Dressing for Summer weather is a lot of fun but it presents its own unique challenges. Keeping cool when the heat is on whilst following the latest fashion trends is a tricky balance. If your day to day look is mostly monochrome then Summer’s colourful outfits can also come as a bit of a shock. However fear not, as our Summer style guide should help you stand out yet retain your own signature look.
Get into the Summer time vibe
Whether it’s a flamingo print skirt, over-sized sunglasses or pom pom sandals, Summer is the perfect time to be quirky. Set yourself a challenge to make people smile with your outfits.
Favour light colours
These will reflect the sun and help you to keep cool. In particular, white will absorb less heat than darker colours and also has the advantage of coordinating with almost every other colour. Pair it with navy and red for a nautical theme or tan for a boho chic vibe.
Invest in Summer wardrobe staples
A classic striped Breton t-shirt, a shirt dress and ballet flats are Summer classics that will never go out of fashion. Talking of shoes, t bar sandals elongate the leg whilst espadrille wedges are handy if you’ll be attending a polo match or garden party as you won’t sink into the grass! A simple white top will go with everything, from jeans to monochrome skirts – just remember to wear tan underwear if the fabric is slightly sheer. A one-piece swimming costume like this Cindy swimsuit designed by the glamorous Alexandra Miro will flatter most body shapes thanks to its stretch matte fabric, while the front strapping detail adds interest.
Keep it loose
There’s nothing worse than clothes sticking to your body on a hot Summer’s Day so to avoid this, stick to loose-fitting items such as cotton maxi dresses and wide-legged linen trousers. It’s surprising but a long maxi dress will actually keep you cooler than a mini skirt and top. Freely flowing clothes are so much more comfortable when the temperature rises. Avoid corset tops, tight pencil skirts and body con dresses in the heat. However if you like your outfits to have extra definition, then consider an elasticated belt or skirt waistline that will cinch in a loose camisole top.
Natural fabrics are your friend
Cotton, linen and silk are all breathable fabrics that will help keep you cool in dry heat or humidity. Cotton has some interesting variants like seersucker and chambray for a stylish look. In terms of man made fabrics, synthetic blends work well in humid climates whereas rayon is ideal in dry conditions as it’s so lightweight.
Pick clothing suitable to your destination
If you live in a country where mosquitoes are rife or if you’re travelling to a destination that is prone to bugs, it’s a good idea to opt for long-sleeved shirts and maxi dresses or trousers in the evening when they are most prevalent. You might also consider investing in mosquito-repellent clothing for extra piece of mind. An insect repellent spray that can be used on clothing is an absolute must!
Protect yourself from the sun
It’s essential to protect eyes from the sun’s rays so invest in a good pair of sunglasses with UV protection. In Europe, for example, sunglasses displaying the CE mark allow no more than 5 per cent of UV rays below 380 nanometres through. Elsewhere, they are often labelled as UV 400, blocking all UVA and UVB light rays up to 400 nanometres. If you’ll be doing any water sports then consider investing in polarized, wrap around sunglasses for added protection. As for watersports clothing, a UV rash vest is indispensable if you have a tendency to burn in the sun.
Sun cream should ideally have a Sun Protection Factor of at least 15, which will block 93 percent of UVB radiation, however the ideal is an SPF 30 or above, blocking almost 97 percent of harmful UVB rays. Make sure to reapply it every few hours or each time you come out of the sea. We often forget to protect our hair from the sun’s glare but if you want to keep it looking shiny and well-maintained then slick on specific UV hair protector or wear a hat. This one is from Somerville Scarves who also have a good range of tote bags and Summer kaftans.
Stock up on accessories
Whether you’re at home or abroad, accessories will prove very useful in Summertime. A wide-brimmed hat will keep the sun off your face and neck and add interest to your outfits.
A colourful scarf like this one from Missoni can be used to tie your hair back off your neck or as a belt if you’re packing light. Heavy bags with thick straps will feel so uncomfortable in hot weather. A tote bag in canvas or jute is indispensable for the beach. If you’re doing some city sightseeing then a small cross-body bag will be useful.
