Time to start stripping off

Posted on: 15th May, 2017

Category: Image

Contributor: Louise O'Dwyer

I’ve always been an ‘early riser’; there is nothing more beautiful than the serenity and calmness of the early morning, especially when the sun is shining. While it is not exactly flip-flop weather just yet, it is definitely time to pull out all of your summer clothes. Some will look as good as ever, sadly some bits will have seen ‘better days’ and scream to be retired.

Planning a successful summer wardrobe begins with knowing exactly what you have – and then fitting each item on to make sure that it fits perfectly. If the clothes don’t fit, save yourself a massive guilt trip and just pass them on. The basics never change from year to year, whether you are a classic queen or a slave to fashion. A pair of light blue or faded denim jeans is a must and will carry you from April to October…looking fantastic right through. You simply must have a pair of white jeans or white loose white heavy linen trousers but please avoid lighter linen trousers – they don’t flatter anyone. Of course you need a variety of cute summer dresses that can carry you from day to night – and we all have that favourite one! Good quality t-shirts are always a great investment, as they can last a few seasons and ‘hold’ their shape perfectly. If you know your stash of bikinis or swimsuits needs the addition of some ‘fresh blood’, then get shopping early to get the really great ones.

Sunglasses – do you invest in them or have you given up because you are constantly losing them? I suggest to invest in one really good pair but also a few cheap and cheerful pairs, wear your goods ones most of the time, you know yourself when to wear the ‘cheap’ ones – those times when you are going to party all day, and sometimes well into the night. Those days you are grateful to get yourself home in one piece, let alone a pair of sunglasses! This year, retro sunglasses are big, big, BIG. Take your pick from a cross between Audrey Hepburn glasses and Kurt Cobain shades – this year’s number one must-have.

When it comes to summer shoes, what are your options? Well, many of us will spend the entire summer season in a variety of smart-to-casual flip-flops – and go no further. But why would you deprive yourself; Summer 2017’s most desirable shoes include white trainers, brogues, kitten heels, beaded sandals, ankle-tie sandals, slingbacks, patent loafers, leather plimsoles, lace-up pumps, wedges, espadrilles and mules. What a list, there is something for everyone. Shoe-aholics BEWARE, this summer season could really break the bank, but who cares, you will look fantastic.

So what do you wear when it’s lovely and hot outside or at least looks hot from indoors  – the reality might be a tad different! The last thing you want is to be freezing your behind off in a little string top and shorts. Always bring a little denim jacket, cardi, lightweight sweater or thin and trendy mac. It’s not like most of us don’t already carry the kitchen sink around in our handbags, we could easily slip an item of ‘warmth’ into our bags too. There is nothing nicer than a long linen dress, better still if it has an unusual cut and comes in a neutral colour – white, cream, taupe, khaki even. Throw on a little denim jacket (new or vintage) over it or a navy or white lightweight long cardigan and the result is a perfect ‘Irish’ summer look.

It’s easy to forget that pants can be styled with your summer wardrobe, but there are tons of options. Find an ‘airy’ pair with a high waist. They look amazing, give great coverage and can take you from day to night. This season, that winter suit style jacket will look classy as hell when you pair it with your white jeans and t-shirt. This is a very trendy look; roll up the sleeves to add extra ‘cuteness’.

Patterns and flowers are everywhere. I’m more of a ‘block’ colour person, structure is everything to me but I am finding myself giving into the temptation, over and over, I’ve picked up quite a few ‘flowery’ pieces. While floral two-pieces are really carrying it too far, often you tend to not see the person at all, the flowers take over – and that is such a pity! Flowers on the skirt and a solid top is very stylish, or vice versa. If you never wear any type of pattern, then this is the season that you should start, even if it just a one piece, it will introduce a welcome change to your wardrobe. Be brave, always good to try out something new!

People often ask me what kinds of things will instantly bring a look together or make you look ‘more put together’? Well, here goes, there is nothing more tried and true – and appropriate for any occasion – than a well-fitted dress pant. There are so many trendy styles available, pick your ‘best fit’ pair! On a day when you only have the wherewithal to throw on a pair of jeans and a t-shirt, a great pair of statement earrings can make it all feel elevated. Every woman simply must have a trench coat and know which length to buy that will suit her shape. They are, my dears, the only thing that can make you look ‘put together’ when the weather is disgusting outside! A walkable high heel with an ankle strap, especially under that fitted cigarette pants ticks all of the boxes. Heels give you confidence like nothing else can. Block heels are great and worth the investment in a good pair. A blazer is a wardrobe staple and a double-breasted one is a bit like the ‘more advanced’ version. These jackets add instant glamour and power to any look. Finally, bright coloured flats make a huge difference to any ‘look’. Wearing all black is an easy habit to fall into but adding a pair of orange or red flat shoes can instantly lift any outfit. Of course you get extra points if you find a pair with an unusual tie up or ankle strap.

Don’t expect your feet to go from boots to flip-flops and look pretty! Get them out at home, wear flip-flops around the house, massage your feet at nighttime with some essential oils, or a good moisturiser at the very least. A dish and some hot water with salt is a perfect homemade foot spa. Soak your feet; a friend of mine who is a craniosacral therapist, explained to me how doing that a few times a week can boost the circulation all over your body, and you will also have lovely soft feet. Take the time to get yourself ready for summer, so that when the sun shines, you can get out there and soak it all up!

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