Saturday, 29 April 2017
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Summer 2016

What an amazing start to the season we’ve had; the sun is sporadically shining, temperatures are hitting the dizzy heights of 20+ degrees, and leaving the house is beginning to raise the predicament of what should I wear?

As we battle Northern Ireland’s changing weather, rising hemlines aren't the only fashion change-ups on our minds. Fashion faux pas are easier to commit in summer whilst we grapple with the desire to look good (whilst not overheating) which can lead to malfunction...

Summer can be a challenging season to dress for many women. You reveal more about yourself and your body than in any other season and have fewer layering tricks at your disposal to either cover up certain parts or create a nice silhouette. So it’s worth thinking about the look you are creating and what it says about you. We aren't ones to judge what people are wearing, but can we please hide those bra straps ladies? Unless you’re a Victoria’s Secret model or at Coachella (and can really rock that leopard print bra) then just don’t do it. Never with a strapless dress and never with a muscle back or halterneck dress/top.

Put away your leather for the summer? Everyone knows that there’s nothing quite as sexy and rock 'n' roll as tight black leather trousers, but unless you’re cool with chafing and sweating profusely, I’d suggest giving them a rest for a few months.

And the polar opposite of black leather trousers? The white linen trouser. Okay the jury is out on the WLT. Yes they are light and in a well-cut suit can be sharp and edgy and very Bianca Jagger, but teamed with a flowery kaftan and wedges they scream soccer-mum – plus within five minutes of putting them on you’ll look like you slept in them!

So, this summer, whether you're in need of some office-appropriate inspiration or are looking for ideas for what to pack when you jet off somewhere exotic, kick-start your research here and make this summer your most fashionable ever.

Sheer Delight
This is the summer of sheer and with designers such as Self Portrait and Three Floor Fashion influencing many of our high street shops, I totally understand and love this trend – it’s the easiest way to stay cool, after all. But be careful – what works for a cocktail evening with the girls at The Perch mightn’t go down so well in the boardroom. River Island, Topshop and ASOS all have a great selection of sheer dresses worth checking out.

White Hot
Whether you're heading to the North Coast or getting hot in the city this summer, there's something about an all-white ensemble that keeps things simple, yet chic, and is an easy way to look fresh all season long.

Steal/Save/Splurge
There are so many cute white dresses out there ranging from the H&M textured skater dress for £29.99 to the Miss Selfridge White mixed-lace midi dress currently reduced from £85 to £45; to the real thing from Self Portrait Oblique Lace Column dress priced at £305!

Folk Lure
It’s back to boho with traditional folk inspired smocks, kaftans and sandals taking over the summer fashion game. Vibrant and decadently hand-embroidered pieces are lightweight and easy to wear but be careful of your smocking unless you want people to wonder “Is she? Or isn’t she?” (pregnant that is...) The Monsoon Gabrielle Top £49 is a gorgeous addition to your summer wardrobe and can double up as a beach kaftan!

Cool Culottes
Culottes are the elegant it-piece for transitional dressing. Although their unusual length might make them seem intimidating, culottes can be versatile and actually quite easy to wear. The trick is to make them look a bit edgy by styling them similarly to an A-line skirt or wide-leg trousers, and to play with proportions. This fun culottes jumpsuit from Zara is priced at £39.99 and would look equally good as formal attire, teamed with gold accessories and strappy heels or black obi belt and gladiator sandals for chic daywear.

No matter what your age, it’s important to keep in mind that the bar for stylish dressing doesn’t drop just because the temperature rises. Here’s a simple rule of thumb about staying appropriate this summer: If you could wear it to the beach or the gym, you probably shouldn’t wear it to the office. One final note (and it’s a bit of a disclaimer) sometimes it’s fun to break the rules, so never be afraid to let your fashion freak flag fly!

Skater dress, £29.99; H&M
White mixed-lace midi dress, £45; Miss Selfridge
Oblique lace column dress, £305; Self Portrait
Gabrielle Top, £49; Monsoon
Culottes Jumpsuit, £39.99; Zara

Style File

Must Do: Rock the festival look this summer at Dalriada Festival in Glenarm (16&17 July), SunflowerFest, Hillsborough (5–7 August) or Stendhal Festival of Art, Limavady (12&13). No one does it better than Alexa Chung in Hunter wellies and a cute white dress.

Must Have: Bejewelled tootsies! Heels on holiday just aren’t worth it so flats are a must. These sparkly sandals from Russell & Bromley are glam but comfy, (£235) or check out these bargain pair from New Look at just £24.99.

Must Buy: Shea Moisture Fruit Fusion Weightless Texture Spray (£10.99 from Boots Stores Nationwide) adds extra body, and a chic effortless tousled look to fine wavy hair. This spray includes extracts of Dragon fruit, coconut water, Lychee Berry and Imbe oil, giving hair a natural treat and leaving you beach ready in seconds.

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