A sarong will come in very handy if you need to cover your shoulders whilst visiting churches or temples and you can also wear it as a skirt or even a top. In terms of beach accessories, there are some very stylish round towels available these days and inflatables are the must-have item of the moment. If you don’t fancy lugging one on your travels, you can even hire them at your destination these days!
Switch up your beauty regime
Do you adapt your beauty routine in the Summer months? It’s certainly worth thinking about as what works in Wintertime won’t be as effective in hot weather. In terms of skincare, we like products with built-in skin protection such as the innovative Dr Russo SPF 30 Sun Protective Day Cleanser. Swap your heavy Winter night cream for a lighter serum and if travelling, stock up on makeup and nail varnish remover pads. Parts of the body that haven’t been exposed for months will be on show so invest in a manicure or pedicure. We particularly like gel manicures for their long-lasting, low maintenance effect. In terms of Summer make-up, have fun with highly pigmented eye shades but change your Winter foundation for a lighter tinted moisturizer. Cream and gel blusher tends to work better in the heat than the powder version and a tinted lip balm is a great alternative to lipstick. As for perfume, now is the time to consider a lighter fragrance such as a bespoke creation from Experimental Perfume Club.
The key to travelling light is to start with your luggage. It’s worth investing in a lightweight suitcase such as the Samsonite Lite-Shock Spinner with personalized engraving. At only 2.5 kilos for the 75 cm model, it will leave you plenty of luggage allowance for your belongings and holiday souvenirs! Opt for lightweight fabrics too such as viscose and silk and avoid clothing with heavy beading and embellishments. For electrical goods, check with your hotel or apartment in advance of travelling whether they have the necessary items available. If they don’t and you can’t live without them, purchase a travel-sized version of your hairdryer and styling irons. By the way, do you notice my Venice skirt? It’s great fun to choose outfits that match the destination that you will be visiting.
Summer Style Guide – Our Pick of the Key Pieces
We’re crushing on these luxurious Summer pieces right now – which one(s!) to choose?
Here’s the full list of products for you:
Forte Couture Off Shoulder Cotton Toile Top W/ Pompoms • £218
Miguelina – Joone Printed Linen Shorts – Army green • Miguelina • £144
Splendid Off the Shoulder Top in White • Splendid • US$88
Tory Burch – Laguna Leather-trimmed Canvas Wedge Espadrilles – Neutral • Tory Burch • £235
Pleated skirt with Web • Gucci • £450
Missoni Mare Chevron-Knit Sunhat • £534
Maje Jonaelle Ombré Pleated Midi Skirt • Maje • £209
Lazul Peacock Print Tunic • £325
Fendi Paradeyes Sunglasses • Fendi • £230
Lisa Marie Fernandez – Mira Off-the-shoulder Broderie Anglaise Cotton Maxi Dress – Pink • Lisa Marie Fernandez • £840
Beach Lulu – Lulu Round Beach Towel – Mayan • Lulu • £55
Juliet Dunn Embroidered Strappy Drop Waist Dress • Juliet Dunn • £205
Matiko Delilah Fringe Flat Sandals • Matiko • US$79.20
Anjuna – Charlee Floral-print Cotton-voile Playsuit – Blue • £485
Oscar de la Renta ‘Classic Short’ beaded tassel drop clip earrings • Oscar de la Renta • £273
Spartina 449 Boheme Beach Bag • £72
Matthew Williamson – Sakura Floral Embroidered Silk Playsuit – Fuchsia • Matthew Williamson • £220
Cutler and Gross – Heart-frame Acetate Mirrored Sunglasses – Pink • £330
Lazul Plunge Cut-Out Solid Swimsuit • £215
Camilla Long Sarong • Camilla • US$200
Miguelina – Ines Cutout Printed Cotton Midi Dress – White • Miguelina • £290
Missoni – zig-zag strapless beach dress – women – Viscose – 40 • Missoni • £450
Katerina Psoma Bar On The Beach Necklace • Katerina Psoma • £249
Samsonite Lite-Shock four-wheel cabin suitcase 55cm • Samsonite • £275
We hope you’ve found this Summer Style Guide helpful. Let us know in the comments if there are any Summer beauty and fashion tips that you would add and tell us what item of clothing you can’t live without in Summertime.