Oh summer, why do you come and taunt me so? I’m very happy in winter clothes—thrilled, in fact: I love tights (yes, I know that puts me in 1% of the fashion population), roll-necks are my homies, knee-high boots or over-the-knee numbers are joyful go-tos for as long as climatically possible, scarves and hats are wonderful accoutrements and there’s nothing more satisfying, IMHO, than wrapping up in a lovely coat. You get the picture—I like being covered-up. But the summer season and random bursts of incredible/insanely muggy weather clearly don’t make such a modest fashion quest an easy one.
The thought of baring my arms or revealing anything above my knees (maybe not even my knees at all) brings me out in a cold sweat. Skin, for me, is a holiday thing. Something to be revealed to the world only when it’s absolutely necessary and hopefully slightly sun-kissed on day six into a seven day holiday. So I spend all summer, every summer, finding ways to literally and sartorially keep my cool, while remaining entirely under wraps.
I don’t do body-con. I don’t do whimsical mini-dresses. I don’t do bandeaus. Or halter-necks. Or rompers. Or vest tops. And I definitely, at all costs, avoid wearing shorts. I’m certain they are the devil’s spawn in clothing form. It’s not that I’ve got a mile-long list of restrictive body hang-ups, I just feel so much happier and confident being covered-up and ladylike than putting everything on show. Call me old-fashioned or prudish, but if any designers are currently pondering the concept of stylish tents as ready-to-wear, I would urge them to run with it.
Fortunately for me, modest fashion and demure dressing are in demand right now—never before have there been so many hipster-approved culottes, sack dresses, baggy trousers or long-sleeved boho blouses in the offing—2016's is actually the simplest summer wardrobe I’ve ever assembled. So scroll down to see how I put together a hot-weather closet that keeps me well and truly covered up—then shop some key pieces if you agree with me!
Off-the-Shoulder Tops (When You Don't Want to Show Your Shoulders)
It's not too stuffy and warm to wear trouser suits all year round; it's just a case of looking for summer-friendly cottons and linens. In fact, forgo a top altogether and stay cool with a belted jacket.
Demure Wedding Attire
On Hannah Almassi: Vintage dress; Tabitha Simmons shoes; Mawi earrings.
I'm fairly certain this is a 1970s dressing gown (so?), but the colour and fabric still nod to summer weddings and a certain slinkiness, without making me feel like I'm that potentially overdone miniskirted girl at the party. Also, very good for twirling moments on the dance-floor.
A roomy shirt-dress like this is my summer saviour—but I always have to safety pin in-between buttonholes. If I undo one more we're in brassiere territory; if I do one more up, I'll look matronly. A neckerchief adds a further dash of coverage.