Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Beat the Heat–Working in Black and White–From Antonio Berardi to Karen Millen

One of the problems of living in the glorious UK is of course that when it gets hot we are totally unprepared for it.  Fine if you don’t have to work, if you can sling on a halter neck top and pair of short shorts (or a bikini) and go out into the garden to water the plants, definitely not fine if you have to get on a train, go to meetings, schlep out to lunch and worst of all travel on the tube.  Staying cool/looking good is an oxymoron unless you think carefully, particularly because we, unlike our friends across the pond, rarely have air conditioning.

Having spent quite a lot of time working in the US heat and finding ways of looking reasonably smart, dealing with freezing aircon when inside and staying cool(ish) when outside I look for dresses that are chic but not too busy and definitely not too tight and always with stretch.  A pair of flats of flip-flops to carry in my tote and heels to wear for meetings and lunch plus a lightweight jacket to cope with the blasts of cold air.  I have been known to sit in an air conditioned office when it is 90 degrees outside shivering in a cashmere scarf and jacket over my dress but thankfully I later discovered that the setting on the aircon was wrong, and it wasn’t just me.

You may have gathered that I always go for dresses – I think they are feminine (provided they’re the right length and fit) they tend to travel well, they’re far less fuss to accessorise with tops and jackets than a skirt or pants and they can take you from a day in the office to drinks and out to dinner far more easily than anything else can.  And who doesn’t want to look feminine – which raises the whole would you rather be curvy or a stick debate.  For later.

The rules of ‘in the heat’ dress dressing when you need to look smart and may have to go to meetings are these:

You can go sleeveless but not strappy and never strapless
Always have a lightweight or knit jacket with you
Never wear anything that grabs you in all the wrong places – peoples eyes will be drawn to what  you would rather cover up
Pay great attention to length, too short and you won’t be taken seriously, too long will add years to your age
Stay away from denim and gingham
Keep prints subtle and modern
Accessories with modern shoes, chunky jewellery and a sleek bag.

   karen millen zip dress Antonio Berardi Dress Michael Kors Dress Max Mara Dress Oasis Shift DressDiane von Furstenberg Dress Jaeger jersey dress Hobbs Dress phase eight black and white dress LK Bennett black jersey dress 

There are two competitions ending this ThursdayOur Simply Beach competition at www.thesiteguide.com where you can enter to have the chance of winning a £150 Gift Voucher with designer beach and resortwear website www.simplybeach.com, and our Facebook Event with www.wychwooddeli.co.uk, where you can win a yummy honey ham or smoked salmon.  For details click through here – it’ll make you very hungry……………..