Whether you’re jetting off to faraway climes or staycationing, now’s the time to fully embrace a high summer wardrobe before autumn creeps up.
Need an injection of summer confidence? If it’s a wardrobe booster you’re after, or immunisation against fashion disasters, 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 and avoid man-made materials, which are guaranteed to make you sweat when the heat is on. Try M&Co’s white lightweight cotton pintuck blouse, £15 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 infinitely more flattering than ever before and there’s a solution to skim over every lump and bump so you can hit the beach feeling body confident. 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 bottom and thighs are your bugbear, look to bikinis and swimsuits featuring an in-built skirted design, which will look both retro, flattering and fun. 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 instantly update your denim drawer. Ensure the fabric is stretchy and lightweight so you don’t feel too restricted. See La Redoute’s printed stretch floral trousers, £18 (www.laredoute.co.uk). Failing that, go floor-length with a maxi skirt in a beautiful flowing fabric. If the bottom half is billowing, balance out proportions and 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 evening look. Related’s stripe neon shirt dress is pricy at £108.50 (www.oxygenboutique.com) but it’s a holiday failsafe you’ll rely on for years. Similarly, a kaftan or tunic can look beachy by day with sandals and transformed to glam via towering heels. Buy one that’s over-sized or in a longer length so that it doesn’t look too much like a mini dress. 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. To add swing to your summer strut, Topshop’s £60 tie dye kimono with fringed detail is guaranteed to turn heads.
Q: I always over-pack and panic at the check-in desk. How can I cut down my flight luggage?
A: Ditch your cluttered everyday bag and use a beach bag to carry your hand luggage. Buy a roomy one and use a small wallet for all your essentials (passport, purse etc) and then use the extra room for bulkier items. Just ensure your hand luggage still meets the airline weight and size requirements. Go stripy with Bonmarche’s beach bag, £4, or see your contents clearly with Marks & Spencer’s jelly panelled shopper bag in pink or blue, £13.