For me the easiest way to conquer the hot summer and still look chic and feel pulled together is to stick to a simple colour palette – black, white, cream, navy, blush pink and taupe and then mix and match in print, patterns and block shades to create a variety of stylish ensembles perfect for island living. The great thing about keeping your summer look pared back is that you can also add interest with the top summer trends to look up-to-date, whilst remaining professional.
My five summer professional dressing tips:
Shirting: I love a crisp white cotton shirt paired with a pencil or A-line skirt, a cropped pant or a pop of colour. This pure cotton poplin ruffle sleeveless blouse combines on-trend details, whilst remaining classic and cool. Fresh white and a punchy hue is a wining summer combination.
Pants: Move over skinny pants and instead work in the loose cropped trouser for summer comfort and style. I treat them like you would a midi skirt – balance out your silhouette with a fitted shirt and add length with a high-heeled sandal or pump.
T-shirts: Given our especially humid conditions, a tee is a perfect summer purchase. I always choose high quality cotton or a cotton/linen blend in a fitted shape for the office and pair it with something dressier, such as a full skirt or a slouchy trouser and a heel to keep the professional look in check.
Dresses: Loose tunic-like dresses or shifts are generally more comfortable than fitted styles come this time of year. A fit-and-flare shirtdress in cotton is another great, easy-to-wear choice. A dress requires little extra thought bar accessories – it’s my throw-it-on and go piece in a wardrobe. If you choose one bold statement piece this summer, make it a dress, such as this versatile shirt dress. Team with neutrals to be office ready.
Accessories: Your shoe and bag are an easy way to add colour, texture and summer fun to your 9-5 outfit in a subtle way. This will lift your outfit and inject frivolity whilst keeping a professional tone. My favourite summer pop colours are hot pink, sunny citrus yellow and flame orange which will add zest to any outfit.
Lorraine Shailer is Head of Clothing & Home for Marks & Spencer Bermuda. She has worked with the company for almost six years with a focus on buying and merchandising the Ladies and Lingerie department. Her regular trips to buying events keeps her up-to-date with the global fashion market and trends, along with her personal love for all things style related.