So if I had written this post only last week, you guys would have most likely been heard saying ‘Summer? What would that be then?’ and I would have been replying ‘I hear ya folks, but let’s stay positive, maybe an Indian Summer is on the cards’ because last week it seemed that in Britain at least summer was becoming nothing more than a distant memory of something that used to occur once a year.
But then this week happened and BAM – sunshine, heat, more heat, sweating, an abundance of squelchy flip flop noises filling the streets, men wearing their shirts unbuttoned further than neccessary, the smell of fake tan permeating public transport, cheap plastic fans selling out like nobodies business and a whole lot of complaining because it’s too hot. Yup, the British Summer may just have arrived in a single day, and true to form it has only taken a single day for most of the population to declare that they are in fact sick of summer now, and would please like it to go away. Because us Brits, we love to complain don’t we? Things are never just right, they’re always too hot or too cold or too rainy.
But I guess the thing we forget is that when we go on holiday to a hot country and have that illusive ‘perfect summer weather’ that we’re always dreaming of at home, we usually spend most of it in a bikini, dipping in and out of a pool and drinking cooling cocktails all day because it’s important to stay hydrated duh. We exert minimal energy and enjoy air conned hotel rooms. We don’t have to go to work, we don’t have to put actual clothes on, we don’t have to spend whole days in sticky greenhouse offices with no air con and then come home to a sweltering flat and open every window immediately before we spontaneously combust. And I’m going to go ahead and say that I reckon people who live in those gorgeous sunny countries feel just the same as us most days. It’s not the 30 degree heat that’s the problem, it’s the fact we still have to go about our daily life in said 30 degree heat.
So let’s all embrace this time of sweating like a pig on public transport while it lasts, let’s embrace the sleepless nights that come from opening a window to a noisy road vs having silence but deathly heat, let’s embrace the race to get naked and throw cold water over ourselves the minute we get home from work, let’s embrace the melted make up look, the frizzy hair situation and the ice lollies for breakfast, lunch and dinner diet, and let’s embrace the fact that right now the fan we bought from Poundland is our most coveted possession… because we all know this ‘summer’ could be over by the weekend.
Anyway once we’ve accepted all of the above and are ready to be all ‘oh hey summer my old friend’ the next hurdle that arises is what on earth to wear. And this is where I struggle too because I’m definitely better at fashion when it’s in a layering kind of way. I will be eternally grateful that I work in an industry where suits aren’t really a thing because quite honestly I can’t think of anything worse on days like today than having to wear black, polyester, constricting formal wear.
But still, despite the fact that I don’t need to be overly smart in any of my work capacities, it’s difficult to find the right balance between ‘holiday’ summer clothes and ‘everyday life’ summer clothes. Because as much as we’d all like to, going about daily business in a bikini and a kaftan probably isn’t acceptable. So what pieces can you take from your holiday wardrobe into everyday summer wear?
Well for me, it’s all about the – simple, easy, throw it on, one step and your done – summer dress at this time of year. As much as I love layering, there is something wholly satisfying about being able to step outside in a single layer and calling it an outfit. You don’t have to worry about what top goes with that skirt, or whether to tuck or untuck into your skinny jeans. You don’t need to try on every coat you own to find one that both keeps you warm and goes with your outfit, and you don’t need to think about washing all your tops weekly or ironing those shirts. It’s just dress + shoes + jewellery = ready!
I have a few favourites in my wardrobe already but with this current heat wave I’m definitely on the hunt for more. The Warehouse gingham off shoulder dress in the photo above has been a great buy for example – it looks smart but is actually made from a lightweight cotton which is comfy and non-sweaty, and that shoulder breeze is a dream. It’s already been worn to both wedding and work meeting, and might get an outing at the weekend for a pub lunch too if its lucky.
So because we’re all in this hot sticky mess together, below are the top ten dress styles you’ll definitely want to wear all summer long and my top picks from the high street. I’ll race you to the checkout on a few of them!
1. The Bardot one – Topshop £42
All things off the shoulder are hot right now, but you probably already knew that right? This cute bardot dress from Toppers is made from poplin (hello breathable) has a cute open back and makes a comfortable summer get up (also comes in white!)
2. The one that could pass as designer – Asos £45
I spotted this dress on Carrie when she made her marriage official in the UK and I honestly was convinced it was going to be Chloe or Temperley or something equally out of budget. I did a little happy dance when I saw it was Asos. I mean I’d totally get married in this (if I wasn’t already of course).
3. The one that’s smart enough for work – Boden £129
White, lace, pencil shape, demure – yes this is the dress that will see you through smart work meetings, chic city breaks and even festivals if you dress it down with biker boots and smokey eyes. Versatile lil’ number.
4. The one that looks like a skirt and top – Zara £25.99 (reduced to £12.99)
Missing those layers? I hear ya. This cute two part dress will give the illusion that you’ve actually put thought into your outfit and teamed pieces together, rather than just throwing on a dress and walking out the door. Plus it’s on sale!
5. The blow out one – Self Portrait at Selfridges £300
Anyone else stil craving a Self Portrait dress? I know they’ve been worn by everyone under the sun but they’re SO pretty. I nearly died recently when I spotted a whole bunch on Selfridges reduced to £25 but then just got really annoyed when they were all sold out. That must have been the quickest flash sale in history – lucky sods who bagged one for that price. This pale blue tiered number is my latest obsession.
6. The one that’s fit for a wedding – Asos £45
Another Asos hit! How pretty is this floral tiered dress? I’m a little obsessed with it – again it looks more expensive than it is, has that cute boho thing going on and would be ideal for a summer wedding. In fact I have a wedding coming up in August that it might just be made for.
7. The one I’ve been coveting for TOO long – Realisation Par £148
Oh how I love this dress, Lorna’s been wearing it real well if you need any more convincing (because that pic abve doesn’t do it justice). I do feel I’d need to book a trip to Paris to warrant it though, because it seems to suit those Parisian streets a little too well.
8. The Scandi cool one – Asos £45 (reduced to £36)
This dress isn’t really ‘me’ – it’s not colourful, it doesn’t nip in at the waist, it’s very simple, but I kind of love the simplicity. On hot days I can imagine it being pretty perfect and that little pleated hem makes it dressy enough for evening.
9. The denim one – Monki £35
Ok so I know we said layering was too much effort in this heat, but when it’s a dungaree dress it’s acceptable right? If there’s one thing I love for summer it’s a denim dress and this little dungaree style is affordable, cute and would pretty much be worn daily if it was in my wardrobe.
10. The one that will have you looking like Audrey Hepburn – Reformation £150
Reformation do great summer dresses don’t they? Every time the sunshine peeks out from the clouds I’m immediately clicking through their dreamy list of floral maxi’s and stripy mini’s. This one is so Audrey in Roman Holiday (always a good thing) and would be totally purrfect for a weekend away.
What do you think? Are you a fan of the easy breezy dress all summer long? And if so what styles are you coveting?