Showing posts with label summer fashion. Show all posts
Showing posts with label summer fashion. Show all posts

Saturday, 26 May 2012

Sweltering in the sunshine, revision and The Great Gatsby

Phew, what a scorcher… I’ve wanted to write those words ever since my newspaper days. 

But deep down I wish the azure blue skies and sweltering heat hadn't arrived quite yet. Why? Because every teenager I know is revising for exams right now. And while the papers are full of annoying articles declaring that A levels and GCSEs have been dumbed down (not true, they’re just different), a generation of 16 to 18 year olds are stuck indoors trying to memorise endless quotes from Of Mice and Men. They look pale and stressed and keep muttering anxiously about the scores of exams ahead.

Funnily, enough, the year I took my A levels was a scorcher too. But I didn’t treat them half so seriously as today’s teenagers. Actually, I spent the entire summer lying on a Dorset riverbank sunbathing with friends and reading old copies of Jackie magazine.

But on the up side, teenagers are definitely less sartorially challenged in the sun than grown-ups. I hate my scary white legs and avoid baring them for as long as possible. Even though the sun’s been shining for a few days it’s been a real wrench to discard my habitual black tights and hunt out the fake tan. A London friend told me that on the first day of the heat wave a fellow passenger eyed her thick tights with disdain. “I wanted to tap her on the shoulder and tell her it wasn’t my fault I left for work before the weather changed,” she said. I had much the same feeling today when my daughter arrived home and eyed my blotchy orange ankles. “It's amazing how easy it is to forget to fake tan your feet,” she said.

PS. My son’s just made me watch the trailer for the remake of The Great Gatsby. I adored the novel (did it for A level, in fact) and swooned at Robert Redford in the original movie, so wasn’t that interested. But just take a look. I reckon it’s going to be the movie of the year…

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

How to dress in summer

Looking summery and stylish when the temperature soars is a tricky feat to pull off.

Suddenly exposed to a few sunrays after months of drizzle and cold, most of us look as though we’ve never encountered summer before. Apart from a handful of style icons like Alexa Chung and Natalie Portman, we haven’t got a clue what to wear during the summer months. I certainly haven’t. I’ve worn black tights till the end of July, horrified at the thought of exposing my pale legs.

When I headed into London recently I looked around at my fellow commuters and realised I wasn’t the only one who didn’t have a clue. Some were in skimpy frocks more suited to Ibiza nightclubs, some had opted for those horrible flouncy skirts that don’t look good on anyone and a few were still buttoned up to the neck in winter outfits.

Judging by this week’s pictures of David Cameron and George Osborne, it’s doubly hard for holidaying politicians. Forced to cast aside their slick city suits and polished brogues, their attempts to go into relaxed mode go horribly wrong. First the PM was snapped sipping cappuccino in a Tuscan café wearing wintery black loafers and no socks. Then the Chancellor was seen in LA sporting loose-fitting jeans, grey jacket and a very unchic red and black mini-rucksack.

But the worst offenders in hot weather are the men who emerge in too-short shorts, open-toed sandals and beige socks (a combination that should have been thrown in the bin years ago) and pudding-basin sunhats that even David Beckham would be hard-pressed to look good in. The British as a nation, I reckon, are in need of an urgent summer makeover.

PS: If, like me, you dream of escaping to a new life in France, do read Karen Wheeler’s accounts of her decision to hang up her high heels and move to rural Poitou-Charentes in western France. Or as she calls it, “the land of the long lunch." When I reviewed her first book, Tout Sweet, a couple of years ago, I wrote: “I’m loving former fashion editor Karen Wheeler's new book... If she can do it, I keep thinking, then so can I.” I still stand by every word. And today it’s being published in the US (the American cover is shown above), so I hope it sells stack-loads of copies.

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