Monday 24 September 2018

How to wear... heatwave chic

As temperatures soar, Victoria Moss has the easy style rules for staying cool

Caroline Issa
Caroline Issa
Sienna Miller

Victoria Moss

Ladies: we must free ourselves from the tyranny of too tight. In these days of body-con ubiquity and regulation shapewear, we're conditioned to opt for figure-hugging silhouettes that don't lend themselves to swelteringly hot weather. With temperatures on the rise, this isn't about size, it's about style. May I counsel a bit of waft?

A little looseness - even Sienna Miller is on board. See below for our easy guide to looking chic in the heat.

Check the label

Does it say cotton? If not, leave it. Man-made fibres are not your friend in this weather. What you're looking for is a fresh linen or gauzy cotton. Helpfully, 'fashion' has decreed linen to be a trend. I know, I know, you're thinking: "Isn't it available every summer?" Yes, but this summer there is even more of it which means it's a good year to stock up if you don't already have a few pieces in your closet. Plus you can find some stylish items with a little extra swish, as favoured by Victoria Beckham. Who doesn't want swish?

I am living in an oversized Zara dress - it has sleeves and two tiers. If you happen to have sleeveless items in your wardrobe from years ago, when you were perhaps more comfortable bearing arms, I would happily add a white T-shirt underneath to preserve underarm modesty.

Speaking of sleeves…

Tricky to dispose of under any circumstance, but a rush of mercury does make one reconsider most life choices. To sleeve or not to sleeve is a very personal judgement, and something with a loose puff or neat detail to it is pleasing to the eye as well as to the breeze. You'll find plenty of wide sleeves like magazine editor Caroline Issa's on the high street, such as Marks & Spencer's boxy cut linen shirt, available in four colours. However I'm not keen on sleeveless in an office environment. I don't want to see your pits over the printer. I just don't.

Where are you going?

You might think it's worth buying items that can work as well for the office as the beach. I would offer that such items should not be conflated. Beachy things will inevitably get covered in sun cream/sweat/salt or otherwise beach-ified. They will not be your best promote-me look. Those embroidered Ukrainian folklore dresses are still knocking around, but did I see it on that garden gnome last year? Shirt dresses are more of a current thing and very occasion-friendly - look to Meghan Markle at Royal Ascot in a Givenchy shirt dress last week. Weekend Max Mara in Brown Thomas is a handy source, especially if you have somewhere fancy to go. It has lots of options.

Always look down...

At your feet. If you're honest do you need a pedicure, but if even more honest, find it all a bit dull and expensive? I hear you. Personally, I can't bear to touch my own feet. But if you can, a simple buff file will make all the difference to your heels. With a thus tended heel, I think sandals and slip-on sliders are fine in town - but for work, stick to leather ones with a bit of a smart sheen. I love Saltwater sandals for classic shapes and fun colours (from €63, Office), while Dune have an excellent H-bar style in a weighty leather (also in lots of colours, €105).

If doing a trainer or plimsoll, you may come up against the age old conundrum - to sock or not to sock. I do a sock, and am very into my hot pink sheer ones from Cos, just €7. I'm also a fan of Falke sheer anklets (on sale now for €8, Arnotts) when wearing a maxi dress and trainers.

Short note on colour:

If you still haven't worked out that grey is not ideal in the heat, then I want to know what deodorant you use. For everyone else: think sweat, and think what will contain it the best. Always check sheerness too. This is the tricky thing with online shopping - you can't always tell if something is see-through. If it is, then keep it to the beach. Unless you're a contestant on Love Island or a Kardashian sister, in which case, as you were.

Irish Independent

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