As this week marks 11 years living in the Mediterranean, I thought I’d share with you some summer dressing tips I’ve learnt along the way. Being British, I’m probably better apt at winter dressing. However summers are long and hot here and I live for the summer heat so without further ado:
Go for natural fabrics that breathe such as cotton, linen, viscose or blends of the 3. Avoid polyester or nylon unless you enjoy being in a sweat lodge or sauna all day. Cotton polyester blends are okay.
Skip skin tight tops and bottoms. Aim for light airy items. You don’t have to dress like a tent, but items that skim or have movement you’ll thank. Demin shorts and a dressier tank or cami top are my go to’s in the summer. I only do leggings in the gym, I couldn’t do trousers in 30C heat. That said, many ladies who have to dress more corporate here, opt for looser fit trousers, longer length shorts or chic summer dresses.
Fashion doesn’t always comply with summer! Take elements of it, but what might work in cooler summer climates might not in warmer summer climates. I’ve noticed many Spanish high street stores such as Zara, Stradivarius, Pull and Bear, cater better for summer and always have more manageable summer lightweight items.
Keep accessories to a minimal. Statement necklaces and bracelets look great. When you’re hot and bothered they can feel like chains.
Have at least 2 pairs of bikinis or chosen swim wear. If you love the beach or swim in the summer nearly every day you’ll need at least 2 paris or more. One to use while the other dries or airs. They fade, stretch (especially if you cycle with them under your clothes like me. Cycling destroys clothes!), loose shape. Preferably buy them at when they hit the racks in the Spring. Come August when the heat really sets in, it’s hard to find any as the sales have finished and the AW collections are in. From experience more expensive bikinis last just a long as cheaper ones, so I opt for more cheaper bikinis. Buy more bottoms than tops and avoid drying them in the sun as they fade. I often turn them inside out to dry if I dry them in the sun. Rinse them off at the end of the day in cold water and I always hand wash them when needed as opposed to machine washing. Hand washing helps them last longer.
Optional, wear a hat. Not many people do, it’s more guys and tourists, especially Asian tourists here. That said, I have noticed more girls wear caps. Maybe this is fashion more than functional. I started wearing a baseball hat cycling last year and noticed not so many headaches. Plus it keeps the sun off your face which can mean less wrinkles! When I’m not cycling it’s hat off. I like those summer highlights.
Comfy shoes. Sandals, flip flops, thongs whatever you call them, can turn an outfit around. They can also may your feet ache at the end of the day from being too flat, leave blisters and cuts. I sound like an old person! Many girls here wear trainers in the summer and thanks to being told one summer by an osteopath and podiatrist I couldn’t wear sandals or flip flops any more, I got into the habit of wearing trainers. My feet are happier at the end of the day and I honestly can say they get equally as hot as if they were in sandals, just not as dirty. This year’s 90’s platform sandals have had a revamp (in my eyes osteo approved) and have been stylish comfy.
Sunscreen and sweat can stain clothes especially white yellow and combined with salt water can destroy fabric fibres. So be prepared to burn through more clothes than you do in the cooler months. It’s a pain in the bum, but I find hand washing white tops and using stain remover helps keep them whiter than the washing machine.
Keep make up light. Let your skin breath in the heat! Your pores will thank you too.
Always wear SPF, burnt skin is never a good look and always carry water!
What are your summer dressing do’s and don’ts?