tank top is now available in a few new colourways. I have the black and wear it at least once a week, year-round, though it gets particularly high rotation in summer. The cut of this is great; the neckline’s high and the armhole sits near the point of the shoulder. So is the quality, with nice thick cotton and binding that avoids the common pitfalls of width (theirs is, to my taste, perfect). The brand’s organic cotton pieces, made in the US, are my preferred basics and foundational for my wardrobe. (This isn’t the first time I’ve banged on about them.) The label has a canny use of colour — think zingy brights and chalky colours — and I’m torn between Periwinkle and Butter, hues that have been on my “seeking” list for the past year. Both are currently sitting patiently in my cart. — Emma Gleason, deputy editor, lifestyle audience

Local jeweller Shannen Young has an eye for pretty, perfectly imperfect silver — she deals as much in bows as she does in irregular shapes and the pooling of metal — and I want one of her pieces, specifically, this Flower Called Nowhere ring. It’s textural and dainty and summery all at once, a gorgeous but complicated work. Will my hand look immeasurably cooler? Yes. Will I ever take it off? Probably not. — Julia Gessler, multimedia journalist

No one does a pair of black leather boots like Belgian designer Ann Demeulemeester. The Antwerp Six alumni generally offers a cerebral take on wardrobe staples, and the Stan boot is a brilliant case in point: they have a round toe and slightly chunky sole, to prevent them from looking too elegant, while the bridle strap around the top and silver zip stretching the length of the back add a kind of gothic intrigue. I will be wearing these with the black technical mini skirt I recently bought from Wynn Hamlyn, which is proving to be a winning summer purchase. — Jessica Beresford, contributing fashion editor

More shopping

What to buy now and love forever.

Dan Ahwa: A blazer will always be your best friend. Here’s how to wear one. Even hybrid working can’t diminish the power of a well-cut wardrobe staple.

Skirt the issue: 17 smart options for work and weekend. The demure appeal of a knee-length skirt can serve you well both on and off-duty.

15 tote bags that mean big business. Sorry, mini purses, these grand designs are large and in charge.

Beaded necklaces, bracelets and earrings that’ll have you totally charmed. Stretching from minimalism to maximalism, bold and brash stones to dainty pearls.

15 chic shirts and blouses that’ll bring a resort state of mind to the office. With relaxed fits and sunny dispositions, they work hard to prop up summer.

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