Summer is no less an ordeal for the style than the winter. When the thermometer stubbornly shows extreme figures, all thoughts are only about ensuring at least some semblance of comfort. And the hand itself reaches out to the sundress with thin straps or short shorts. What other clothes could be worn in this heat?
And it’s okay if you walk in picturesque resorts on vacation in this sundress, and you ride a bicycle on the sea coast in shorts. But some people have to work in the summer from time to time. And to go to the office, as humiliating as it sounds against the backdrop of seductive summer landscapes. Maybe your desired vacation is still ahead this summer, and perhaps you have already taken it and now you try hard to pull yourself back into the working rhythm. What can you wear to work, so that it is not a beach sundress or shorts? How to look appropriate in a big city and not to boil in your own juice? How to make style and heat meet?
First, do not blame that much. Not all shorts are equally far from the business dress code. Recently, business suits with shorts have even become popular. It looks much more modern and stylish than the same suit with a short skirt. And from the point of view of practicality and convenience, well-cut shorts of light summer suit fabric will have 100 points head start in the competition with a mini skirt.
Also, a little longer shorts are back in fashion, they are called Bermuda shorts. This is an elegant and absolutely acceptable thing for work if they are plain and sewn from a light fabric that keeps the shape. Wear them with a thin shirt or a light jacket and get a wonderful, very modern ensemble. Bermuda shorts are easy to match with almost any summer shoes – from ballet flats and sandals to exquisite sandals with heels. One pair of such shorts, two shirts, several T-shirts and tops, two pairs of different shoes, a belt, a coloured handkerchief – and you have a bunch of options for a summer outfit in a business city.
But if you lengthen Bermuda shorts a little, then you’ll get culottes. Yes, I know, many people do not like them. The stereotypes that they cut legs and twist the silhouette turned out to be too tenacious. But culottes are just as tenacious, they have been in trend for many years in a row. And it makes one think that they are not such a bad thing. Because things that do not look good on anyone except models, do not usually stay in trend so long.
Indeed, with culottes, as with any other clothing, the devil is in the details. They may look terrible, or they may look great. Beautifully cut culottes of the length that is right for you will not ruin your silhouette, as much as vice versa. Some culottes cannot be distinguished from a midi skirt from a five steps distance when a woman stands still. And only in movement, it becomes clear that this is not a skirt but pants.
But unlike jeans and any straight or narrow trousers, culottes of light fabric are incredibly comfortable in the heat. They are free, they are not skintight, they leave some space and air for the legs. And they look very stylish with any top – from exquisite silk blouse to a simple T-shirt.
Speaking of T-shirts. They are also considered by some merely an attribute of a summer resort wardrobe or clothing for teenagers. And they shouldn’t be. Over the past 70 years, a simple white T-shirt without a collar has made a triumphant march from men’s underwear, in which it was absolutely unacceptable to appear in public, to the basic elements of the city wardrobe for both men and women.
In our time, you can wear a T-shirt not only with jeans or shorts, but also with elegant trousers, and with any skirts, in particular with a poufy and festive one. The modern concept of the combination of incongruous and wearing festive things every day nudges to take a bright skirt that has been waiting for a special occasion out of the closet and to tame its festivity a little with a simple cotton T-shirt. Add casual or sports shoes – and you do not have to wait for any reason, in this combination, this skirt can be safely worn any day even in the morning.
Another great way to use a simple white T-shirt is to wear it under a combination dress. The combination dress is perfect for holidays, evening promenades along the waterfront street and cool cocktails on the summer terrace of a cafe. It is a very elegant, sensual and seductive dress. Maybe even too seductive and not always appropriate for some occasions outside vacation and recreation. But it is enough to wear a T-shirt under it – and the amount of open body is reduced significantly, provocative sexuality is almost dissolved in the air, and the style and awareness of modern trends remain.
By the way, there is nothing new in this way to combine these two things, the author of these lines wore them this way back in the 90s. But we know that in fashion almost everything new is well-forgotten old.
And as we are talking about dresses, it is worth trying a wraparound dress for summer in the city. This is also a long-known, eternal style, and no less attractive. Depending on the fabric and finish, a wraparound dress may be frivolous, playful and girlish, and very restrained and elegant. Playful wraparound dresses with lush flounces and floral prints may not be very appropriate for the office. Although they can be a great alternative to a sundress for walks around the city. But if a wraparound dress is sewn of plain linen of a beautiful colour or noble thick silk – any office will be honoured to see their employees in this outfit.
Another eternal and multifunctional dress is a shirt dress. This is a universal soldier of women’s wardrobe, useful both on vacation and at work. At the resort, add sandals or espadrilles with braided soles, straw bag and a hat. In the city, wear more formal sandals, take a business-style beg instead of a straw one, you can also girdle a dress with a belt – and the business image for office is ready.
And finally, one more alternative to the sundress. A jumpsuit! This summer, mechanic jumpsuit of free “male” silhouette with many pockets and large buttons, of beige, sand or olive colour are very trendy. If they are made of natural cotton and fit freely, these jumpsuits look stylish and are quite comfortable in the heat. And most importantly – you do not have to think with what to combine them. Just wear and forget it.
And even if the dress code in your office does not provide for such stylish whims, you can always wear a more traditional jumpsuit, much more like a dress. Thin fabric, open arms, flared pants – and you’re ready for the heat and look decent.
Of course, the best advice for hot weather is to sit under the air conditioner and not to poke your nose into the street. But, since this is not always possible, I advise you to listen to the advice of doctors: choose clothes from natural fabrics, drink enough liquid, avoid being in the sun at least in the hottest hours, protect your head with a hat or a scarf, and your skin with sunscreen. And be sure to get as much pleasure from the summer as possible. After all, summer is a little life.
Maya Tulchynska, fashion blogger