It seems that as soon as the sun is out, us Brits either completely strip off (yes, there were bare chests on the Central line circa 8am), or do the opposite and act as if there’s no heatwave at all, rocking jeans and tops as though it’s still March.
But we can do better than this! There’s a chic in-between that will leave you stylish and cool, I promise.
The highly-anticipated 35 degrees is hitting the UK by the weekend.
It means now is the perfect time to nail hot weather dressing and put those summer style mistakes (leggings wearers, I’m looking at you) firmly to bed.
I’m not saying I’m a pro at summer dressing, by the way. Navigating the perfect summer outfit that works for the commute, an air-conditioned office and a too-hot lunchtime stroll is no mean feat, but I’ve adopted a few failsafe summer rules to get me by.
From breezy maxi dresses, tailored shorts for the office and black separates (yes, you read that right), these are the wardrobe staples that will help you avoid making those all-too-easy summer style mistakes in the heatwave.
Now is the perfect time to nail hot weather dressing and put those summer style mistakes firmly to bed
The mistake: Smart suit trousers
Fix it: Tailored Bermuda shorts
Krissy Turner (pictured) recommends Bermuda shorts. She writes: ‘Cut a little longer and wider than standard versions, they’re the perfect smart casual look’
H&M Bermuda shorts. From £6- £17.99 depending on colour
Shorts are controversial summer territory, but it’s because denim cut-offs are often the first style that spring to mind. If you’re heading to the office and not Glasto however, something smarter is needed.
May I turn your attention to Bermuda shorts? Cut a little longer and wider than standard versions, they’re the perfect smart casual look. Opt for a stylish neutral shade.
I typically pair shorts with a white shirt or light knit, as the coverage nicely balances when having your legs out. For the office, pair with slick leather accessories and a matching top to complete the office-appropriate look.
The mistake: Skinny jeans
Fix it: Linen trousers
Krissy (pictured) recommends loose trousers ‘which are smarter and are much more bearable in the heat’
Arket Linen Trousers, £69
Clingy, warm, thick – skinny jeans are just not the one in the sun. Or any jeans for that matter.
Instead, I’d recommend loose trousers which are smarter and are much more bearable in the heat.
Wide-legs that allow some breeze are perfect. But if you choose the right material, tapered styles work too: stick to natural fabrics like cotton, linen and silk.
I have this Arket pair in both black and beige and have had them on rotation this week, wearing them with racerback vests and cotton shirts.
Depending on where you’re heading, linen trousers look great with espadrille wedges (more on those later), strappy mules and chunky dad sandals.
The mistake: A bodycon dress
Fix it: Wafty maxi
Krissy (pictured) recommends a loose midi dress and says to ‘pick a printed one which will disguise sweat marks better than a colour block number’
Zara printed panel dress, £49.99
I can see why you’d reach for a fitted outfit in hot weather – sort of seems like it’ll be less cumbersome, right? The thing is, wearing a warm jersey material so close to your skin is a recipe for a sweat disaster.
I can guarantee you’ll feel more comfortable in a loose midi dress which allows for breeze and doesn’t stick to your skin. Pick a printed one which will disguise sweat marks better than a colour block number, and a quick-dry cotton fabric for an outfit that you can feel smug all day in.
The best part about a wafty frock? It’s easily dressed up and down. Pair it with Birkenstocks and a straw bag by day, then block-heeled mules and glitzy earrings by night.
The mistake: Showing too much skin
Fix it: Oversized shirt
‘Take it from me – an oversized shirt or floaty blouse is your saviour,’ Krissy (pictured) writes in her advice for heatwave fashion
With Nothing Underneath, ‘The Boyfriend: Linen’ shirt, £100
Throwing on a strapless top and denim shorts might feel like the safest bet to get through warm climes, but having lots of skin on show only leaves you susceptible to sun damage.
You’d also be forgiven for thinking it was the coolest option, whereas something that covers you and protects but crucially, feels weightless, is actually the wisest.
Take it from me – an oversized shirt or floaty blouse is your saviour. Shirts don’t come better than With Nothing Underneath’s Boyfriend style, so use the brand as your starting point.
Regardless of the fabric, thanks to its tailored fit, a shirt always adds a smart vibe to a look.
During this week’s climbing temperatures, I’ll be wearing them tucked into Bermuda shorts or with tapered linen trousers.
The mistake: Chunky shoes
Fix it: Breathable wedges
NET-A-PORTER CASTAÑER Carina 80 canvas wedge espadrilles, £85
Sweaty toes, can you think of anything worse? This season’s It chunky dad sandals pass muster since they’re strappy and allow air to travel through, but otherwise, chunky leather shoes should be a hard pass this week.
If you’ve opted for them because you’re heading to work, fear not, as there are more summery styles that are just as chic. Wedge espadrilles are easy to walk in, comfortable, breathable and light, and flat versions work just as well if you’re not keen on added height. Job done!
Watch out for those ankle straps which can appear to cut off your legs at an awkward point, depending on the hem of your bottoms: I’d recommend pairing them with a floaty full skirt that hits mid-shin for the most flattering look.
The mistake: Avoiding black
Fix it: Sleek summer dress
According to Krissy (pictured), this ‘black midi ticks two heatwave dressing boxes: stylish black and a wafty silhouette’
& Other Stories Puff Sleeve Linen Midi Dress, £95
If you’re wedded to your black separates for the rest of the year (they make up a chic capsule wardrobe, after all), there’s no need to avoid them just because the sun’s out. In fact, I’d argue a black dress in summer is as chic as it gets.
A pleated midi dress, a linen sun dress, cotton separates – the options are endless so don’t limit yourself if it’s typically your favourite shade to wear. You’re always going to look best in what you feel most comfortable in – cheesy, but true.
This black midi ticks two heatwave dressing boxes: stylish black and a wafty silhouette. Just add smart leather sandals and a pair of oversized sunnies and you’re good to go.
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