You know when you look back on photos when you were a kid and cringe?
You were wearing a Sportsgirl shirt, you’re showing off a sweet new hair wrap and sporting a pair of reef sandal shoes.
I have recently been getting that cringing reaction living in London when the sun comes out.
Why? Because summer dressing seems to be a confusing activity here. In my short time here, I have been able to identify four clear groups of dressers:
1). The summer atheists: People who do not believe in the sun. You will recognise them by their heavy jackets and scarves they wear as armour against the sun, should it ever appear and attempt to sway them into being believers.
2.) We are from Essex crew : Suns out, guns out. Orange is the new black. You will find these people shopping in the children’s sections of a clothing store, buying the tightest, shortest shirts, skirts and pants to show off their fit and not so fit bodies. Men from this group can often be identified through their haircuts – usually short with slick lines. Women on the other hand, can be smelt a mile away. Sniff high and low for that sickly earthy smell of fresh tan, coconut and hair spray.
3.) The scorchers: My Irish friend moved to Australia during winter and unfortunately got heatstroke while watching a local rugby game. Freezing temperatures and winter chills were never an issue, but when the sun twinkled her rays of light, he’d melt like an ice-cream and have to retreat. How to spot a scorcher? Search for the most fair-haired, beetroot faced person on a mildly hot day sweating up a storm and waving any paper product they can find in their face. These characteristics are present in both men and women scorchers.
4.) Everyone else: This group by far is the funniest group I’ve encountered. They are found in bikinis sunbaking in the middle of parks, with not drop of ocean or lake in sight. They wear closed toe shoes on the beach. They wear stocking on hot days to avoid people seeing their translucent legs.
Now shops have a part to play in this. For starters, they should bring out more maxi dress and less body suits for ladies and they should dress their models in the window with ‘flip flops’ as opposed to boat shoes for men. I’m not sure what girl can actually fit bodysuits. I find myself in fitting rooms either giving myself a camel toe because my torso is too long or having my mosquito bites exposed because the larger size has been made for a lady more endowed than me.
I write this with heartfelt playful love. I’m certainly not one to throw stones, knowing my beloved Australians commit equally as offensive acts that involve crocs, crude singlets and stubbie shorts.
But after 29 years living through some harsh summers, here are my top tips for the UK when it comes to summer:
- NO black. Come on it’s summer – time for colour and fun
- Embrace your white, pasty skin and throw away the stockings. You cares if your not faked tanned, you’ll be thankful that you haven’t turned to leather in 20 years time.
- Let them see the light – your feet that is. Strictly no closed in shoes on the beach
- Wear sunscreen – peeling is not something to be proud of.
- Embrace sunglasses and hats – these means less prep time in the bathroom doing your hair / makeup and protecting your face from the sun while being fashionable. Win win win.
- Find a purpose to wear your bathers – take a blow up pool to the park at least!
Whatever you are wearing this summer, enjoy the long days, endless parties and good company over these next few months.