The Model and Me – Solito

Nikki Parkinson Fashion, The Model and Me 50 Comments

Resort Week on Styling You

There are very few parts of Australia that have NOT been given a premature, one-way ticket to summer. Where I live in Queensland there seems to be new spring temperature records being set every day. Beach time has arrived early.

Plus, I’m heading back to Bali next week to celebrate a girlfriend’s 40th. And yes, I’m in full Outfit Planning Mode (OPM if you’re new here) so this week I’ve declared Resort Week on the blog. Each day’s post will be devoted to getting you armed and ready for a beach weekend escape or a planned holiday over summer.

And yes, my lovely readers, we’ll be tackling the dreaded swimsuit purchase too. Head on. If you’ve got any beach/resort style or beauty questions you’d like me to address this week, then leave a comment and I’ll do my best to answer.

As is common place here on a Monday, you’ll find me in front of the camera for a Model and Me post. In keeping with the theme of the week, this week’s Model and Me post features a beach cover-up from Brisbane label Solito.

Solito is the product of Brisbane duo Olivia Mills and Mary Zacharia. For the last decade, both have worked side by side in the fashion industry, running their Brisbane fashion marketing agency. The label is a natural extension to that synergy.

It’s only the second summer collection for the label but I’m prepared to go out on a fashion limb here and suggest that there will be many more to come. There’s a Moroccan summer theme to this collection but the piece I’ve chosen to feature is all about the chevron stripe. Because in my mind a chevron stripe may look fabulous on a cushion but show me chevron on a piece of clothing and I’m SO there.

The model

Solito eyelet dress spring/summer 2013-14 | Resort Week Styling You

Solito eyelet dress (for a boutique stockist near you, leave a message on the Solito Facebook page; you’ll find a link to an online stockist under the next photo)

and me

Solito eyelet dress | Skipping Girl customised tote | Helen Kaminski hat | Proof sunglasses

Solito eyelet dress* $67 @ Blue Bungalow (I’m wearing a L but could have fitted a M) | Skipping Girl customised tote* | Helen Kaminski hat | Proof sunglasses

Let me count the ways that this dress adds up to a perfect swimsuit cover-up for me.

It’s chevron. It’s cotton. It’s designed for optimal ventilation. It’s also available in orange or black and white.

For me, the length is just right as well – I’m 167cm and it sits about 7cm above the knee. For some that may feel too short but if I’m throwing something over my swimsuit at the beach for a Sunday morning at Nippers then this is generally what length I’d go for.

What also gets a big tick from me is that it doubles as a summer day dress if I wear a slip underneath. The slip provides a slightly longer length and some form of public decency on a windy day – a personal preference once I’m off the beach.

Beauty note

I’ve been booking in about every two weeks for the spray tan I mentioned in this post. I’m still loving it for its natural glow and the fact that it doesn’t wear off in patches. In between, I use a gradual tanner. Bondi Sands Everyday and Bondi Sands Everyday SPF 15+ have been on high rotation at the moment. I’m just not good with at-home tans that are not of the gradual variety but more on that later in the week.

I’ll be featuring more swimsuit cover-ups (for day and night) on the blog tomorrow as they are my go-to resort or beach pieces. For Bali next week, I’m packing one for day and one for night. It makes for easy packing and I know I’ll keep my cool no matter whether we’re sipping cocktails by the beach or recovering pool-side at our villa.

Love chevron? Love a beach or resort holiday? Hit me with resort style or beauty your questions.

* These pieces were sent to me for editorial consideration


  • Love this dress and let me just say it looks so much better on you than the model! Your accessories are so cute. Perfection 🙂

  • anastasiaC

    you look gorgeous on the beach!!!

  • Love chevron! This dress looks fab on you – the colour is divine. I’m extremely jealous that you’ll be living it up in Bali next week. I’ve only been there once, but I had a fantastic time. Enjoy!

    • I’ve only been once but that was this year – can’t believe I get to go back!

  • Oh, that’s lovely! I think I would have gone with the larger size too on this one. There’s just something about an oversized summer dress that just doesn’t work half as well on an oversized winter dress!

    Once you, you’re out modelling the model.

    • Not an oversized winter one doesn’t … I could have gone down a size here but it will be very comfortable mid-summer!

  • Melinda

    I love chevron and I LOVE that dress on you (and I love the hat + Skipping Girl bag too) x

  • Jacki James

    If we manage a wine/coffee catch-up looks like we’ll need to do a wardrobe checkin so we don’t turn up all same same. This one is going straight on the right now shopping list. As are the country rd chambray pants. I’m still such a copy cat. Guess that makes you good at this gig

    • I don’t mind playing twinsies! I hope you jumped on this one as I think it’s sold out everywhere! And be quick with the pants too. Power of blogging!!

