Summer sartorial survival

8175679-olivia-palermoSo, this heatwave. Delightful, no? And yet, perhaps a little bit of a trial, in some ways. Firstly, there is the sleep situation (don’t get me started). Secondly, there is, as per the email SOS I have just received from a friend, the sartorial dilemma. “What,” she demands, “on EARTH do you wear when it is broiling outside and freezing inside (my company love air con) [Sidenote: lucky her]. AND I have to schelp to work on the horrid tube and train. Yet still look smart and pulled together. What do I DO??!!”

Now, I can never resist a sartorial SOS. Especially not one which is followed by multiple punctuation marks. So I turn my fair W&W hand to the topic. I can sympathise. It is straightforward enough to dress for the heat if you work from home (a journalist friend who lives in New York tells tales of working from her sweltering flat wearing nothing but a bra and knickers) or, indeed, your work involves running around catering to the whims and caprices of your children (aka one of the toughest jobs around) – then your look can revolve around what’s cool (as in temperature-suitable) and practical.

However, if you have to head to work (as most of us do), it’s a wee bit trickier. Separates are good here, a la Olivia Palermo (or ‘The Palerm’ as my uber-stylish friend Medini calls her. Medini is from New York and thus knows how to dress for summer). In fact, you could do worse than make her your summer office style role model. She is always chic and pulled-together (and she loves a spot of high street).



The key ingredients here:

1. Tanned, toned legs (I cannot help you with this, although I do thoroughly and wholeheartedly recommend slathering your legs with this and this). 2. ONE statement item e.g. cool skirt with patterned blouse. 3. A great bag.

Some ideas:

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From l to r: Blue floral print, now £12.99, Zara; Meadow floral skater skirt, £40, Oasis; Flora jacquard skirt, £40, Oasis

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Pink pussy bow blouse, Iris & Ink at The Outnet, £98; Pleat back utility shirt, £40, Warehouse

A maxi skirt can look also very chic, as evidenced by the below.

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Asos is a brilliant go-to shop for a quick fashion fix if you fancy yourself as a maxi girl. I am rather fond of a print, but you may prefer the simplicity of a block colour (this one comes in vivid blue and black if white gives you The Fear (as well it might if you use public transport).

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Clockwise from top left: Digital floral print, £38; Animal print, £36; White pleated, £28; Pleated floral, £40. All Asos.

The downside of a midi, to my mind, is that you will – unless you are model-like in height – need to wear heels with it. And I do not, as a general rule, wear heels.

There is much to be said about the simplicity of a dress. I love that I can be good-to-go by throwing on a single item of clothing. It has been my default work uniform since this heatwave began.

street-style-fashion-motilo-1 solange-wilvertI appreciate that some offices are more formal than my own, and bare arms, skinny straps and – heaven forfend – armpits should not be on show. In which case, try one of these beauties from Topshop (the animal print is worn by no less than three women in my office – one of whom is pregnant – so I can confirm it works). Navy (oh navy – how I love you) is forever French and pulled together: I adore this Whistles dress from the ever-brilliant Atterley Road. Wear it now with flats. Take it to a party with heels and a fabulous clutch.

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Floral print dress, £110, Boutique at Topshop; Neon animal tunic dress, £38, Topshop; Noel dress, £165, Whistles at Atterley Road

As for that bag, go terribly British and opt for one from classic brand, Tusting (beautifully made and you won’t see every second person carrying it).

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Kimbleton tote in caramel, £315; Melchbourne leather satchel in sundance floodlight, £360, both Tusting

Main pics: Via pinterest, Motilo

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