It’s hot! How to dress for work when the temperature rises

After a dismal start to the summer, we are finally seeing some hot weather.  Which has been distracting me from blogging, as you may have noticed !  Now, we Brits profess to love it when the weather warms up, but somehow end up complaining soon thereafter, particularly about how hot it gets at work.

I think it is easier for women to dress professionally in the heat, as we have many more outfit options than men.  But it is important to keep a few guidelines in mind, as you don’t want to undermine your professionalism by revealing too much skin or wearing something inappropriate, however much you want to show off your hard-earned holiday tan.

hot in wide leg trousersThis summer, wide leg, fluid and cropped trousers are everywhere, giving you a surprisingly flattering and cool option.  These come in vibrant prints, stripes or solid colours, and can be worn with sandals, heels or flats (the ones I’m wearing here are from Whistles).  Add a cami and lightweight blazer, or a crisp white shirt for a sleek tailored look.  Or simply choose a good quality, pristine white t-shirt worn with a silk scarf – very 2016.

Dresses are a great hot weather choice – one piece and you’re done. But keep the fabric skimming (not clinging).  Winser London does a variety of chic sleeveless shifts (I love the monochrome version) and a lovely airy broderie anglaise dress that will take you from office to dinner with ease.  Finery London also does a very affordable wrap dress that looks sharp and will keep you cool.

Some final top tips:

  1. Keep it minimal. Don’t over-accessorise in the heat – you don’t want extra jewellery jangling and creating fuss
  2. If you’re going bare-legged, exfoliate and moisturise regularly – your legs will thank you for it.  If you do choose tights, invest in the best ultra sheers: Wolford Naked 8’s
  3. Opt for lighter weight, natural fabrics that breathe, particularly cotton, silk or linen blends
  4. Finally, always always wear nude underwear under white clothing, as it becomes invisible…

Enjoy the weather !

 

its hot

Making it easy to travel stylishly

Last summer I wrote about travelling in style and I thought this was a topic well worth revisiting, as so many of us are jetting off for our annual break.  We all aspire to look effortlessly chic when we travel, but it’s not easy now that so much of the glamour has gone out of it (particularly by air).  Long gone are the days when people dressed up to get on a boat, plane or train.  Add to that the extensive security, the sheer volume of people and the waiting times – even the most chic and put together woman can look a mess by the time she gets to her destination.

Here are my top tips to make it easy:

  • Dress well. By this I don’t mean you have to wear something dressy, but do make an effort to look put together. Dark jeans and a breton top are a foolproof combination – just make sure the jeans have some stretch. If you’re heading somewhere hot, wearing a lightweight knit (or light flowing trench) on your journey means you’ll have something warm to wear when you arrive back in the always-cooler UK
  • Wear shoes you can get out of easily. You’re not always asked to take them off – but it’s best to be prepared. Elegant flats, loafers, sliders or stylish trainers are best (I love my silver sliders and Ash and Nike Flyknit trainers). If you choose heels, keep them at a mid-height – remember you’ll be walking miles of corridors at the airport, and your feet will swell on the plane

easy_silver sliders

  • Carry your jewellery. I always carry my jewellery in my handbag or carry on – I never ever pack it in my case. Carrying it rather than wearing it also means I’m not fussing with necklace and bracelet clasps and having to drop them loose into the plastic trays when getting ready to go through security. Don’t go mad – stick to the pieces you love and will actually wear

easy_jewellery

  • Wear sunglasses for instant chic. There are so many reasons celebrities do this: instant glamour, hiding tiredness, not having to wear makeup, etc

easy_sunglasses

  • Don’t wear white or linen. They get grubby and crease like mad– you’ll look a mess at the other end !
  • Wear items that you will wear on your trip. That way, they do double duty and you’re not packing even more.

Make an effort to buck the prevailing trend of slovenly airport wear and who knows, you may even get upgraded.

How to take a ‘palette’ approach to packing

It’s holiday time !  And however much we look forward to this time of year, packing and preparing for it seems to be ever more stressful.  Taking an approach based on a particular colour palette can help you pack less, pack simply and pack well, ensuring that everything works together.

packing2It’s important to remember that packing everything but the kitchen sink will only result in heavy suitcases, and feeling overwhelmed with clothing choices when you get to your destination.  You’re on holiday to relax, so keeping your options clear and simple will help to declutter your mind and get you in the right spirit.

Here’s how to do it:

  1. Choose a colour palette. And stick to it. What are the dominant colours in the clothespalette approach2 you love to wear?  If you have a favourite navy swimsuit, for example, build your holiday wardrobe around a palette of navy, white and camel: add denim shorts, white or breton tops/cover ups and tan or white sandals.  This approach will stop you packing too much, but only if you stick to it !
  2. Keep the shoes neutral.  Stick to neutral tones that work across your chosen palette – white, black, silver, camel – so that you don’t take too many pairs.  Ideally, all you need is one or two pairs of flip flops, a pair of sandals, a pair of white trainers and wedges for evening.  Don’t bother with other heels – believe me, you won’t wear them.
  3. Add a bag (and a hat).  Choose and carry a tote that works with as many of your outfits aspalette approach3 possible, and add a smaller clutch (carried inside it) to use for evenings.  And nothing says ‘chic’ like a beach hat in straw, navy or black.
  4. Make a list.  People think I’m mad but I always create a list of what I plan to take at least a week before.  This helps me group outfits by colour, and gives me time to buy any last minute flip flops or beauty products.  It also gives me a useful record in case my luggage goes astray.
  5. Consider the culture.  If you’re heading to the Middle or Far East, for example, check with your host or tour operator about any particular clothing etiquette you need to consider. A cashmere wrap (in a neutral tone that works with everything) is always useful (and great for cold planes).

Finally, make sure you label your luggage with your name and phone number (not your address) both inside and out, as sometimes outside labels get lost.

Have a fantastic holiday !