Is it me, or did summer surreptitiously pass us by? I had big plans for this summer (namely, drinking Fanta Lemon in a bikini and shirt), but it's turned out to be a little more of a wash-out than a heatwave. Yes, there were a couple of weeks of sunshine and killer hayfever at beginning of June, but I hadn't factored a grey July into my plans, and after putting all of my cold-weather clothes into storage I find myself with only two options.
One: stubbornly wearing my summer clothes in the wind (and likely, rain), or two: wearing leather jackets and jeans and invariably sweating my way through a sunny afternoon. So, what exactly does one wear in the middle of an unseasonably cold summer? I'm happy to say that I've done the research and come up with some very handy ideas for us all.
The trick here is in clever layering and balancing the right fabrics. When it's a sunny morning there's nothing wrong with reaching for a pretty summer dress, just be sure to grab a cosy cardigan or heavy-duty jacket that you can carry should you need it. Don't fancy shouldering the extra weight? Swap cotton tops for slightly thicker knits so you can confidently forgo your jacket without having to freeze. It really is that simple.
So, if you're looking for summer outfit ideas that toe the line between cute and cosy, keep scrolling. Here are 10 cold summer outfit ideas that'll have you covered, whatever the weather.
1. KNIT TOP + LINEN TROUSERS + SANDALS
Style Notes: Don't pack away your linen trousers quite yet—I'm optimistically manifesting a warm August. Until then, wear them with a sleeveless knit that keeps you warm and lets your skin breathe.
2. OVERSIZED SHIRT + JEANS + SANDALS
Style Notes: It was difficult enough facing the prospect of shelving our jeans for an entire season, but thankfully, now we don't have to! Keep them cool with sandals and an airy shirt and you won't have to worry about overheating on your commute.
3. BLAZER + T-SHIRT + MINI SKIRT
Style Notes: Layering up top? Keep it cool on the bottom. And what could be cooler than the bare-leg hero, the mini skirt? You can always take your jacket off should you need to, but the extra layer is handy if those grey skies roll in.
4. ALL BLACK + CAMEL KNIT
Style Notes: Perhaps it's psychological, but there's something about an all-black outfit that feels instantly warmer. Whilst we don't want to go into hibernation mode quite yet, some light layers can be made ready for anything with a shoulder-robed camel knit, and it helps that it looks impossibly chic, too.
5. BLAZER + TANK TOP + LINEN SKIRT
Style Notes: You shouldn't be surprised to see the blazer make a second appearance on this list—it is, after all, the ultimate transitional wardrobe wonder. In this case, I'm taking notes from Karina (pictured above) and wearing mine with light linen and open-toe sandals. As soon as it gets a little cooler, I'll just swap out the tank for a long-sleeved top.
6. CASUAL TOP + TAILORED TROUSERS + RAFFIA BAG + SANDALS
Style Notes: The Breton knits we wore throughout autumn have had a summer makeover and gone sleeveless for the season, and they just so happen to look especially good with wide-leg trousers and heels in the office.
7. LINEN SHIRT + WHITE TEE + MAXI SKIRT
Style Notes: There's no chance of overheating in linen layers, and should the day get a little bit breezier, a maxi skirt provides enough coverage that you needn't worry about getting too chilly.
8. T-SHIRT + WAISTCOAT + TROUSERS + LOAFERS
Style Notes: That waistcoat you bought in spring to wear with jeans is still proving its cost per wear, especially when worn over another top. At the moment, a t-shirt is the perfect short-sleeved option, and I love Diane Kari's playful take on tailoring (pictured above), especially with some sensible loafers.
9. SUMMER DRESS + CARDIGAN
Style Notes: Easy, simple, reliable. All it takes is the addition of a fluffy knit to make your favourite summer dress feel a little more practical.
10. QUILTED JACKET + WHITE DENIM
Style Notes: This could quite possibly be the ultimate transitional outfit. The white denim says "summer" whilst the quilted jacket has one foot in autumn, and depending on the weather on any given day, you could keep the jacket on reserve until the evening when you're going to be glad you have a comfy layer to cover bare arms.