Sizzling summer style

Time is free yet it is priceless. We can never own it but we can use it and spend it; but once we have lost it, we can never get it back because it is a nonrenewable resource. If you are waiting for the perfect time to do something or to wear something, don’t wait, the time may never be just right. When and if, two words that often push our hopes and dreams into the abyss of the future. How many times have you stopped yourself from wearing something because you decided that ‘someone like you’ couldn’t wear it or because you need to lose some weight to look better in it or because you would never look as good as ‘all the others’. The trouble is that you are spending too much time thinking and not enough time living life. Summer is here, grab it with both hands ever so tightly and to hell with white legs or fat calves or varicose veins or whatever obstacles that prevent you from wearing that dress or putting on those shorts! Perfectionism has taken over our psyche and it is destroying our natural zest for life.

Jewel bright slingbacks add just a little height. Pic: Batemans

There is nothing better than getting your toes out in the sunshine. While we all have, in the name of fashion, worn uncomfortable shoes to be taller or trendy, footwear can make or break your mood… and your back! The summer of 2023 shoe trends offer an exciting assortment of practical and minimalist to fashion-forward options. Sporty sneakers, embellished ballerina flats, Mary Jane pumps and a wonderful collection of sandals offer a variety of choices to even the pickiest shopper. The humble ballerina shoe or pump is a fashion must-have and this is a super way to inject colour into your summer wardrobe. From yellow to pink to nude or green, buy as many colours as your budget allows; with the addition of insoles or inserts, even the most flat-footed among us can comfortably wear them. They are a no fuss yet instant glamour, light shoe, perfect for day and all night wear.

The wedge returns and is the ideal summer addition for those seeking height and comfort. You can rush out to buy some new ones or wear the ones that you have tucked away in the back of the wardrobe because the comeback styles include new bright colours but also a mixture of what has been ‘out’ before. Sophisticated sporty sneakers, some retro-inspired with a contemporary touch, can be paired with anything from spring dresses to tailored trousers, shorts, skirts and jeans…so why wouldn’t you pick up a pair. I am a fanatic for clean sneakers, let’s just say it is probably ‘many-a-washing-machine’ that I have murdered washing sneakers – but my technique has gotten better; now I only wash them with lots of towels to make sure that my machine has a long and healthy life! Perhaps they are not the most ideal footwear for the hottest summer days but I generally go from flip-flops to sneakers for most of the season. Micro heels have completely taken over from the much higher heels; most often we all just want a little height without the foot pain and these heels provide exactly that. They are the ideal summer shoe for the days that you want to feel a bit more ‘pulled together’. Many of the styles available are a thong sandal or a sling-back with a kitten heel attached and the colours available are simply divine.

Who doesn’t love some sparkle or a few gems here and there. Embellished footwear should no longer be reserved for evening wear. Crystal studded pumps and sliders look incredible with jeans and a t-shirt, don’t save them, just wear them for an instant bit of glam and a whole lot of compliments.

Block colour dresses can be worn multiple times and accessories with almost anything. 
Pic: Gooseberry, Clonakilty

While we have all become wizards when it comes to re-inventing our summer clothes, and this is a fantastic thing, as there will always be those new summer essentials required to top up our ample summer wardrobe. However Whites, I can’t say this enough, will only last a certain length of time and then need to be laid to rest FOREVER. We can get away with so much more with other colours; they tend to last longer and live to be re-invented. I spotted the most gorgeous tan/caramel safari style knee length, semi-fitted, short sleeve dress on a beautiful woman the other day. As bold as always, I marched straight over to compliment and enquire about where she had purchased it. She said that it was hanging in her wardrobe for a few years and she decided to wear it again…needless to say it was so stylish in an effortless chic way. I can’t say enough about block colour dresses, especially in a muted shade, you can wear them multiple times and accessorise with just about anything or any colour. Belts, wedges, pumps, a straw hat, a colourful bag, the choice is limitless. We all have dresses like this, perhaps we have pushed them to the back of the wardrobe or for whatever reason they have fallen out of favour, but a good cut and colour will allow you to reinvent it, time and time again.

While headbands are doing the rounds as the official ‘wedding head gear’ this season, there is no reason why you can’t add a more casual version to your day-to-day summer wardrobe. They are a super way to add colour and class in an instant and it doesn’t matter whether you have short or long hair, google how to make it work for your hairstyle or shape of your face. The big straw sun hat is no longer just for the beach, you need to wear it whenever you are out and about. Not only does it protect coloured hair but it protects your scalp from the hot sun that we are now becoming somewhat accustomed to…and it is super stylish too, especially with big sunglasses in tow.

What can I say about crocs? Well it’s officially a Croc-Girl-Summer! Whether you are firmly in Camp Croc or can’t stand them, crocs are everywhere now. On the plus side they are great for breathability, can be supremely comfortable and give excellent traction (for whatever you might be up to) even outside of the garden. For an extra sense of individuality, you can accessorise your crocs with charms, they are super cute and not just for kids. I must admit that my daughter has a bright yellow pair with Winnie the Pooh charms and heart jibbitz on them and I will leave the house wearing them some day, if she ever takes them off. Podiatrists recommend that you spend a little on your crocs to make sure that they don’t damage your feet.

Louise O'Dwyer

Louise O'Dwyer is an Image consultant based in West Cork

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