Chic in the heat

Alyson Walsh / 01 June 2018

Float through summer in easy breezy style with this guide from style guru Alyson Walsh

Cool summer layering is the way to stay fresh and unflustered when it’s hotter than a palm house in a heat wave.

Working freelance, I am quite the fan of easy-going, loose co-ordinates or what’s become known as ‘pyjama dressing’. Worn the right way, a relaxed two-piece can take you from spare room to boardroom, and beyond.

Think polished rather than pyjama party; avoid mules, slides and shoes that look like slippers. This easy breezy look works just as well with separates: a printed, patterned or plain tunic or shirtdress over wide-leg trousers brings a lovely floaty-ness to a high summer wardrobe.

For another take on the elegant, bohemian vibe, the kimono top is having a moment and is rather chic teamed with a pair of linen trousers and leather sandals.

Swap for straight-legs if flares are a little too wafty for your liking. A wrap-over linen shirt gives the same effect as a kimono top but with a little more structure, and looks great over patterned or plain trousers.

And don’t dismiss the jumpsuit. I’m an ardent fan of the all-in-one – it’s my summer go-to. The perfect way to save time in the morning and that, to me, balances out any toilet trauma – just make sure you don’t leave it till the last minute.

How to make the jumpsuit work for you

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Keep it simple

Of course, there are no rules on how to ‘do’ the bohemian look, though I would always recommend keeping the silhouette simple by choosing clean lines over flamboyant ruffles and frills.

Make the right kind of statement

Kaftan dresses make perfect easy-going daywear. Just opt for a crisp cotton style with an eye-catching print, like this palm print version from Jaeger, £225, or embroidery rather than something that’s been in the holiday drawer for the last decade.

Mix it up

Clashing prints can look fantastic. Coordinate one colour – perhaps a blue patterned kaftan with blue trousers – for continuity and a more complimentary combination.

Alyson Walsh is the author of Know Your Style and blogs at

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