Here in London it’s HOT. I mean really bloody hot and it’s not showing much sign of getting cooler anytime soon, in fact it’s getting hotter than hell next week — ‘I mean, I like it hot, but…’ We all know that British people love to talk about the weather. We love to complain about it too. January – ‘It’s too cold and I can’t find my gloves.’ April – ‘When will it stop raining?’ June – ‘It’s not hot enough.’ July – ‘It’s roasting, I’m going to boil, it’s not the same heat as abroad, is it?’ November – ‘It’s so grey and drizzly, I think I have SAD, must book a holiday’… All apart from maybe one week in May, ‘Ahh, this is nice weather, isn’t it? Not too hot, not too cold, might need a light sweater later, but that’s ok, it’s nice out isn’t it?’
But this week it’s HOT. So what to wear in a heatwave? Well, as ever, the answer to that is anything you damn well please (although it is still socially frowned upon to go to the Big Tescos and stand in the freezer aisle in just your underpants apparently). But if you’re one of the many blokes I’ve seen about this past week, then the answer to what to wear seems to be ‘no top, shorts and flip flops’. To be fair, it’s almost acceptable in this heat – it’s just when we get a random sunny day in April and they’re all immediately half naked that it bothers me. That said, let’s be honest: it doesn’t bother me if they’re of the ‘Love Island Lad / Jack Grealish’ persuasion. In that case, go for it, take your top off anytime you like lads.
But this is about us and what WE can wear. I’ve pulled together seven outfit ideas for you to think about. Should this heatwave end or it isn’t in your area (hello any friends in Lerwick), you can use this for some ideas if you’re lucky enough to be off on a hot holiday abroad this summer.
COLOURFUL COTTON SUNDRESS
Once again, a call to arms. With my tattoo removal ‘journey’ ongoing, I’m well on the way to wearing sleeveless numbers again. Not that I care so much – even with the terrible 90s tattoos – but just a few more sessions and they will be pretty much gone. Not going to lie though, it takes a LONG time. Depending on how big they are, you could need up to seven sessions with at least 5–6 weeks in between each appointment to let the lasers do their thing. And it hurts, it really hurts! But each session is only about five minutes, so it’s short-lived pain. I can deal with short-lived pain.
Anyway, a cotton sundress is a must, so dig out your old strapless bra that you’ve had since 1998. Come on, we’ve all got that one in the bottom of our knicker drawer.
LIGHTWEIGHT SHIRTS AND SHORTS
We all love our denim shorts (see later on for more info on my current favourite pair) but for this extreme heat you could do much worse than getting yourself a lighter, more airy pair. Look for linen and cotton, and if in doubt size UP, as no one wants a pair that gives you a ‘hungry bum’. The looser, the better in this weather. You may wonder why I’ve added a vest here, but it’s no ordinary vest, it’s a Uniqlo Airism vest. It might seem counterintuitive to add an extra layer when it’s hot, but these vests (and dress slips) really do help to ‘wick away’ the sweat and leave you feeling slightly less damp.
SHORT SUMMER DRESSES
If you’re not really a shorts girl but you do fancy showing off a portion of your legs, a short summer dress is the one for you. And if you’re concerned about your pasty pallor may I recommend Vita Liberata. The gradual tan is my favourite as it doesn’t streak or smell like biscuits, but if you’ve left it too late and need something instant, try their Body Blur. It’s like makeup for legs and will make them look so much better. It also doesn’t come off on your clothes, although I’m not sure what happens if it rains. For short summer dresses I would look for something not too fitted. I’d also wear my big pants under it in case of any windy gusts (not a euphemism).
LOOSE DRESSES & OVERSIZED SHIRTS
I do love an oversized cotton or linen shirt in the summer. It’s also great as a beach cover-up. This shirt dress from Monki is perfect. Wear it loose or add a belt to give a bit more shape. Please not one of those wide elastic ones that Gok Wan was always cinching around some unsuspecting woman on the telly. Go for a neater, thin leather one that you can also wear with trousers at another time.
SUMMER DRESSES WITH SLEEVES
As we’ve mentioned previously, bare arms are good, but we don’t all want to show them, and that’s ok because there are loads of great, airy dresses out there with sleeves that will still keep you cool. Plus you have the comfort of knowing you’re not going to burn your shoulders when you leave the house. At this point, maybe I should address the thigh rub issue that many of us face. May I recommend these long knickers from Amazon. Same brand as my favourite big pants. A few friends of mine have these and they say they are great.
MORE COLOURFUL SUNDRESSES
Just because if now isn’t the time to wear them, then when is? Well, on holiday, obviously. We have finally booked our flights to Vancouver to see the in-laws. Waiting until the last minute was not the best idea, as it turns out flights get MUCH more expensive the longer you leave it. My laissez-faire attitude that evolved over the past two years of not going abroad will have to be revised before next summer, that’s for sure. What I will do though is pack at least an extra day’s worth of clothes in hand luggage, just in case. Might even splash out on a pro-traveller cabin bag like this instead of trying to squash it all into a tote bag.
T SHIRT AND SHORTS
If in doubt, just get the shorts out. I’m going to make a bold statement here and say that I think I actually prefer my Mango shorts to the Topshop icons of yesteryear. Reason being they lack the pleats, which don’t suit everyone, and the rolled hems stay put. The TS ones did have a tendency to fall down a bit at the back in the light denim version. If you go for these, I would suggest you size up one size.
Good luck this week. See you down the freezer aisle at the big Tescos on Tuesday yeah?