Why is it impossible to look summery and stylish? For ten months of the year I get dressed in the morning with no trouble at all. When it comes to July and August I’m completely stumped. If it wasn’t for the fact that it’s been hotter in London than the Sahara this week I’d still be happily wearing my favourite black tights.
Hardly anyone over the age of 40 gets summer dressing right. Well, the Duchess of Cornwall looked cool as a cucumber yesterday watching the tennis in her cream silk dress and jaunty straw hat with a green and purple ribbon (Wimbledon’s colours, of course) but she’s got a mega budget and doesn’t have to catch the tube home.
The worst outfits of all for middle-aged women are strapless maxidresses (they don’t suit anyone), too-short shorts (especially if you haven’t fake-tanned your legs and probably even if you have) and anything flouncy. Yesterday’s Evening Standard advised readers to stick to open-toed sandals in the heat but I think that’s the very worst tip, especially for men. At this time of year most people’s feet aren’t fit to be seen in public, let alone in horrible flip flops.
PS. Speaking of clothes, I can’t get my walking gear right either. We often do my favourite stroll along the glorious Dorset coast (above) after work. Even in summer it can be chilly and my husband despairs of the fact that I shove on walking boots and old Jigsaw coat, which makes it look like I’m going to the office. “Can’t you just wear a jumper,” he always says. “I haven’t got one,” I always reply.
Keen to help, he sweetly bought me a jumper for my birthday. The trouble is, it isn’t quite me. I took it back to The Hambledon in Winchester (one of my favourite shops ever) this week and owner Victoria Suffield exchanged it for some Ren beauty products I wanted. It’s a mark of how ultra professional she is that she didn’t bat an eyelid at being handed back a heavy-duty sweater on the hottest day of the year.