How to be Stylish During a British Summer

How do you be stylish during a British summer? It should be simple: flowing dresses, shorts, camisole tops, sandals. A floppy hat, and lots of suncream.

But simple a British summer is not. Weather during a British summer is unreliable, with not as many warm, balmy, sunny days as we would like.

You have to be prepared for a British summer, with layers that protect you from the cooler days and the odd rain shower, while not baking when that yellow thing in the sky decides to make an appearance.

My essentials for a stylish British summer include:

A tunic dress

A pair of leggings

A cardi

A statement necklace

A pair of ankle boots

A simple updo

I love this Joules Riviera stripe t-shirt dress: the colour bright neon pink with blue stripe is perfect for summer.

I love this tunic dress, but it is just that bit too short to wear bare-legged.

I love this tunic dress, but it is just that bit too short to wear bare-legged.

I’m not tall (5’3”) but still I find many dresses just that little bit too short. Even though it’s marketed as a dress the Joules frock above feels more like a tunic. I still love it though, and leggings come to the rescue! I love leggings: this is a humble yet fab item of clothing to have in your wardrobe throughout the year. Superbly comfy, they also help prevent me worrying about flashing too much thigh when out and about (and constantly pulling down a dress that feels a bit too short – never a classy look!). My tummy is horribly bloated due to complications from a recent miscarriage, and leggings with a good elastane content helps hold things in a bit – double bonus. My leggings are from good old M&S.

Waterfall cardis are not only incredibly flattering but very useful for summer: even on a chilly summer day, you are unlikely to need to really wrap up warm in a woolly jumper. A linen/cotton cardi will keep you warm but not too hot, while the waterfall shape glides across curves. It’s meant to be open, so sits nicely. The purple colour of this Totally Tropical cardi from White Stuff is a lovely complement to the outfit, and really makes the colours ‘pop’.

IMG_8104 (2)

A bright statement necklace is perfect on a warm sunny day with any outfit, and as an added bonus will add cheer to even the dreariest grey ‘summer’ weather. The one I’m wearing in these photos is from Oliver Bonas, and a recent birthday present from a dear friend.

Reclining with the neighbour's cat, wishing it were a little sunnier...

Reclining with the neighbour’s cat, wishing it were a little sunnier…

It would be lovely if we could be guaranteed to wear our sandals every day during the summer, but more often than not we’ll need shoes that will keep our feet dry during a summer downpour! Ankle boots, such as this Heavenly Soles pair from JD Williams, are fabulous. They’re leather so means your feet will be protected from the elements, but as they are light and comfy pull ons your feet won’t overheat. The taupe colour means they will go with pretty much anything, and the ruching elevates them from another pair of brown boots to stylish footwear.

As you can see from the bare leg image above, they will look perfectly in place with any summer outfit such as skirts and dresses too. If wearing ankle boots with bare legs, why not let a pair of colourful socks poke out of the top, too?

The full ensemble!

The full ensemble!

Close-up of the boots - Oscar liked them so much he wanted to be in the photo too.

Close-up of the boots – Oscar liked them so much he wanted to be in the photo too.

Boots, with no puss.

Boots, with no puss.

I haven’t forgotten about the updo…mastering a quick updo is brilliant summer style.

When it’s warm, it keeps your hair out of the way and your neck cool. An updo helps you still look like you have made an effort if you can’t bear to subject yourself to one more degree of heat by blowdrying your hair (especially if you have naturally curly hair like mine which tends to frizz in humidity and can make me look I’ve been dragged through a hedge backwards!). And of course, an updo will usually survive being caught in a downpour if you have been overly optimistic about the weather forecast and have ventured out without an umbrella.

Dutch braids updo

Dutch braids updo

I love doing French braids and Dutch braids. You don’t need long hair, either – mine is a shoulder-length bob. They look more complicated than they are, honest! There are plenty of tutorials online, and it’s one of those things where once you’ve got the knack you’re away. The trick is to not worry about it being perfect, and to have loads of grips to hand. A tip for if you’re braiding freshly-washed hair, which can be slippy: a texturising spray or powder will help your hair behave itself.

Braids from another angle.

Braids from another angle.

So these are my tips for staying stylish during a British summer full of changeable weather! What tips would you add?


Disclosure: I was sent the boots in return for an honest review. Views are all mine, of course!

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