In case you hadn’t already realised, 30 degrees in London does not feel like 30 degrees in the South of France. It feels pretty gosh-darn disgusting to go from wearing socks in bed but a matter of days earlier, to clutching a frozen bottle of Volvic to your naked torso whilst sprawled atop your clammy 14 tog duvet.
Don’t get me wrong, I love summer and whilst I can confirm I’m not completely dead inside, I do I have questions: How do I wear a crop top to work without looking like the office slut? Can I wear linen trousers without resembling Barbara Streisand in ‘Meet the Fockers’? Is there really any point in applying make up at all if it’s just going to end up on my sweat drenched shirt collar twenty minutes later?
I’ve done my research and yes, it’s absolutely possible to keep your face matte whilst sporting non-thotty office attire. Thanks to the good people at ASOS, Net-A-Porter Premier and Amazon Prime – you can achieve all of this and so much more right now, if not sooner. So, if you wish to keep it extra whilst also keeping it light, you’re going to need the following:
The Desk Fan
First step is to address your most basic need: personal temperature. Add this mini fan to your cart so you’re still alive by the time you need to think about making your next sartorial decision, which brings me to….
The Corporate Crop-Top
Never not one to see how far I can push the limits of ‘business casual’, my usual attire of ‘athleisure chic’ absolutely does not fly in these stifling climes. Crop tops have been around since Baby Spice but now it’s possible to wear one to your 9am meeting without looking like Bella Thorne being groped by Scott Disick on a yacht in Cannes.
For those working in law or finance, go for looser, boxier shapes with a higher waisted trouser or skirt whilst media types who like to push boundaries or ‘express themselves’ can opt for something more bohemian whilst still looking cute, appropriate and above all, perspiration free. Examples below.
The Linen Separate
Tailored linen separates are a great way to stay chill this summer. Previously the textile reserved for 90’s garden parties and croquet games, it is now entirely possible to don a full linen suit and look like Rachel Zayne in the process. I like these trousers from J Crew as well as this very Samantha Jones in SATC Season 1-esque power suit from Zara.
The One-Step Cotton Throw On
I dislike two things in life (aside from the word ‘lush’ of course): mornings and not wearing active-wear which means I’m very much about that one-step-outfit life. I’d rather spend the extra five minutes deliberating which £8, cold-pressed juice will make me a nicer person by 9am than I would on selecting a top that successfully elevates denim shorts to meeting-chic. I’m not alone, I don’t think, so I hope these friendly fellas bring you just as much utility and joy as they bought me.
Sweat Free Skin-Care
I’m currently sporting a breakout not seen since my years of wearing Lancôme Juicy Tubes. The mixture of stagnant air, sunscreen, grubby public transport hands and Aperol Spritz’s has wreaked havoc on my sensitive dermis. I’m cleansing like a lunatic with Dr Levy’s glycolic face wash. It’s a fantastic product and triples up as a quick peel and micro-dermabrasion should your skin need a deeper seeing to. Just ensure you don’t forget to wear an SPF whilst using it or risk some very minging hyper-pigmentation and sunburn. Hydration wise, I’ve swapped out my moisturiser for this bomb hyaluronic acid followed by but a simple tinted SPF. This one from Heliocare is exceptional.
Low Maintenance Make Up
Make up wise – less is more. Nothing looks and feels more appalling than wearing foundation in Hades, even if it does mean showcasing my adult acne to anyone who’s unlucky enough to catch me in profile. I use the tinted SPF 50 which offers decent-ish coverage then do my Hourglass bronzer, Illamsqua lip liner and the merest wash of Nars shadow in Lola Lola. I’ve also been forgoing mascara. It slips off in a hot second and all of a sudden you’ve careered dangerously into JBF (just been fornicated) territory before the work day has even begun – to be clear, this is a bad look Monday through Friday.
Lipstick or gloss of any permutation is also a firm no from me, thanks.
Say No To Croissant Skin
Speaking of getting fucked – Witnessing clouds of dead skin billowing off your Pilates leggings is the dreaded ‘winter leg’ at its very best. How not to let your gams look like you’ve been partying with the Olsen Twins? You will body brush every day, you will moisturise religiously and you will apply olive oil to your entire body BEFORE you shower. It sounds annoying but you’ll soon be enjoying the perks of having dolphin soft skin rubbing against your Rixo dress and really is there anything more beautiful than that? I think not.