Ahh, the cover-up. A far less exciting term when it’s applied to clothes than to TV murder cases, cover ups are the maiden aunt of summer fashion – cumbersome and not much fun, but if you don’t invite them to the party you know it’ll end in the cold shoulder.
When the vast majority of all spring/summer frocks are frustratingly sans sleeve, the cover-up suddenly becomes your goosepimpled arms’ only refuge post-6pm. Or, let’s face it, anytime after the flush of your morning dash-about has cooled and you’ve remembered it’s only actually hot enough for bare arms in the UK about 3.5 days a year, half of which you’ll spend leaning over a freezer cabinet in Londis trying to extract the last un-melted Twister.
And so on you plod through the endless parade of cardigans and blazers and denim jackets, feeling dowdier and a bit more like Lorraine Kelly with every one, until autumn arrives and you can put a proper coat on again. Unless, that is, UNLESS, you find something dazzlingly awesome and build your outfit around it instead – less cover-up, more ‘I guess convention dictates I wear something under this, but gee, do I have to?’
Enter the kimono. Voluminous, fringed and tie-dye, this Topshop number is both a scene-stealer and a multitasker supreme. Belt it over a black jersey maxi, throw it on with rolled-up jeans, make like the model on the website and wear it over a bikini or just swap it for your dressing gown and lie around on a chaise lounge all day smoking cigarillos and talking to everybody in a Marlene Dietrech voice.
The tie-dye print even makes it look a bit like a thundery British sky, which is fitting. Last year’s bobbly cardigans will tremble in its wake. Cover-up: covered.