  • Julie

    Hi Nikki, you look great! What a great cover-up, such a nice bustline, and your hat and sunnies look great too. I really need to stop buying summer separates and go the dress route as it looks much easier and cooler. Will enjoy searching the Sydney shops this weekend….gradual-tanning my winter legs in preparation! xx

    • The bustline is perfect for me Julie … I do have a good selection of separates but its my dresses that go the distance. Good luck shopping!

  • Christine

    You look gorgeous Nikki! I am excitedly waiting for this weeks posts as they have come at a perfect time – we are off to Noosa for the first time next weekend for four days and I am trying to not overpack like I always do when I travel. Coming from WA so looking forward to some great weather!

    Could you help with some advice on what to wear? I am thinking sun dresses for daytime but what about the evenings? Thanks!


    • Hooray for a long weekend in Noosa Christine … sun dresses for day yes and same for night but with an accessory and some wedges maybe. Most nights are already balmy so just one cardi in case you get a cool night.

  • Mindy Roestenburg

    Love that colour and the fun print, what a great little dress. It looks so nice and cool for those hot summer days. I am also admiring your hat. I am the lily white girl who will look like a lobster after only minutes in the sun if I don’t protect myself so I always like to wear a hat. If only I could figure out some way to combat the dreaded hat hair look though. Looking forward to your post tomorrow to see some more gorgeous cover up options. Really looking forward to this whole week actually. Off to the beach with our caravan for three days this weekend 🙂

    • This one is pretty good for preventing hat hair – it’s actually difficult for me to find a hat that fits my big head. That’s why I end up with hat hair! Enjoy your weekend and stay tuned!

  • Love the dress – so fresh and funky, and it suits you so well 🙂

  • Alli @ ducks on the dam

    It snowed last night near where I live…….. luckily I am in the sunshine. Gorgeous dress

  • Kathy

    Nikki – your picture is actually much nicer than the model’s. They would actually do well to use yours for selling this little number (apology to the model, but it just doesn’t suit skinny chicks). The photo quality of yours is excellent too, it’s lovely.

  • allyson

    Vey NIce, I like that its cotton, but do you think it will need ironing after washing? Its always a balance for me, buying cotton and not too much ironing in Summer.

    • It needs a little bit if you’re wanting to wear it as a dress. For the beach I’m not worrying about it.

  • Janelle@awhitefarm

    Oh my Lordy Nikki….I love this!! Colour, style and fit…perfect!!! x

  • Kelly

    That is beautiful Nikki. Love the tan too … looking forward to hearing more on the gradual tan later in the week.

  • Lisa Mckenzie

    Yes I love this dress very much I really like those sort of comfy dresses and in the chevron you could dress it up I think,and the chevron pattern is lovely.I love your Model and me Posts Nikki.The tan looks real too,thanks for the tips on the gradual tanner I must get some more.

    • Yes, I could put a slip under this and wear with nude wedges for a lunch – easily!

  • chrisatpb

    Hi Nikki – great find! Love the colour, love that it’s cotton,love the beachy tassel, love that it has sleeves. I bought a Jet silk kaftan cover up last summer – which is gorgeous, but. I am so worried about putting it on over chloriny (probably not a real word) or salty wet swimsuit that I don’t really wear it. Great for swanning around poolside as long as you have No intention of getting wet!

    • Yes, I think we need both types of cover-ups in our resort/beach robe – the ones we will throw on and the ones we will dress up to wear out in the evening.

      • chrisatpb

        What an excellent idea. Thanks for the advice Nikki. I shall immediately purchase a simple cotton one and continue to swan!

  • PrincessEatsPeaSoup

    So cute and fresh! If they made it in plus sizes…

    • The L I’m wearing would fit to a size 18 I think. As I mention above I’d probably be ok with a M.

  • Fiona
    • Hi Fiona, if you’re connected with the store can you please email me first before posting here? Thanks

  • Sally

    Chevron print dresses are all over Bali ATM.

  • Linda

    Looking fab and cool Nikki. Is it possible to get personalised tote bags? My daughter would love that.

  • Alex

    Love this! I just brought a chevron maxi from Macy’s last week in Hawaii (side note: OMG USA shopping.) Now I am home. Le sigh. Enjoy your Bali trip Nikki!!

    • Le Sigh Alex … post honeymoon and post US shopping is not a fun combination x

  • Jil

    Hi Nikki.
    Could you help me? I am on the hunt for a short sleeve, zip up swimshirt/rashie, on the not too dear side and cute! Any suggestions of brands to check out?
    Thanks, Jill

    • I’ll see what I can find Jil!

    • Jacki James

      I spied a speedo one at 25% off in Rebel sports today