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

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 !

 

Guest blog: top tips for great holiday photos

This week, Susi Doherty, Creative Director of Vervate shares her top tips for taking and making the most of your holiday photos.  Thanks Susi !

Capturing in pictures those long-awaited days of great scenery, family, friends, amazing sites or simply just restful moments is something we all love to do – and many of us with do it with our mobile phones.  Here are my top tips for taking better photographs on your mobiles here.

There are other things that you can do that will really bring your images to life and keep those memories lingering for longer – here are just a few:

The journey

Holiday photos_AlpsLove it (or not), travelling is an amazing thing to be able to do.  These days your mobile’s GPS (and some cameras) will tag your location if you have put it on.  I really enjoy this aspect from an aeroplane – here’s a quick picture I snapped when we we travelling over the Alps recently.

 

A little thought

Holiday photos_thinkIt’s easy just to pick up our mobiles and click at something.  Each image is disposable and doesn’t cost us anything, unlike in the days of film (not that I remember of course – ahem) when a finger in front of the lens cost us one of the precious 24 pictures on the film roll (and a disappointed face when the photos came back from Prontoprint).  Here’s what can happen if you don’t think about it (see photo to the left)…

 

Holiday photos_pompeii..and here is a picture I thought more about.  It was taken at Pompeii, right at the edge of the excavation.  There were poppies and corn swaying in the wind over the unexcavated ruins:

Think about what it is you want to say in the photograph.  Don’t play down your experience by not trying to get in the moment. What is it you want to remember?  A feeling?  Remember that there is a reason you are inspired to take a photo of something or someone.  Get that inspiration in the photo and you will remember it far more intensely.  The photo above makes me feel the warm breeze, peace and melancholy for the once beautiful city that I felt when I was actually there.

Angles

Holiday photos_statuesDon’t follow the pack!  All the other tourists were taking photos of these stunning statues at Pompeii straight on.  Boof, here’s a statue.  Next…?  The artist had created the most amazing statues.  They were awe inspiring because of their size and the way they loomed over the ruins.  That’s why in this image I went for the ‘up’ angle so that you get a sense of their scale.

 

The incidentals

So many of us just take selfies or posed shots.  Get sneaky and capture the wistful smile on your partner’s face as they look at a view, or something funny happening, or even a sign or close up of the sea (unless you are in England, in which case that tends to give you a brown blob!).

Edit!

Take the time to edit a copy of your favourite photos with an app – there are so many to choose from but they do make a huge difference.  Enjoy your holiday, but don’t spend so much time looking at your screen that you don’t actually get a sense or feel for where you are!  The best photos come from those sensations.

At Vervate, we seek to work with all our clients to enable them to build their own visual portfolio. Have a chat with Susi, to see how we help you create your own bank of quality images.

Guys: the ultimate guide to shorts and sandals

Mr W in his chino shorts and funky trainers

Mr W in his chino shorts and funky trainers

After a positively autumnal start to the summer, the weather is finally warming up, and evidently we are due some serious sunshine in the next week or so.  And many of you will be thinking about shorts, sandals and other holiday wear as you prepare to jet off.

Unfortunately, we Brits do not have a great reputation when it comes to hot weather dressing.  As soon as the mercury begins to climb, all sense of decorum seems to go out the window, with acres of pale skin being inappropriately revealed.  We never quite manage to look ‘effortless’ in the sun the way our Continental cousins do, and men, unfortunately, seem to particularly struggle with shorts and sandals.  Here are my tips which I hope will help you up your game this summer, whether you’re heading to Bali, Barcelona or Blackpool.

Oh, and if you need anything, stock up now while the sales are still on (you’ll find links to the key items I mention below).

Let’s talk shorts

Shorts can be a sartorial minefield for the average British man. But here are some guidelines to keep in mind:

  1. First of all, get the length right.  Your shorts should end just a couple of inches above the knee – in other words, neither too short nor too long, and ideally, if they suit your frame, they should be slim cut.  If you choose denim shorts, no rips please – you are not in a boy band
  2. Tailored shorts will ensure you look the part. Make sure to choose heavy cotton (chino) rather than linen, which will crease like mad. Scotch & Soda and HE by Mango do some great options.
  3. Wear your shorts, whether they are denim or chino, with a good quality t-shirt that fits. Not a huge holey, baggy thing with a Hard Rock Café logo circa 1987, but a slim fitting, good quality version in a complementary colour.  Add a fine knit jumper (keep it fine, you don’t want to add bulk) or a stylish sweatshirt (again, no logos) when the sun goes down.  Chino shorts, by the way, look particularly sharp with a Breton striped t-shirt – this is a classic look that never dates. You can also add a casual blazer to this look to dress it up a bit.

Sandals and socks – no !

It’s hard to believe, but sandals and socks had a brief fashion moment earlier this year as Bottega Veneta styled dual strap sandals with chunky socks.  Thankfully that moment ended.  So what are the best sandals a stylish man should consider?

  • Soft leather sandals will keep your feet comfortable. Choose classic Birkenstocks (which come in a range of shapes, styles and colours) or woven sandals, which can be worn with chinos, jeans and shorts
  • Rubber pool sliders are waterproof and comfortable. These have been around for the past couple of years and will take you from poolside to bar with ease
  • Thong sandals are more substantial (and less sloppy) than a traditional flip flop. Kurt Geiger’s navy leather sandals would look great with the chino shorts-Breton t-shirt look and they’re on sale, so grab them now !

If you can’t bear to bare your feet (or invest in a pedicure), choose breathable trainers, canvas deck shoes or luxe espadrilles.  A pair of classic Converse in white or navy is an easy starting point if you’re unsure.  And to keep things fresh, invest in some footie socks that don’t show – they’ll keep your feet happy and your trainers sweet.

And remember, if you’re in any doubt about how to wear any of your summer items, or need some help with shopping, get in touch !