While 2020 might have taught us to appreciate lounge wear, the summer of 2021 begs for some new additions to our closets worthy of the event-level of enjoyment we now get, just from going outside.
Whether or not you’ve booked your ticket to Greece, or are planning on another staycation, these garments and accessories from Greek designers can make any day feel like a celebration.
Sandals from Di Gaïa
More often than not, Greek sandals are tan and function as a neutral shoe to pair with flowy, romantic dresses, but nothing says they can’t also be bold. After all, through Greek history, leather sandals were worn by all types of people.
These black gladiator sandals from Di Gaia feature metal studs and bold red lettering which reads “molon lave.” The Laconic phrase is attributed to a letter exchange between the Spartan king, Leonidas, and Xerxes, ruler of the invading Persian empire, on the eve of the Battle of Thermopylae in 480 BC. Xerxes demanded that the heavily outnumbered Spartans give up their weapons, to which Leonidas responded “molon lave,” meaning “come and take them,” or, in modern lingo, basically: “Bring it on!”
Stacking jewelry from Hermina
Summer is no time to dress down when it comes to jewelry, and as everyone knows: matching is mis-matching and stacking is cracking (okay, we made that up, but it’s true).
Hermina’s particular style of jewelry is bold and asymmetrical, with motifs inspired by ancient art and mythology. Each piece is designed and handcrafted by local silversmiths and artisans. We particularly love the pearl necklaces, which bring to mind Greek souvenirs of the 80s.
Summery tote bags from 24 Goat
The handsewn and hand-stamped totes from 24 Goat are made in a small workshop in Athens, and feature items and scenes that define Greek summer in the city, like the typical chairs of the open-air cinemas, and the ingredients for tzatziki. This one features a question posed every day in the summer by Greek grandmothers and waiters: “Some watermelon?”
Shop through Etsy, here.
Clogs from Ancient Greek Sandals
Greek sandals might be a more famous concept, but if clogs are in vogue (and in Vogue), Greek designers are quick to catch on.
These open toe clogs from Ancient Greek Sandals feature gold studs, dressing them up just enough so you can keep wearing them as you switch from this spring’s wide jeans to boho summer dresses.
Cheery sheer dresses from Ancient Kallos
Since ancient times, fashion in Greece has always put special focus on the lightness and breathability of fabrics. As we venture out of self-isolation this summer, no inhibitions will stop us from letting the wind and the sun kiss our pale #stayhome skin. Freedom is what we want, and – like the ancient Greeks – we don’t like to sweat.
These dresses from Ancient Kallos are exactly what we want to wear on vacation this year.
Matching mother daughter swim wear from Stefania Fragista
One of our favorite swimwear brands is based in Athens, and produces all its products locally from 100% ecological & recycled material. This year, we fell hard for the Mummy & Me collection, featuring girls’ swim suits in sizes that fit children aged 2 and up, to match with your own.
Swimwear from Emmanuela
Another luxury swimwear designer based in Athens, Emmanouela Lykou’s bikinis and one pieces manage to be sporty and feminine at once. We adore her rash guard bikinis, which provide some extra sun protection on the arms and shoulders, perfect for those who like to spend most of their time on the beach swimming – which, if we’re being completely honest, is probably what we all need to be doing after a year indoors.
Pops of color from Arpyes
Some days we dress the way we feel – other days we dress to feel better. Athens-based brand Arpyes creates garments that can make any day brighter. Pictured are the high-waist “Pergamondo” pants, and the “Menta” pleated skirt in terracotta.
More color from Klelia Andrali
If there’s something we learned about fashion in the last year that will stay with us, it’s that being comfortable is the most important thing, and that being comfy doesn’t mean you can’t also look dressed, and great.
Athens designer Klelia Andrali is known for being an expert on bright colors. Inspired by pop art, she uses strong colors and bold patterns to make loose-fit garments that can be worn either at home, out shopping, or to the beach.
Beach towels from Sea You Soon
Sure, that Little Mermaid towel you bought at a souvenir shop on Kos years ago when you forgot to “borrow” a towel from the hotel before hitting the beach will work just fine, for drying your skin and cushioning an uncomfortable sunbed. But if you also plan on using it as a sarong at the beach bar, we suggest the much more stylish beach towels from Sea You Soon. Both light-weight and sand-resistant, they’re made of cotton and bio-degradable TENCEL fibers (created from sustainably-sourced eucalyptus).
Pictured here is the Tinetto design, which is available in six colors.
Kimonos from Celia Dragouni
Besides swim suits, are the swim suit cover-ups the most essential items of clothing for Greek summer? They’re certainly the most versatile, as Greek designers go much further than the typical tunics and sarongs, creating garments that can easily be worn out to drinks after the beach, or even pair with dressier clothes for nights out in the city.
These maxi-length kimono robes from Celia Dragouni are our favorites this year. Tip: pair with a leather belt to turn your robe into a dress.
Monochrome espadrille sandals from Phi-male
We fell in love with the quirky designs of Greek designer Elvira Panagiotopoulou’s second shoe brand (the first being Di Gaïa), Phi-male, when it launched three years ago. Featuring espadrille soles and embroidery of typical Greek items, they make any clean, monochrome outfit pop.
This year, we also favor the brand’s monochrome options, to go with patterned garments or a more muted look.