Guide to Summer Dressing

June 3, 2010

Daily Digest

Guide to Summer Dressing

What is it about the sun shining that plays havoc with an otherwise perfectly sensible woman’s wardrobe?  The sun has come out in Ireland and everyone’s rushed to throw on their holiday clothes, regardless of whether they work well together, let alone in the office.

A quick glance around me during rush hour this morning revealed lots of well-intentioned fashion disasters. The truth is that getting dressed for summer in this country is very tricky.

One minute the sun is shining, the next you’re battling with the office air conditioning and by the time you leave work that evening, it could be raining.

The simple basics listed below will see you through an Irish summer in style.

Summer Underwear

When it comes to underwear, skin coloured or clear straps are never a good look when they are on show, so if something needs to be seen because of the style of what you’re wearing, make sure it’s in a “pop” of colour (M&S do great value colourful bras for summer).

Stock up on skin coloured underwear (bottoms) for under your white jeans, trousers or skirts – again, there’s nothing worse than a white knickers or thong beaming through from under the same coloured trousers.

Summer Trousers

White is a great summer staple colour, in jeans and trousers – and white skinny jeans are best left for the super skinny amongst us.  (I’ve tried what have been dubbed the “best white skinnies out there” – the Jamie jean from Topshop – and they are very unflattering on me! The darker versions are fine, there’s just something about a tight white skinny jean that shows every bump if you have any).

Beige and khaki colours are also good summer colours, are on trend and work well with this seasons military and combats styles – choose a length that you are most comfortable with.

Capri pants are the ultimate chic option and can be worn with ballerina flats or wedges – Zara has the best selection of Capri pants I’ve seen year in, year out and they come in an array of colours.

City Shorts

If you want to go that bit shorter than Capri pants, then city shorts look great with a crisp white shirt for work wear and you can dress them down with a T-shirt on weekends. Depending on how short you like to go, you can choose a length that you’re comfortable with, as the shops are full of smart shorts this season.

If you’re baring your legs, be it with shorts or a skirt, then choose a more modest blouse or sweater – just because the sun is out, doesn’t mean that you should bare all!

Summer Shoes

Skin tone shoes are big news this year and have the added bonus of elongating your legs, once you choose a shade that’s in keeping with your leg colour.

Sling back sandals or wedges are great styles for daytime, as are court shoes which still work for smart summer wear in the office. Now is the time for your “peep toes” to come out.

The all important pedicure is a must for summer once your toes and heels are now on show.

Maxi Dresses

Maxi dresses can be smart for summer too and even for work wear if opt for block (one) colours. Leave the vibrant prints for holiday wear!  These long dresses are also a great way of looking summery, without showing off too much skin and for days when you don’t feel that you’re legs are ready for the world. Try Warehouse for maxi dresses in lots of block colours and jersey material.


Cardigans can be a saviour for when the air con gets too cold or the days turns out to be not as warm as you thought that morning.

If you opt for basic colours they will go with most things, or vice versa; pops of colour will brighten an otherwise basic coloured outfit.  Zara, H&M and Penney’s all do cardigans in a selection of colours and styles.

Outerwear for summer

A Mac or trench coat is the perfect summer outerwear option, and ideal for when it gets that little bit chilly or a rain shower arrives. My favourite Macs this season are the Burberry trench coats in pastel and skin colours with shoulder detail. offer great alternatives at high street prices.

Alternatively, try a blazer which goes well with a dress or jeans and white blazers will look great on sunnier days. Check out our Ask the Stylist advice on wearing a white blazer to a summer lunch.

On a final note, avoid anything that you would take to the beach. It can look out of place, unless at a festival, where anything goes.

And so bearing in mind the saying “Cast not a clout ‘til May is out” – we can now officially ditch the opaque tights and start dressing for an elegant summer.


Black T-shirt maxi dress, Warehouse, £25. Also comes in mink.

White mid-rise bootcut jeans, J Brand €229 and Tory Burch cardigan €214, both at Netaporter.

Related posts:

  1. Wardrobe Staple: High-Waisted Shorts
  2. What She Wears: Work Wear
  3. Still Lingering: Denim Shorts
  4. Accessory Alert: Summer Hats
  5. Trend We Like: Nude
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3 Responses to “Guide to Summer Dressing”

  1. nora Says:

    great advice love the all white and nude shoes and a bright cardigan love your idea’s, cant wait for you tips in my e-mail box.

  2. Annemarie Says:

    Great to hear Nora. You can share your own summer favs too via the comments


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