This year’s heat-wave has gifted uncharacteristically-warm summers to many places around the world, our normally rainy Manchester among them. It got me looking back on past times I had experienced warm weather and how I struggled to stay true to my style and comfortable at the same time.
I think my problem in the past was that I relied too heavily on “signature items” and thought I needed to wear them all year round to be “me”. There was also an element of feeling like I was “selling out” if I gave up an item that defined my style, in favour of something more weather appropriate. I remember there was a year when I went to the beach in leather army boots because they were the only type of footwear I considered acceptable at the time.
I now feel confident enough in my style to change things up a bit. I can find a version of every type of clothing or footwear that can be made to fit my style so I no longer have items I “don’t wear”. Also, I’ve evolved beyond that and can now also wear items that don’t fit my style as such, without feeling like I’m losing my identity.
On this occasion, we were heading to a friend’s birthday party. I didn’t have long to get ready and I wanted to spend most of that time on my makeup so I needed a really simple outfit that I could just throw on. I decided on this embellished leotard from Zara (I try not to buy much from the high street, but occasionally I find a piece I love) and paired it with a fitted, black jersey skirt with a slit up one side and roucheing across the hips. The cut and fabrics of both items were perfect for the warm weather and I really enjoyed the walk in the evening sun.
As an extra step to stay cool and to add more detail to my relatively simple outfit, I decided on this braids and pun hairstyle. It’s a variation on two hairstyles I do a lot, but instead of a top knot, I opted for a fanned bun, paired with a Dutch braid down each side.
You may also notice that I’m wearing sandals here, I found a pair I really liked about 5 years ago and they are still going strong!
Embellished bodysuit: Zara
Jersey skirt: eBay
Sandals and bra: Topshop
Photography by Richard Ayres