Summer. Oh how we love it. In typical British style at the first hint of blue sky the girls are out in their short skirts and strappy tops and the boys are shedding those shirts, all revealing a bit more flesh than may seem appropriate, especially when it is of the untoned variety.
Anyone who has watched the hugely popular American cult series The OC, will know that Ryan and Marissa and their friends in Orange county would never behave like this. Of course they wouldn’t, in California it is always hot, so naturally they know what to do. However over here when the sun does finally emerge from it’s seemingly endless winter hibernation, it is greeted more often than not with some rather depressingly clad individuals trying to make the most of the heat.
A classic is that awful combination of shorts, white socks and trainers, sometimes taken to shocking extremes when coupled with the grossest sin of all: the Jesus sandal. Then there are all those desperately failed attempts at a suntan, inevitably resulting in blistered, lobster red strap marks or even worse tell tale fake tan streaks…
Although it is common knowledge that the cast of The OC is so tanned that they are actually orange, they do stand out as the epitome of summer chic. And even though over in York we may not be blessed with a personalised wardrobe assistant, Daddy’s American Express and our very own pool house, there is still no excuse for becoming a British summer fashion victim.
So how do you go about looking dazzlingly Seth-alicious this Summer? Whilst New Port beach high society might be unimpressed with the distinct lack of designer names, our guide will ensure that you look hot this summer without having to call a TV advertised debt helpline.
For the girls the summer buzzwords are ‘floaty, feminine and softly sensual’, which in non fashion speak means look for girly, soft fabrics, like cheesecloth, cotton and linen. The effect to go for is movement. The best way to check if an outfit is right is by whether it swishes around your hips in true Marilyn-Monroe-in-front–of-a-wind-machine style. Of course the effect of this would be somewhat less elegant kin a micro mini, which is why the emphasis is on mid length skirts this season.
Old favourites such as Miss Selfridge and Topshop are fantastic at the moment. They have a brilliant range of summer dresses and skirts in intiricate and pretty prints that are perfect for the day when teemed with flip flops, or spiced up in the evening with a pair of heels.
White should be your basic colour this summer, so add to this greens, oranges and lemon shades. If you can, invest in a bolero or shrug, to wrap around your shoulders on a chilly evening. Not only are these additions exquisitely feminine, but they will instantly add a touch of glamour to any tired outfit, try Gap, New Look and Oasis.
Instead of opting for the trusty denim jacket, go for a fitted cotton or linen version instead, preferably cropped but if the shape doesn’t suit you then short will still be beautiful.
But clearly if you are a boy you should disregard all of the above advice (cross dressers excepted). For men this summer layering is key, but remember it does get hot out there and sweat patches are never sexy – however polo shirts are (except when emblazoned with your college logo and ‘crazy drinking name’). Yes it mightseem like the kind of thing your Mum would buy you, but trust her on this one. Stripy polo shirts should become the backbone of your summer look; buy them in bulk in a variety of different colours, preferably primary colours such as navy, red and green; Topman, Burton and Gap have some brilliant styles.
These shirts go perfectly with shorts, but on colder days team them with jeans and a T-Shirt worn underneath. On the whole it doesn’t matter what side you lean to on the whole ‘collar in/collar out’ dilemma, provided you never do up the buttons… Furthermore, however dissapointingly overcast the weather may become on occasions, never fall back on your heavy winter jacket. Instead go for plain cotton spun jumpers, in navy, cream or pastels.
In terms of shoes, it really is the season to embrace the flip flop and wear nothing else untill the sun finally says goodbye and the leaves start turning. But we warned, it is important to choose carefully. Flip flops can be the most comfortable, practical, yet sexy footwear choice out there, but if you get it wrong they will unleash an unsightly blister plague, causing more pain than one ever thought possible. If you end up in this category, or flip flops are simply just a bit too gap-year for you, then go for a retro tennis shoe.
For the girls there are a few more options open to you on the shoe front. Grecian sandals, wedges and flat pumps are a new addition to the summer style checklist; not only are they comfy but you can buy them in a variety of different styles and colours, including metallic which is a daring, but popular new addition this summer.
Whilst the cast of The OC manage to look effortlessly gorgeous during every drama of their rollercoaster adolescence, summer really is about having fun. If you follow this affordable and fool-proof guide to what to wear when the sun comes out, you cannot fail to impress without really looking like you care.