How To Dress For A British Summer. Or When It’s Sunny But Still Freezing

Ah the Great British Summer. About as reliable as a cheesecloth condom. Look outside - couldn’t you just weep?


by Morwenna Ferrier |
Published on

For some of us, summer is the season of mid-riff and side-tit. For those of us outside of Palm Springs, summer is more an exercise in how to dress without getting ill. It happens to the best of us – right now, I am surrounded by Kleenex and fleeces. Tomorrow, it could be sliders and Mr Whippy.

If you’re aiming to pull or keep gainful employment this summer, your capability to look good, summery and manage the ever-changing weather is of paramount importance. This little guide to On/Off Fashion – the sort of things that look the part but which keep you warm when it’s necessary but are equally easy to whip on or off or tie round your waist – should help.

As for your mood, we’ve no idea.

HOW TO... wear summer shoes without getting ill


In a word, socks. OK, so Fashion has been waxing hysterical about socks and sandals since 2012 but up until now, they’ve only really worked when collaborating with Swedish Hasbeens. No more. At the SS14 fashion weeks, Saint Laurent did glitter socks with heels. Chanel, meanwhile, tried white ribbed socks over two-tone court shoes which looked like sprats. We’re following designer/stylist Kate Albrecht’s lead with ‘patterned or lace ankle socks with strappy, heeled sandals’. Or going millennial with ASOS's ‘Hello’ pop socks peekig out from these platforms which have nice thick soles so as not to get your feet cold. Clever, no?


We like:

Platforms, £85, Urban Outfitters + Ribbed Hello socks, £6, ASOS

HOW TO… transition the Friday work-to-pub drinks without a winter coat


In two words: the demi-shrug. On paper, ‘shoulder robing’ – when you drape a coat over your shoulders - is a lovely idea but as Guardian Fashion Editor Jess Cartner-Morley will corroborate, it’s wholly impractical ‘because the damned thing was always falling on the floor’ and because you render your arms obsolete. In short, you look like a tool. Hi, then, ‘demi-shrugging’, which is when you wear a lightweight coat or jacket properly but loosely, thus exposing a tiny bit of shoulders which allows a. ventilation and b. the requisite summer flesh flashing, all while allowing you to actually use your arms.

Because we can’t afford the Kate Moss one, we’re shrugging this fringed bestseller jacket from Zara. Get on the waiting list, mind.


We like:

Fringed jacket, £129, Zara** **

HOW TO... commute without disintegrating on public transport


Here's where we introduce you to the duster coat. After May, you can’t wear a coat. I mean you can if you want, but it’s virtually litigious. This is why impractical summer blazers exist. You know, the sort of thing you wear to go punting which are basically jackets in jaunty prints. This is why we’re touting the summer duster coat. It’s like M&S’s infamous pink number, just lighter. Topshop’s bestseller has been ‘the black longline duster kimono’, a snip at £42, while H&M channeled Missoni with their blue printed duster coat (it sold out in Barcelona stores before coming to the UK anytime soon). Best of all, it’s long enough to cover up the goosebumps on your legs.


We like: [


Kimono, £42, Topshop

HOW TO… dress for a 24 hour wedding

Golden rule: never trust a millennial in a pashmina. Millennials are famously having a hard time getting jobs and paying off their student loans but the problem with pashminas is that they scream ‘LOADED”. They literally do. It’s woven into the fabric. A fash-mina on the other hand – basically a pashmina except tied like a scarf not draped over your shoulders – is the answer to staying warm at outdoor events such as weddings. Because gone is the ceremony+tea of yesteryear, and in its place the all nighter outsider. Prints are good, ditto neons a la Marni, but TBH something chic and cream like this works well. Even if you’re not Emma Watson.


We like:

Fluffy scarf, £14, ASOS

HOW TO… fake a summer uniform


You see, they’re shorts. But they’re suede shorts. And this is a t-shirt, but it’s made of crepe. Sports Luxe truly is the trend which keeps on giving. It’s been happening for the last three summers via Chloe and Pucci through Topshop and Zara. Fashion blogger Alison Lynch recently earmarked H&M’s suede shorts and provided you don’t sit on damp grass, they’re pretty awesome. The great thing about this season’s sports luxe is that they’re being more experimental with the fabrics, leaning more towards the aesthetic than the practicality. So no, a crepe sporty tee and leather shorts aren’t ideal for squash but when was the last time you actually picked up a racket? Like, seriously?


We like:

Sporty top, £75, Whistles + Leather shorts, £100, ASOS

Follow Morwenna on Twitter @morwennastar

Pictures: Jason Lloyd-Evans

This article originally appeared on The Debrief.

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