Whether at home or abroad, it can be a challenge to sail through high summer in style. Lisa Haynes solves your seasonal fashion woes
One day we’re shivering in winter coats and scarves, the next we’re baking in shorts and sandals.
This summer’s extreme weather contrasts have been tricky to navigate on the fashion front.
Thankfully, with the forecast looking bright for the rest of the season, we can finally go to town on high summer style.
Now’s the time to embrace a holiday wardrobe.
Check in to our travel style clinic for sunny solutions.
Q: My wardrobe feels anything but heatwave-proof. What should I be wearing in balmy temperatures?
A: Black fabrics will soak up the sun and make you even hotter so go the polar opposite with cool and breezy whites. The materials you choose are all-important. Think breathable, natural fabrics like cotton and linen. Try M&Co’s white lightweight cotton pintuck blouse, £15 (www.mandco.com); or Ronan Chen’s Amalfi linen mix dress, £135 (www.ronenchenstoreuk.com).
Q: The thought of baring my body in a bikini fills me with dread. What’s the alternative?
A: Swimwear is more flattering than ever before and there’s a solution to skim over every lump and bump. If your stomach is your worry area, look for a one-piece with control panelling and clever ruching for an instant tummy tuck, like Marisota’s Magisculpt ‘Lose up to an inch’ swimsuit, £45 (www.marisota.co.uk). If your thighs are your bugbear, look to bikinis and swimsuits featuring an in-built skirted design. Try Resort’s printed underwired swimdress, £29 (www.very.co.uk).
Q: I want to break my tights habit but my legs are pasty white. How can I look summery but keep my pins under wraps?
A: If you can bear to flash an ankle, cropped jeans in fresh pastel shades or floral prints will update your denim drawer. Ensure the fabric is stretchy and lightweight. See La Redoute’s printed stretch floral trousers, £18 (www.laredoute.co.uk). Failing that, go floor-length with a maxi skirt. If the bottom half is billowing, keep your top half fitted. Try Long Tall Sally’s embellished maxi skirt, £50 (www.longtallsally.com).
Q: What’s the one item that I should pack in my suitcase for a sunny break?
A: Think of a multi-tasking wonder that works for both poolside by day and sundowner cocktails by night. A shirt dress can be worn open and loose over a swimsuit and then buttoned up and belted for a smarter look, like Related’s stripe neon shirt dress, £108.50 (www.oxygenboutique.com). A kaftan or tunic can look beachy by day with sandals and transformed to glam via towering heels. Try Monsoon’s Priti embellished kaftan, £45 (uk.monsoon.co.uk).
Q: Can shoes be chic and sight-seeing friendly?
A: Believe it or not, orthopaedic-style sandals are what all the cool kids are wearing this summer. But always without socks. Clumpy cool sandals should have minimal straps (maximum three) and be plain black, white or brown, like Office’s Intuition leather sandals, £50 (www.office.co.uk). For added height, stick to simple wedges in soft materials that won’t rub such as Lands’ End’s Pippa plaited suede wedge sandals, available in various colours, £34.95 (www.landsend.co.uk).
Q: I’m bored of my summer jackets. What’s the coolest cover-up for this season?
A: Look east for inspiration. The kimono jacket is like the kaftan’s cooler sister this summer, especially in eye-catching prints or intricate embroidered styles. By night, you can even belt it together to create a quirky dress option if it’s not too sheer. If you’re curve-conscious, look for a longer style with three-quarter length sleeves, like Matalan’s embroidered kimono, £14 (www.matalan.co.uk). To add a swing to your summer strut, Topshop’s tie dye kimono with fringed detail is guaranteed to turn heads, £60 (www.topshop.com).