Of course that’s the thing about this country, there is never any warning. We endure months of rain and splash out on wellies, macs and headgear only for spring (or in the case of the past weekend) practically summer, to suddenly appear.
The instant the sun comes out, we Brits lose all sense of, well, sense. Do we think about lightweight knits and layering and perhaps lose just the one layer as would be wise given it will be very chilly once the sun goes down? Nooo of course we don’t! It may be the last day of sun ever in the history of sun so why sit on the fence? Out come the short shorts and the cropped tops and flip flops. Down go car rooves, up go hemlines. Sunglasses on, coats off. It’s sheer bloody-minded madness when the sun comes out in England. I admit to going out sans tights on Sunday (which happened to be my birthday so I was living on the edge) but I still had sleeves and a long skirt and both were heavy fabric meaning I didn’t feel the cold as the day drew to a close (and also I may have had a few glasses of insulating wine). It’s hard though, one wants to embrace the uplifted mood brought about by the sun but how to do it without looking a prize idiot?
This spring season the choices are endless and there is something for every shape and colouring. Designers seem to have hedged their bets and covered most bases. Trouble is, huge amounts of choice can mean shopping is hard work if you’re uncertain of what your style is.* Here are a few of the conflicting trends you’ll find on the high street at the moment. Which looks will find their way into your wardrobe this pay day?
Leopard v. Floral
Personally, the warmer the weather gets, the less likely I am to wear animal prints but this look is very in for the summer so you could nod at the trend with simply a clutch bag or a pump. Florals are everywhere and in all hues so if you’re brave you can wear the look head to toe, if not, go for a simple blouse or scarf. Either way, don’t forget eye-catching high street patterns are a risk if you’re going to an event as the odds of someone else wearing the same are raised.
Blouses, Zara £29.99
Pastels v. Brights
This is where getting your ‘colours’ done is helpful. There are some amazing colours out there this season and the temptation is to pick the first one that catches your eye. However once you find exactly which shade of blue, green and pink suits your skin tone you will never look back. If a coral pink makes you look a glowing five years younger why go for the baby pink which doesn’t?
Coral top, Next £14-£16
Peach top, Next £14-£16
Flats v. Mules
I hold my hands up, I’m a heels girl. This doesn’t mean I don’t have trainers, ballet pumps and flip flops in my wardrobe – a girl’s gotta exercise and visit a beach once in a while. I’m not keen at all on this season’s ugly flatforms but hey I’m sure someone can find a use for them. Next actually has some attractive versions that are also very versatile. We haven’t seen mules in a while but they’re very much back and will immediately update a look. These are your new season choices… I know. But you don’t have to be a fashion victim, I will probably stick to what I know and love – the high strappy sandal.
Camel sandal, Next £38
Tan leather mule, Next £36
Sports v. Romantic
I think certain women are exempt from the sports luxe look as it is not a universally flattering style. High necks are best left to those with smaller curves and baggy fits probably most suited to the young and skinny. Zara has some kinder dresses with stretch and cling but still it’s a hard look to pull off anywhere other than at the gym and who wears a knee length dress to the gym? The romantic floaty dress is a staple for the summer months but this year there is an abundance of pretty styles in all sorts of shapes and colours so this should be a trend everyone can buy into fairly cheaply.
Dresses both by Zara £39.99
Mini v. Midi v. Maxi
There’s an argument for having every length of skirt in your wardrobe in the summer. So I do. I don’t advocate bare legs with minis unless the pins in question are in a good way but the maxi and the midi are soo useful that you should own at least two of each. Both can be dressed down or up with t-shirts, camisoles and denim jackets and this season there is a lot of sheer and cut-out fabrics used so it needn’t be too covered up or stuffy.
There really is something for everyone in the shops this season and that’s something to be excited by rather than daunted. Naturally, since I wrote this the sun has gone in, the clouds have reappeared and coats are back on the menu. But at least we’ve had a taster and now there’s time to get depilating and bronzing before the next day of summer suddenly pays a visit.
*I will be giving style advice at a special event ‘Home by Midnight’ held at Cupcake Family Club in Parsons Green London on Friday 28th March 2014 7pm-9pm Enquiries 020 7 186 6000 www.cupcakefamilyclub.com