Sunday, 8 May 2011

Spring Dressing Sorted

It's the change of seasons. Holidays are approaching and we (the English) I find tend to freak out right around NOW. We literally have no idea what to wear when that big round ball of yellow first appears in the sky.

One day last week I witnessed the following looks on the same bus at the same time:

Bare pasty white skin in strapless summer dress

Winter coat and shearling boots

Strapless dress with leggings and pumps

Printed shorts and a flip-flop

Fur coat and tights

One half were sweating droplets and the others had to wear shades to shield the glare of the sun reflecting off their pasty white bodies. So unless there was a dramatic change of weather between Wapping and Bond Street I’m getting major ‘confused’ signals.

So as a Fashion Stylist and Editor I thought it only right that I help by offering my services in some way… and advising on what to wear for the Spring - Summer transitional season. So here's some tips:

First of all, ditch (or wrap carefully and store at the back of your wardrobe) the shearling boots, fur jackets (including any with a fur collar, and yes definitely your aviator), oversized chunky knitwear. These are too winter and if you wear them people will think you have something to hide (flaky skin, or a bit of a fat arm). Oh and god please banish your Uggs from sight too.

Now, you need to get yourself summer ready before you dare take a step out that door. This means exfoliate, body buff, slap on a bit of fake tan (subtle style, not TOWIE), shave your legs and for god’s sake get a pedicure. What is it with people who pay no attention to their feet? I say they can’t be trusted.

Now… do you really still need an opaque tight in this weather? I think not. Only in exceptional circumstances (if it’s a completely cloudy, rainy day and you’re wearing them with an otherwise too short denim hotpant or floral tea dress you can go ahead with pleasure). But if you’re wearing a knee length or below skirt, cropped trouser or cool short dress then dare to bare – New Yorkers do it and don’t complain and if your legs are looking buff no problem. If you’re legs are your downfall go for a nude tight, not an M&S Nora Batty number but something a little sexier – say a La Perla nude stocking, no one can say that’s not sexy.

If you need a cover up (and lets face it it is England so you probably do) a cool little leather jacket, lightweight blazer, extra points if it’s in a bold block colour, or neutral (preferably cashmere) cardigan will surfice perfectly. A light knit sweater will do too. And if you need it add a scarf.

As for a trouser, my top tip at the moment is roll it up by 2 inches. I don’t care what trouser it is – a bright chino, beige pant or worn jeans, roll it up, not to neatly and you’ve instantly update your look from Winter. Wear with any shoe but just that slip of ankle says ‘hello Spring’.

Shoe-wise I’m all for a Havaiana (however there is a time and a place blah blah, unfortunately) but only when the sun is properly out, full on shining. Otherwise a smart sandal is required – something a bit more structured. Definitely not a gladiator (I think we had enough of those last summer) and don’t overkill the embellishment either. Keep it simple but chic. A ballet pump or Superga sneaker are also good options and I’d never say no to an ankle boot but nothing higher. And what’s with everyone wearing Hunters’ as a summer shoe. For festivals yes, appropriate. For daywear on the tube and then strolling down Oxford Street, nada.

My personal fail-safe Spring look is a maxi dress or skirt. Bold, cool, on-trend but SO practical it almost seems wrong because it’s so easy… Zara and H&M have some amazing ones in at the moment (I’m purchased 2 in the last week, oops). From jersey floral dresses (the lust have French label Sandro also have a black floral slightly hippy but rocky one I need in my life) to block colour Jil Sander-esque skirts, also available at Zara. With a sandal, works, with a sneaker, works, with a flat ankle boot, works.

See easy. Spring dressing. Done.

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