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Image / Fashion

Summer sizzlers: how to look chic in the heat when dressing for the office


by Marie Kelly
27th Jun 2018

Fluid shapes in calming shades are the key to looking chic in the heat. There’s nothing worse in warm weather than clothes that cling. A softer silhouette will provide breathability, while whitewashed hues will reflect heat away from your body. If all white makes you feel washed out (as it does me), introduce shades of biscuit and butterscotch. Then add tan accessories to add depth to your look. Cool blues are also a great option, and a good alternative to denim, which can feel suffocating in summer. Here are eight key pieces to see you through the heatwave (for as long as it lasts!).

On a sunny afternoon, how much better than skinny jeans will these gorgeous culottes look? They’re smart and sophisticated, but the side stripe injects them with a cool “street” vibe, making them perfect for weekend wear or workwear. I’m pretty sure I’ll have bought these before the day is out… Love!

Culottes with side stripes, €19.99 (were €39.95) at Zara 

The drape of this top from Cos makes it perfect for balmy afternoons. It kicks out slightly into an asymmetric hemline so provides a slightly fuller silhouette without looking too “blousy”. The hemline adds a stylish point of difference and elevates a simple T-shirt into a chic “piece”.

Circle-cut poplin top, €69 at Cos

If you’re afraid that pleats will look too pretty, then try styling a pleated skirt with a sporty polo shirt, as below. This Topshop skirt is a gorgeous shade of blush and will make white separates feel less icy but fresh instead.

Pleated midi skirt, €76 at Topshop

Shirtdresses are one of my warm-weather essentials. They’re a lifesaver for the office, but can be styled with trainers for a smart but not overdone weekend look. This Warehouse option is a gorgeous buy. The salmon shade of pink will flatter all skin tones and the midi length is ideal for women who prefer a little bit of coverage even in rising temperatures.

Textured midi shirtdress, €55 at Warehouse

I’m not a fan of frills, but the fluted sleeves of this Maje shirt are tempered by the collarless “grandfather” neckline. This shade of baby blue looks fresh but professional.

Striped poplin shirt, €94.50 (was €135) at Maje

This tunic would look great layered over three-quarter-length trousers. It’s a cool, unfussy piece, but the belt detailing gives it a unique look too.

Shirtdress with belt, €165 at Sandro

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