How to dress smart in summer when the shops are full of hippy clothes

When I speak to clients about what it is that isn't working for them in their wardrobe 'summer' is the word that always comes up. It's a season, it's fleeting, it requires bare flesh, it's tricky to look smart, it's a barrier to good style! They say that they either feel that summer is so fleeting that it isn't worth investing in (buying clothes for) or, that they feel they can't find the right pieces in the shops as they are full of boho floaty pieces which isn't a style they want to wear. When you're over 40, the hippy look isn't as cute as when you were 20 and can be ageing/mutton. It's true though that in summer you don't want to feel hot, uncomfortable and 'trussed-up' either so there must be some happy medium between relaxed beach-chic and the other end of the summer spectrum 'event outfits' - Ascot, weddings etc... The easiest route to follow for a polished, stylish summer wardrobe is high quality loose pieces with the odd bit of tailoring thrown in.  If you don't invest in some quality items for summer then it's quite likely you are going to feel frustrated every time the season rolls around again. Wearing relaxed hippy clothing accessorised with a straw bag is great on holiday and down-time but it isn't for everyone, looks too relaxed for a lot of occasions and won't cut it in the office so here are my 3 top tips for finding a polished summer style...

3 Tips for polished summer style 

1. Wear brighter colours - go as bright as you can. Wearing brighter colours instantly uplifts your look and gives polish.  It is useful to find out what tones you suit so you get the right colours for your skin tone. If you have clear eyes, blue or green with warm toned hair you will suit turquoise, pinks and orangy reds, if you have dark hair and dark eyes in general you will suit jewell colours like purple and sapphire, also bubblegum pink and cool reds. Icy-haired blondes look great in a strong rasberry or watermelon - pinks great too. 

2. Go to brands who do smart all year round. Reiss, Karen Millen, LK Bennet, Hobbs, Jigsaw are the usual suspects. I'm starting to really like the scandi brand Arket who do great summer tailoring - available online or at their giant store at Oxford Circus. 

3. Wear and invest in a couple of semi-structured/tailored pieces. These items pull everything together and tidy-up your look. Walking into lots of shops on the highstreet at the moment is like arriving in Greece or Ibiza - full on holiday mode.  By making sure some smart, classic tailored pieces are always in your wardrobe you can add smartness to any look and be ready for the office. 

4. Add some silk or cotton items to your wardrobe. Having high end fabrics looks more polished. end. of. Also there's the fact that polyester is hideous to wear during summer - sweaty arms and a featy swanny just isn't cool! To get that effortless, pulled together look as opposed to a scruffy, sweaty, badly dressed one requires an investment in quality. 

Here's a selection of smart summer items that are good enough for the office:


Wide legged red trousers - Whistles. These are amazing, a total head turner, good with a light knit, silk top or blazer when a bit chilly.

Wide legged red trousers - Whistles. These are amazing, a total head turner, good with a light knit, silk top or blazer when a bit chilly.

Finish off with a pair of nude suede closed toe or open top sandals and you'll have a few different office ready looks! 


If you need help with your summer wardrobe, we have appointments available in June and July.

Get in touch today for a chat about how we can help.