Styling tips straight from a British Vogue fashion editor.
The sun is (finally) shining! Bees are buzzing, birds are chirping, Aperol is spritzing… and miles below ground on a packed underground train, it’s well and truly boiling. While news of an upcoming heatwave is blissful for many, for those city dwellers among us, rising temperatures can lead to rising panic. How do you dress for a sweltering rush hour commute, but also for an office that is blasting out icy air conditioning? Which shoes are best to swerve the grit and grub of pavements? Which fabrics work hard in warm weather, and which leave you at the whim of visible perspiration?
Below, here are five tips for dressing successfully in the city as temperatures begin to soar.
Invest in sandals with stamina
A-listers may be crushing on the “non-shoe” – slip-ons formed from gauzy mesh that resemble more of a sock than something robust for stomping through the city – but how will these fair on the London Underground or a busy pavement, when you’re swerving rubble and dust? Swerve shoes that will literally serve as a net for city detritus and invest in something more sturdy, like a pair of fisherman sandal. Your feet will thank us.
Crush on cottons
Synthetics, unfortunately, are only going to increase sweat levels, particularly on packed trains and buses that lack any air conditioning. Pack away the polyester and embrace light-weight breathable cottons and linens ideally in white – the shade that A-listers can’t get enough of this summer. Top tip: keep those cottons sparkling clean with Dr Barbara Sturm’s plant-based laundry detergent.
Sweat patches aren’t chic, particularly when you’re en route to brunch with friends or evening cocktails, and they’ll only be worse if you’re wearing synthetic fabrics. To avoid a perspiration emergency opt for something strapless, like a Carrie Bradshaw-inspired slinky boob tube and lightweight cargo pants, or an off-the-shoulder party dress. You can throw an unlined cotton blazer over both.
Test out tailoring
The tailored two-piece has been a favourite within fashion crowds over the past few summers. Matching smart co-ords are as appropriate for a work meeting as a mid-week sparkling wine in the sun. Take our advice regarding strapless silhouettes and breezy cottons and work a waistcoat and billowing trousers into your day-to-day look.
Always carry a cover-up
Public transport is intolerably hot, but thanks to over zealous air-conditioning your office resembles an ice box. Daytime sunshine might seem tropical, but British evenings can quickly turn Baltic, so always remember to carry a lightweight cover-up to be prepared for these varying temperatures. We recommend a lightweight denim jacket, a plaid shirt, a utilitarian shirt-style jacket or a canvas bomber – all will look perfect thrown over a white cotton ensemble.
This article was originally published on British Vogue.