At last! The warm weather is finally just round the corner, and the sun is about to put its hat on. But looking good in summer isn’t always so easy for the rest of us. In this blog we’re taking a look at summer style hacks to help you overcome those summer fashion woes and make sure you’re looking good when the going gets hot!
Whether you’re a guy trying to stay cool on the street and warm in the office AC, or a gal trying to decide whether to ditch those tights, our summer style tips and tricks are here to help.
What to Wear to Work when it’s Warm
It’s warm outside, but the AC is cranked up to 11 in the office. How do you dress for two different climates whilst still looking smart and professional? Here are some quick and easy outfit ideas and tips to help both men and women dress professionally in hot weather.
Summer Work Outfits for Men
The first tip when it comes to work outfits for warm weather is to keep it loose, guys! Baggier trousers and slouchier jackets are in at the moment when it comes to tailoring, so take advantage of the greater airflow these styles offer, without exposing your skin to that cool office air. Linen is king of cool in summer, but choose a fabric that includes it in the mix rather than something that’s 100% linen, as this will have you crinkled up before your morning coffee. For short sleeves, choose a smart polo shirt, and when it comes to shoes, a smart espadrille will do you many favours. They’re light and breathable, and work well when paired with light trousers. You could even consider some smart leather sandals, if your office dress code allows it (honestly – they’re back!), but make sure your feet are in good shape if you’re going to have them peeking out beneath your slacks.
Summer Work Outfits for Women
For ladies, you don’t want too much skin on show, so when working out how to dress for work on a hot day, think loose but structured. Features such as stitching or embroidery will keep clothes from clinging to your skin when it’s hot. A sleeveless blazer is a great option this year, and a good compromise for your outside/inside climate transitions. You could also consider a light tweed jacket that can really smarten up a summer look. Choose a pair of light patterned trousers to keep you warm inside and cool outside and team this with a single colour top for a strong, smart look. For footwear, a pair of flat pumps with pointy toes works brilliantly with a work outfit, or if you need a little more airflow, slip on a pair of mules or pretty sandals (although steer clear of flip flops or shoes with too many straps).
Preventing Blisters on Your Feet
We all know about the importance of looking after our skin in hot weather, but the combination of swelling, heat and moisture means our feet get a pretty hard time of it too. Let’s look at how you can stop your shoes rubbing and keep painful and unsightly blisters at bay throughout those summer months.
Wearing something, even just a stocking, between feet and shoes will help prevent rubbing and reduce the likelihood of blisters. But if you can’t do that, there’s a great new range of creams and balms available that will help to provide this barrier for you even in bare feet.
The moment the hot red patch of impending blister appears, use a skin dressing or zinc oxide tape to stop it in its tracks. Should you get there too late and find you’ve developed a blister, either apply padding to help it heal on its own, or carefully make a hole it in it, drain the fluid and dress it. Don’t make too big a hole in it though as you’ll leave an open wound that could get infected.
Hard skin is another common foot complaint in the summer as the sudden exposure to air can dry our poor feet out. But don’t be too thorough with that pumice stone as overly soft skin is much more prone to blisters. Some of that hard skin is your protective layer!
Stopping Feet Slipping Around in Your Shoes
Prevention is always better than cure when it comes to blisters and other foot complaints, so here are a few ideas to stop sweaty feet sliding around in your shoes.
The old fashioned approach to solving this problem was sprinkling talc onto your feet, or into your shoes before putting them on. This can prevent feet slipping in shoes, but be aware that when combined with sweat, talc can sometimes bead up. A claggy foot is not a look you’ll see on the catwalks this year.
But fear not, other solutions are at hand (or rather, at foot…). There is a plethora of gel cushioning now available for open toed heels, sandals and even flip flops that will help keep your feet locked into position. Most foot cushions are peel and stick and once in place will help ensure you avoid toe crush. Or over-hang!
And for the more experimental among you, new research shows that soaking your feet in cold black tea every night reduces the sweat glands resulting in less sweating, and therefore, less sliding!
How to Remove Sweat Stains and Odours from Clothes and Shoes
Unfortunately, no matter what steps we take, the hot summer months are going to result in at least a little foot sweat from time to time. This sweat can sometimes be retained in the fabric of clothes and shoes resulting in stains and odours. Here are some quick and easy hacks to remove odours from shoes, and sweat stains from clothes.
Baking soda is a wonder cleaner, and freshening smelly shoes is just one more string to its bow. Simply sprinkle a tablespoon of the miracle powder into each shoe and by morning, they’ll smell as good as new. You can substitute for talcum powder too, though the effect is slightly less miraculous.
There are also lots of natural fragrances you can use to stop your shoes from smelling, such as sage, lavender, even the peel from citrus fruits. Drop them into your shoes in a ventilated area and they’ll smell sweet and lovely by morning.
If your shoes are particularly smelly, try using a few drops of tea tree oil to eliminate bacteria and make sure you change your insoles, clean the inside of your shoes with detergent and spend a little time with no socks or shoes on each day. It’s good for your feet!
And now for those pesky stains. The miracle cure this time is lemon juice! Simply mix equal parts of lemon juice to water, add to a spray bottle, aim at the stain and fire at will. A little rubbing together of the fabric will have that stain lifting off in no time. Add a little salt for more stubborn sweat marks. Alternatively, dissolve five Aspirin tablets in a bowl of water, soak your stained garment in it over night, and watch how those marks disappear by morning.
Tights vs. Bare Legs in Summer
For some of us, tights are a year round staple. They’re comforting, reliable and look good with almost anything. But while it can be daunting to go bare-legged for some women, it’s much more common these days than it was even 15 years ago. There’s just something wonderfully freeing about ditching those tights with their annoying ladders!
If you decide to rock the bare leg look this summer, denim or pleated skirts will both work really well for you, although you’ll want a fairly long hemline if you’re heading to the office. But remember the one body part rule – if the legs are out, the rest of the body is covered. If you don’t fancy showing too much leg, cropped trousers revealing a few inches of ankle are a great compromise and a great look.
But what are the options for those of us not ready to step out of our stockings without such perfect pins? First off, think about a pair of palazzo trousers. They’re light, comfortable and super trendy this year. Once again cropped trousers look great, and a low block or kitten heel will help to lengthen the leg. Throwing on a midi or maxi dress is a lovely way to stay cool whilst looking chic.
And if you decide the tights really are staying, then experiment with a few different shades and colours. Ten denier flesh coloured tights are also a good bet as they’ll provide a bit of coverage without being too heavy.
Just as you’ve got the hang of your winter wardrobe and removing that road salt from your boots, summer comes along and chucks everything up in the air again. But hopefully this blog will have you greeting the glorious summer months with a smile on your face and a skip in your step rather than stains on your shirt and blisters on your feet!