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Now that summer has finally arrived, I wonder how you are feeling about your style? For many women, summer is the trickiest time to dress and I know exactly why.

  1. When the sun comes out and the temperature rises, you might feel like you should be swanning around in beautiful floaty dresses, pretty sandals (and maybe a flower tucked behind your ear…). But when you throw on a pretty, floaty dress – you don’t feel quite right and certainly not like the goddess you imagined you would be.
  2. Light summer clothing can be less ‘forgiving’ on your beautiful body than cosy knits and darker tones. This might make you feel like there is something ‘wrong’ with your size and that rather then relax and enjoy the sunshine, you start another punishing eating routine to quickly shed some pounds so that you are ‘summer-ready’. (Please don’t – there is nothing wrong with how you are).
  3. You’d like to be able to layer-up to allow for varying temperatures but don’t feel like you have the ‘right’ things.



Having the basics of a great summer wardrobe will make dressing over the next few months a whole lot easier. And, you might find that just one or two of these ideas unlocks a whole host of new outfit options for you!

These are the pieces I recommend that most women will find to be essential ingredients for gorgeous and easy hot day summer dressing.

Use this list to work out what you have covered already and what’s missing.


1.THE sandals

You’ll know whether your perfect pair are flat, have a slight heel, a wedge or a higher heel – there is no right or wrong. Whatever makes you feel good and comfortable. I’ll never forget a gorgeous client referring to her ‘flat’ shoes and pointing at her (in my opinion) high heels (I’m looking at you Fliss!). We are all different.

Colour-wise – I consider the most versatile pair to be nude – close to your own skin tone. Not an exact match but something that lengthens your leg and doesn’t cut off the flow of your outfit. (Imagine a pale blue dress with black shoes – it’s not wrong, but it’s an abrupt end to a head to toe outfit that can have the effect of shortening your body). If the idea of nude doesn’t float your boat, consider metallic. They are incredibly versatile too.

Having a great, comfy pair of sandals that goes with every outfit, is a very good idea.


2.the trousers

A lightweight pair of trousers is a good summer investment piece (and they don’t have to cost the earth, but I do think you get what you pay for when it comes to trousers). Trousers need to fit your waist, bum, hips and thighs so it can take time to find a great pair but when you find the ones that are a good fit for you, it’ll feel amazing. My client Sarah was thrilled to find summer trousers that fit and feel good after relying on leggings for so long. She’d ruled out ever finding the right fit but armed with her new style rules and some ideas of where to look, she found them!

If you suit a natural/casual style consider linen. They’ll keep you cool and are a nice relaxed style. I’m thrilled with this pair from the White Company, new this season. They have a flat fronted waistband and are elasticated at the back. Genius. Also available in navy and white. Use code AU390 throughout June to save 15%.



3.the dress

Before I get into dresses, I want you to know that I haven’t included skirts in this capsule wardrobe for good reason. Most women think they *ought* to wear skirts but find them tricky. I’m not going to go into the reasons why this is the case today, but if you aren’t already a skirt fan, I say leave it. Choose a dress instead. They are much easier for many women.

Your perfect summer dress might be floral and floaty, or structured and plain, or something in between. I just want you to know that there’s nothing wrong with you if you feel like an idiot in a pretty dress. It’s just not your style.

If this summer’s tiered, floral maxi dresses don’t do you any favours, why not try:

  • A shirt dress
  • A jersey dress
  • A cocoon shaped dress

There are so many great options. And on a hot, hot day, there’s nothing better than a loose fit breezy dress and your fave sandals.

The shape of your perfect dress depends on your shape. If you have a smaller waist than hips, it’s lovely to highlight that in a waisted dress. If not, a looser fit around your middle might be more flattering.

Check out Cos, for a great range of reasonably priced, non ‘girly’ summer dresses if you need inspiration. And size down. Everything seems to be particularly oversized this season.


4.The tops

You’ll need a few and this is your opportunity to bring in some colour and print. Choose natural fabrics that are breathable to help you to stay cool. It’s nice to have some basic t-shirts in colours you love to wear as well as neutrals. And you’ll probably also need stylish or interesting pieces too.

I love a short sleeved linen blouse in the summer and have been pleased with this simple M&S one, which comes in a few different colours. This style is particularly good for ‘straight’ figure types with a thicker waist.

For more vibrant colours and prints check out Boden, who always have a generous range of styles, colours, patterns and sizes to choose from and are great quality which means many years of use. I’ve just added this to my basket…



5.the jacket

This is often the missing piece in a summer wardrobe. A lightweight, versatile jacket that works over almost anything. If you are to have only one, it makes sense to go neutral in colour. It could be navy, stone, white (if you can be trusted), navy or black (yes you CAN wear black in summer – read this blog, from the archives for ideas.

Yours might be linen, denim, utility or even a light leather jacket. The length of your jacket is important – I find that cropped styles work best over midi and maxi dresses and skirts and are particularly flattering on curved figure types with waists.  ‘Straighter’ shapes often do better with slightly longer cuts – to finish on or around hip level.

Baukjen do fabulous summer leather jackets in a slightly longer length (most leather jackets I see are more cropped). A leather jacket is an investment piece but can be with you for life – if it’s the right one for you! (Message me for a Baujken discount code if you need one!)


I hope that was helpful and that you’ve been able to identify what’s missing from your hot-weather summer wardrobe? Let me know by leaving me a comment.

N.B. The colours, cuts, fabrics and style of each of these pieces will be dependent on your personal style so when you are choosing new or checking if what you already have is right, bear this in mind.

If you haven’t yet worked with me to identify this – or watched my free style video series (click here to sign up), then you are likely just guessing, which can be a bit hit and miss. For more hits than misses, I recommend you empower yourself by learning about your true style. My free video series is a great place to start – sign up here to receive my free video series, 5 Easy Style Tips to Look Your Most Fabulous Self. 

Helen x

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