I don't know about you, but with news that warmer weather is back on the horizon and with another bank holiday fast approaching, I'm starting to feel the need to add some spring-ready pieces to my sartorial arsenal. It's not enough that I've started wearing lighter footwear and outerwear (wool coat and ankle boots, out, camel trench and ballet pumps, in). I've realised, after sweating on the train and then shivering at my air-conditioned desk, that a mix of lighter layers is a must.
A peasant blouse seemed like a great starting point, and I had been surveying the current offering on the high street - until LA-based label Dôen caught my attention.
Today, Dôen launches an exclusive 15-piece capsule collection with Net-a-Porter, which not only sees the brand available in the UK for the first time, but also looks set to solve all of our warm weather dressing dilemmas in one fell swoop.
The label specialises in breezy silhouettes, with sweet romantic prints and chic spring colourways. Think of it as a grown-up sister to Reformation; pretty dresses and versatile blouses aplenty, without looking sickly or sweet.
While its cream peasant blouse is exactly what's missing from my own spring wardrobe, the printed maxi dresses are crying out for a day at the races, and the pale blue blouse is what you'll want to be wearing over bank holiday with chinos and white trainers for a picnic in the park.
Here's how Dôen looks set to take over all of our spring wardrobes...
1. The pieces are versatile
I've found that my spring clothes and holidaywear often fall into two different camps: modest but lightweight clothing that works for everyday, and then the pieces that are slightly sheer or too colorful that I'd only dare wear them on holiday. Dôen seems set to change that idea.
"The collection is equal parts delicate and bold," say Katherine and Margaret Kleveland, the design duo and sisters behind the label. "The marrying of artfulness and playfulness, softness and strength pays homage to the countless dualities that live within us all."
The capsule collection of 15 pieces are as appropriate for the office, with white mules and a smart tote, as they are on the beach when paired with espadrilles and a straw bucket bag.
2. The designs are timeless
Shopping smart means investing in pieces that you know you'll turn to time after time, and this sensible ethos is at the heart of the brand's designs. "The Dôen woman is craving pieces that are wearable yet elevated, that can serve her through day-to-day life and for years to come," the Kleveland sisters told The Telegraph. "We design our clothes for an ever-evolving woman who needs pieces to wear to work, dinner, and on the floor playing with her kids."
Alongside this, the brand shuns trend-led prints and instead looks to sweet vintage ones in neutral shades that won't look outdated after one or two seasons.
3. It actively promotes sustainability...
which relieves some of the shopping guilt. Last week, the industry marked Fashion Revolution Week which aims to promote a more sustainable manufacturing process. It came in the wake of the Rana Plaza tragedy six years ago that saw over 1,100 people killed, when a factory in Bangladesh collapsed, and since, hashtags such as #whomademyclothes look set to expose disposable fashion.
"Our pieces are designed to honor the season, while still being season-less," say the founders. "We knew we wanted to be part of the slow fashion movement and are passionate about thoughtful purchases, recycling and reusing. We're committed to offering quality pieces that deserve more than one life and to prevent clothing from ending up in landfills."
The brand consider sustainability a top priority: it doesn't over-produce fabrics, the packaging is 100% recyclable and it is committed to long-term partnerships with factories that have been audited for social compliance, where gender and social equality indicators have been evaluated.
Dôen's founders noted that its "largest supplier in New Delhi, India has started a foundation to fund 100% of the education of the daughters of their employees, where traditionally (due to limited resources for tuition) employees were opting to send their male children to school while keeping their female children at home."
4. It's nailed sweet spot pricing
Dôen's Jane blouse and Jasmine dress are both regularly sold out, and it came as no surprise to learn of the label's sweet spot price point, which is similar to the likes of Rixo, Ganni and Reformation, all of which price their blouses and dresses between £100 and £300. While they're not as easily attainable as the high street, the mid-price means they're not as out of reach as your average designer piece, making for an accessible treat.
"The collection is tight and cohesive so we literally love every piece," say the founders. The one they turn to every day though is the Jane blouse. "That's the one we're most excited to introduce the Net-a-Porter girl to. We wear it day after day with vintage Levis for an easy, feminine look."
There are plans to add to the collection with new prints, colours and patterns, too. Better get filling up that wishlist...
The 5 best pieces to buy now:
The Ascot-worthy frock
Sol shirred floral-print Swiss-dot cotton-voile maxi dress, £330, Net-a-Porter
Pair with blue suede mules, an oversized navy hat and a straw minaudiere for race day chic.
The spring work shirt
Rose gathered floral-print cotton-poplin blouse, £155, Net-a-Porter
Camel chinos and white flats are the perfect partners to this pretty blouse for a relaxed office look.
The weekend blouse
Albertine lace-trimmed pintucked ramie blouse, £170, Net-a-Porter
I'll wear this with tan slides and boyfriend denim to nail stylish weekend-wear.
A frock for summer in the city
Jasmine shirred floral-print cotton-poplin maxi dress, £270, Net-a-Porter
A loose printed maxi is a must in a heatwave. Pair with espadrilles and a crossbody bag for sightseeing on holiday.