So May just flew by, June is nearly gone too and summer feels like it’s well and truly upon us! It’s great to finally be shopping and creating wardrobes of summer outfits in the sunshine and warmth, rather than in rain and cold and having to rely purely on imagination. If you find you are struggling with your summer wardrobe now we have experienced some hotter weather, I have a few dates still available in late June and July. If you would like some help in getting your holiday or summer wardrobe organised then give me a call. Here are some tips and ideas on how to feel and look cool in this heat – long may it continue!
Look for natural fabrics.
Cotton muslin, organza & chiffon, lightweight linen, and wool. Knowing what fabrics to shop for is half the battle to overcoming summer heat. Read the labels. Natural fibres – cotton/silk/wool – breathe better than manmade. Layer lightweight loose fabrics over an absorbing cotton vest for a cool solution. In direct sun it is cooler – and healthier- to keep skin covered up in a fine cotton shirt and wear the vest alone when in the shade.
Wear clothes that don’t restrict.
Be especially careful at the arms and the waist. Pinched biceps or waistlines are more miserable in the heat. When things look too tight, you look uncomfortable and probably feel uncomfortable. This goes for shoes too. Tight and uncomfortable shoes are even worse in the heat. If you are a heel wearer, invest in some comfortable wedge sandals, and if you are a flats girl, try some of the comfortable chunky flats around, and check out Clarks – yes I said Clarks! - as they have some great summer styles in and they are comfortable, stylish and they come in half sizes so they will fit most feet
Follow the 50/50 rule.
All-over fullness looks sloppy and adds imaginary pounds. If you’re wearing one close-fitting garment such as a skinny jean, you can let the top be looser. If you’re wearing a close-fitting summer top or a vest, wear a looser skirt, wide-legged or baggy trousers.
Printed fabrics hide perspiration better than solid-coloured fabrics.
If you need an excuse to step outside your comfort zone and try a print, this is it. If you are prone to perspiration, disguise your sweat marks by wearing a patterned summer top or dress. Also, make sure you buy one of the ‘anti-white mark’ deodorants to make sure you don’t mark your coloured and dark clothes.
If you don’t like to show off your arms, buy a lightweight casual linen jacket as a cool alternative to cardigans. Otherwise, you can transform a cotton or linen blouse into a jacket when you roll the sleeves up. Expose your wrists and forearms and wear a vest top underneath. Try Uniqlo for loose cotton cardigans. Carry a shawl or fine-weight pashmina with you. It can be great over bare arms for protection from the sun and is also perfect in air-conditioned offices or restaurants for protection against chill.
Update your sunglasses.
This will be your defining summer accessory when your clothes are simple. Sunglasses will instantly update your look. Pick a classic pair in black or tortoise shell frame and make sure you try on lots of different shapes! Choose ones that suit you, that you feel comfortable in rather than following celebrity trends.
Book a pedicure!
Or at least paint your toenails - essential if you’re wearing sandals. Have fun choosing the colour. You can afford to go brighter and more daring on toes than on hands and wear colours that would not suit your skin tone normally.
Switch your leather handbag.
Try canvas, cotton, or straw for a lighter, more summery look. This is a refreshing change from heavy winter bags and a great source for style and individuality. If you wear lots of prints, look for a solid, natural-coloured bag. Otherwise, a gorgeous leather bag in a bright or pale colour is best.
Lizzie Edwards is the leading personal stylist and image consultant in London, working with women over thirty-five on their business image and personal brand.