How to dress for summer in the city when you're just not used to hot weather

In Ireland we simply don't get enough practice at summer dressing to get it right every time when the temperatures do eventually rise. Here are four simple solutions to city chic that you can rely on in summer regardless of what the catwalks suggest.


Try military precision

Looking hot (and keeping cool) in the heat doesn’t have to be as time consuming as cataloguing the latest catwalk looks and siphoning through this season’s micro-trends. Certain styles always look chic in summer, whether they fall on a fashion editor’s wish-list or not. For the urbanites among us, military chic is a sophisticated way of looking fresh and seasonal, while maintaining a sharp, tailored silhouette. Military-style detailing and camouflage prints can be softened with white trousers, while classic tan leather accessories will transform a look that may be too urban into nicely upmarket. Sleeveless jackets are a great option here too. Choose pieces in breathable fabrics such as quality linens and cotton mixes.

Cotton utilitarian midi dress, €45 at & Other Stories

Go nautical

It may be safe, but a classic Breton stripe always looks chic in summer. Keep it fresh and simple in the style of Ralph Lauren, or inject your personality by mixing and matching the width and direction of your stripes, marrying star motifs with dolphin and seagull prints, and accessorising with raffia and rope detailing. Classic red is the standard shot of colour for this nautical style, but orange and yellow look fresher and less predictable. Parachute silks will elevate this look beyond hokey seaside chic, while adding elements in cashmere suggest the ultimate in maritime glamour and luxury - a bit like wearing winter white. Lightweight trench coats sit really well with this look for the office.

Striped dress with gold buttons, €125 at uterque.com

Play with pastels

Pastels don’t have to look pretty. Unfussy tailoring and a streamlined silhouette inject sorbet shades with strength, while sharp detailing like irregular lapels, knife pleats and asymmetric cuts sober up these confectionery colours, making them perfect for the office as well as off-duty. Cool hues will also help to reflect heat away from your body at the height of summer. Invest in fluid pieces; anything too short or too tight will look like you’re off to the beach rather than the boardroom. Mixing textures can also help liven up these subdued hues.

Belted jacket, €49.95 at Zara

Flirt with florals

There’s something instantly summery about pretty florals. The way to wear blooms is with sportswear – add a tracksuit top or trainers to make last year’s ditsy-print dress feel fresh once again. For work, a kitten heel or mule looks smarter than a stiletto. A black blazer will also anchor your look and make it feel more office appropriate. Show your wild side in lush botanical prints, which are great for holiday wear. A more urban way to sport this trend? Try a floral-print backpack. Utility wear combined with a girlish print looks unexpected and modern.

Betty print satin wrap dress, Rixo, €150.01 (was €375) at net-a-porter.com


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