What She Wears: Dressing for summer
What is it about the sun shining that plays havoc with an otherwise perfectly sensible woman’s wardrobe? The sun has come out in Ireland and everyone’s rushed to throw on their holiday clothes, regardless of whether they work well together, let alone in the office.
A quick glance around me during rush hour this morning revealed lots of well-intentioned fashion disasters. The truth is that getting dressed for summer bearing in mind our ever changing weather is very tricky. One minute the sun is shining, the next you’re battling with the office air conditioning and by the time you leave work that evening, it could be raining.
With this in mind, these few key basics will see you through an Irish summer in style.
When it comes to underwear, skin coloured or clear straps are never a good look when they are on show, so if something needs to be seen because of the style of what you’re wearing, make sure it’s in a “pop” of colour (M&S do great value colourful bras for summer).
Stock up on skin coloured underwear (bottoms) for under your white jeans, trousers or skirts – again, there’s nothing worse than a white knickers beaming through from under the same coloured trousers.
White is a great summer staple colour, in jeans, leggings and trousers – and white skinny jeans are best left for only the super skinny. Beige and khaki colours are also good summer colours which are on trend and styles like this seasons combats and military styles look well. Choose a length that you are most comfortable with. Capri trousers are the ultimate chic option and can be worn with ballerina flats or wedges – Zara has the best selection of Capri pants I’ve seen year in year out and they come in an array of colours.
If you’re baring your legs then choose a more modest blouse or sweater – just because the sun is out, doesn’t mean that you should bare all!
If you want to go that bit shorter than Capri pants, then city shorts look great with a crisp white shirt for work wear and you can dress them down with a T-shirt on weekends. Depending on how short you like to go, you can choose a length that you’re comfortable with, as the shops are full of smart shorts this season.
Skin tone shoes are big news this year and have the added bonus of elongating your legs, once you choose a shade that’s in keeping with your leg colour. Sling back sandals or wedges are great styles for daytime, as are court shoes which still work for smart summer wear in the office. Now is the time for your “peep toes” to come out. The all important pedicure is a must for summer once your toes and heels are now on show.
Maxi dresses can be smart for summer too and even for work wear if opt for block (one) colours. Leave the vibrant prints for holiday wear. These long dresses are also a great way of looking summery, without showing off too much skin and for days when you don’t feel that you’re legs are ready for the world.
Layers are a good option as you can layer up or down, as the weather changes and cardigans can be a saving grace for exactly these types of scenarious. If you opt for basic colours they will go with most things, or vice versa; pops of colour will brighten an otherwise basic coloured outfit. Zara, H&M and Penney’s all do cardigans in an array of colours and styles.
A Mac or trench coat is the perfect summer outerwear option, and ideal for when it gets that little bit chilly or when a rain shower arrives. My favourite Macs this season are the Burberry pastel and skin coloured trench coats with shoulder detail – ASOS offer great alternatives for high street prices.
On a final note, avoid anything that you would take to the beach. It can look out of place, unless at a festival, where anything goes.
And so bearing in mind the saying “Cast not a clout ‘til May is out” - we can now officially ditch the opaque tights and start dressing for an elegant summer.
Anne Marie Boyhan is the editor of WhatSheWears.ie , a fashion tips, latest trends and celebrity style website.