Sweaty girls UNITE…
I love the summer. I love reading a book in the sunny spot in my parent’s garden (ain’t flat living great in the hot weather? LOLZ). I love eating an ice cream/ice lolly everyday because I deem it 100% necessary to regulate my body temperature. I love cool showers and the long evenings. One thing I don’t love about the warm weather spell though is that it turns me into a pile of perspiration in approximately two minutes. I start to turn so red that people around begin to look at me shiftily because I look like my head is about to explode and I start to smell like I haven’t showered in about three weeks. It ain’t a great look. And it’s for all those reasons that summer dressing is a little problematic for me. So whilst I love the reading and ice cream consumption, I always become a bit stuck when it comes to what to wear for those activities.
This year I resolved to really, really love my summer capsule wardrobe. I’ve put the time in and done the research so that I’ve made purchases that fit well, actually keep me cool and don’t show off mammoth sweat patches. The end result is that I’ve ended up with a wardrobe full of pieces that are actually suitable for summer wearing, both on UK (kinda cool) soil and further afield too, which is something that I’ve never previously been able to manage (I used to just have a sea of shirts and heavy denim staring back at me). So here’s my guide to dressing for summer, for those who hate dressing for summer…
As I’ve dabbled my toe into the fashion world over the past year or two, I’ve found myself opening my eyes to a wealth of new bloggers and Instagram babes that have provided buckets of inspiration (and been terrible for my bank account). I was previously in a bit of a beauty bubble and consumed reading that focused mostly on that and fun trivia about Parks & Recreation and The Office (Fun fact about me: I LOVE reading the trivia pages on IMDB for my favourite shows). Now, I find myself liking more pictures that feature a long-line blazer than lipstick and I enjoy reading and viewing mostly fashion or lifestyle content, supplemented by beauty news and U.S late night talk show skits.
If you like slightly androgynous dressing with a Skandi flavour and a mix of high-end and high-street then I’d recommend checking out Shot From The Street, Ropes of Holland, Fashion Me Now, The Frugality and Deborah Rosa. I love them all and find myself checking their pages and blogs to see their latest outfit and how I can incorporate their favourites pieces and outfit recipes into my own style.
IDENTIFY YOUR KEY PIECES
I’m forever someone who just feels more comfortable in trousers and a top. So for that reason I’ve been trying to find alternatives for the sweaty-bits inducing thicker fabrics that I wear for the rest of the year. I’ve found that semi-tailored trousers are a great alternative to jeans, like these Selected Femme Paper Bag Waist Trousers. The elasticated waistband also means that they’re not too clingy and you don’t start feeling like a sausage when you tuck tops into them. The other bottom half alternative I’ve found are these Urban Outfitters BDG Axyl Bleach Jeans which are in a super light and stretchy denim. A good summer choice.
For tops I’ll forever love a button-up, long-sleeve shirt and although they’re good pieces for when the weather is at ‘Should I wear a jacket, or not?‘ temperatures, they’re not so fab when it’s so boiling that you’ve got every single window in your home open and still feel like the only clothing you can physically wear is a pair of pants. So I’ve decided that I quite enjoy a cami. I’m not the biggest fan in the world of having my arms out, but if they’re nicely moisturised and have a bit of a sun-kissed appearance to them then I can accept that they’re the airiest top option out there. I find & Other Stories and ASOS have the best choice (I’ve popped some of my favourites below).
Shoe-wise I’m all about that espadrille life. I find that they go with everything, seriously everything – dresses, skirts, mid-length skirts, trousers, whatever. Plus you don’t have to have a pedicure to wear them (SCORE!) and they keep your feet cool, whilst also being extremely comfortable. I can vouch that the Selected Femme ones tick all these boxes and come in a vast range of colours.
MY KEY SUMMER PIECES
CONSIDER YOUR FABRICS
Here is where I’ve really managed to keep my wardrobe classics and my daily uniform kinda the same, but by switching up the fabrics, have made them more suitable for summer. So instead of thick and heavy trousers, I’ve got for thinner tapered designs and lighter denim. Then instead of long-sleeve shirts, I’ve incorporated a few short sleeve wrap-blouses that get a bit of wind through them and are made of natural materials to put a halt to my leaky pitts.
Linen-blends can be a pain in the arse when it comes to creasing, but they do make for a summer-friendly fabric. I just tend to look for slightly thicker ones that are a bit more resistant to looking like they’ve been balled up in the bottom of a bag. This Madewell Linen-Blend Jumpsuit is a nifty little number that actually doesn’t crease-up too badly. I love how the wide-legs billow around and even though it might not be the most flattering item I own, it certainly keeps me cool whenever I wear it. I found this Topshop Linen Blend Paper Bag Skirt too that combines my two favourite colours in stripe-form (groundbreaking I know), and I love how it looks despite the creases. If someone could just constantly follow me around with a steamer then that would be great.
WORK YOUR SHAPE
In the winter my silhouette tends to resemble that of a mummy. I’m a cold-blooded human with a fondness for layering. However, in the summer it’s time to embrace a more revealing silhouette and it took awhile for me to get my head around it. Now, my thinking is that I’d rather spend less time worrying about how my arms look and sweating it out in items that cover them, but make me feel like I’m wearing a greenhouse and more time feeling comfortable in what I’m wearing, giving myself some self love and eating ice cream (surely the action of getting it into your mouth counts as a bicep curl, non?).
So I’ve found some outfit formulas that work for me. When it comes to blouses I find that a waist cinch works wonders, belts help me create a bit more shape in the hip area and a cut-off trouser with a high-waist and a nude shoe elongate my legs. I’ve found that dresses work better when they’re short, skirts work better when they’re mid-length and overall I’ve just enjoyed playing around with shapes, fits and cuts in a way that I haven’t ever done before.
Speaking of that, I popped up a haul video this morning that features the results of my summer wardrobe haul and some clips of me trying everything on so you can see all these points that I’ve been waffling on about above in action. Enjoy…
Photos by Lauren Shipley