Hurrah! Summer is definitely on its way and hopefully we can look forward to lots of long sunny days and al fresco dining with family and friends. I’m itching to wear my lovely Summer clothes but I know that not everyone relishes switching from the comfort of chunky knits to less forgiving, lighter weight clothing. Whilst I admit that I wouldn’t feel confident wearing some of my more skimpy outfits outside the home/back garden, nonetheless, I am a firm believer that you can look stylish and feel comfortable, whatever your age and whatever the weather.
Here are some tips that I hope you will find useful when putting together your Summer wardrobe.
Top half dressing
This is where you should be wearing your very best colours. In terms of style, as a general rule, if you’re wearing a wide/full bottom half, keep the top more fitted but if you’re going with a slim skirt or skinny leg jean/trouser you can afford to go a bit looser and more flowing on top.
When it comes to good quality basics in a fabulous range of colours, you can’t beat Kettlewell. As a bonus, they offer a wide variety of necklines and sleeve lengths to flatter every shape too.*
When putting your outfit together, think about your proportions and make sure your top is a flattering length. If you’re long in the body, you may want to tuck your top in or at least ensure it finishes no lower than your hip bone. If you’re short bodied, wearing your top untucked and relatively long will balance out your proportions.
Given the unpredictability of the great British weather, it’s always a good idea to have some lightweight jackets and cardigans in your Summer wardrobe that you can throw on over tees or dresses if need be.
Bottom half dressing
You can still wear jeans but will find that swapping to a lighter wash (say mid blue from indigo) will look more summery. Ecru or white jeans/trousers are very versatile and will work wonderfully with all the light and bright colours that prevail in Summer. If you normally wear black jeans/trousers and the thought of white is just too scary, consider substituting a dusky grey or navy. Or, if you’re feeling bold and are blessed with good legs, you might want to show them off in brightly coloured jeans or trousers. Wide legs and crops will keep you lovely and cool but can make your legs appear shorter.
I love a fuss-free Summer dress that you can just put on and forget! And, if you go for something relatively unfitted in a natural fibre, it will keep you lovely and cool too. A midi or maxi length is a great option. The longer length means you don’t have to worry too much about the state of your legs, and it can be teamed with heels, flats or trainers. Shorter dresses in shift styles are great if you’re happy to bare your legs. Kettlewell’s T shirt dress and Hannah dress come in a variety of colours and either would be a good Summer wardrobe staple that can be dressed up or down with heels or flats.
Finding stylish footwear that is also comfortable can be a real challenge, particularly if you have foot or ankle issues. I know a lot of women struggle with heels in particular (personally I’m going to be buried in mine!) but a small wedge can work well for some as it provides more stability than a narrow heel. Flip flops are surprisingly flattering as the V created by the thong lengthens the look of the leg and trainers can look good with trousers and jeans and even dresses, particularly if they are casual or flowing.
Your best Summer colours for footwear will be fairly light neutrals, whether that’s tan, stone, or white. A metallic (gold or silver depending on whether your colouring is warm or cool) is also a good option as it can be worn with any colour. Most flattering and versatile of all though is a “nude” that tones in with your skin colour as it gives the illusion of longer legs. If you prefer to go dark with your footwear, navy will work better with Summer clothes than black.
What and where to buy
I have put together some suggestions for your Summer wardrobe which you can browse and buy here. Check out the “Finds” section for individual pieces and the “Lookbook” for suggestions as to how you might like to wear them. Please get in touch if you’d like me to help you put together your own Summer wardrobe.
Wishing you a happy, stylish Summer!
*I’ve been a Kettlewell consultants for the past ten years and I am very happy to advise on their colours and styles. I can also secure you a 5% discount and free delivery, however small your order.