Summertime, and the dressing ain’t easy… so the last thing you need is false information. Lauren Bravo blasts the myths of hot weather dressing.
There is such a thing as a ‘summer work wardrobe’
There really isn’t. As far as we’ve been able to discern, summer workwear as a concept was invented for the same reasons Valentine’s Day and the Queen’s Jubilee were – to fill magazine, shift merchandise and be a disappointment to all involved.
Glossy mags love to talk abut summer workwear because for them, as for their papery cousins, summer is silly season. And it doesn’t get a lot sillier than telling people they need beige city shorts and Perspex-heeled mules and a fedora to go to the office in the morning.
What summer workwear really boils down to, of course, is not boiling down – it’s just normal workwear but thinner, lighter, and far harder to wear a suitable bra with. Safari suits, white trousers, silk jumpsuits with bits made of rope, like a poorly assembled parachute. These are not the stuff great summers are made of.
Besides, if you work in the sort of environment that requires smart attire, you probably also work somewhere that is air conditioned up to the hilt from March to October, and so what you need isn’t a summer work wardrobe. It’s a summer work jumper.
Nobody can tell you’re chafing
Hey you! You there! Yes you, behind the skip, fishing your hotpants out of your crotch for the fifth time this hour – coo-eee!
We feel your pain. No, we actually feel your pain – in the words of The BeeGees, we can tell by the way that you use your walk, you’ve a denim pang, no time to talk. Lots of trends are cruel in their own way, but summer trends are especially cruel because where comfort’s concerned, they go for the jugular. Or the inner thigh. Or the blistered bit of toe that’s squeezing out, misshapen, from your directional wooden platforms.
Those shorts may look fly, those heels may be sculptural beauties and the vice-tight pencil skirt very Elizabeth Taylor in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, but when the overriding effect is “discomfort and intimate sweating”, it might not be worth the effort.
Just throw something on!
Just chuck on something light and breezy! Something ambiguous made of jersey! Something that might be a top or a dress or a skirt or none of the above! HURRY UP you have outdoor frolicking to do. Fun, yes?
The ‘throw it on’ myth stems largely from sycophantic celebrity interviews and passages in syrupy books, where people with golden skin like caramel are forever rolling out of bed, draping themselves in something charmingly sloppy and bounding out into the sunshine with birds’ nest hair and a winning smile to charm the world. It’s a lovely notion.
But what it fails to recognise is that summer involves a lot of drippy things. Sun cream, ice cream, ketchup, pulled pork tacos from whatever freestyle pop-up street food fandango has thrust itself into your face this week; it’s a time of gastronomic abandon, which means it’s also a time of mystery stains on basically everything you own.
Add to that the fact that summer also means keeping your clothes in a floor-heap because you’re constantly shedding them, snake-like, every time you get beetroot-faced on the walk back from the bus stop, and suddenly the lovely notion of rolling out of bed, pulling something on and bounding out into the sunshine means you’ll probably catch a glimpse of yourself in a mirror later and find you’ve morphed into Billie Piper from that year she was married to Chris Evans.
But hey, if you’re cool with that then so are we.