Petite Fashion Challenge #9: heat wave work wear

This month’s challenge is hosted by Fast Food & Fast Fashion:

“…to create an outfit that accounts for the various environmental factors that plague us in the summer. I want to know how you dress when it’s 90 degrees outside and 65 degrees inside.”

In the extreme Summer heat that we get oh, once every decade in England, it really is terrible because everyone is invariable surprised and everything is so unprepared. I try to remember these points that work for me:

  • wear looser clothes than usual
  • choose footwear that’s as low and comfortable as I can get away with but compensate with a higher hemline
  • make sure to carry as little as possible because when you’re hot, everything feels heavier and who wants to sweat any more than we have to?
  • choose natural fibres all the way though maybe more expensive and creases but still better than sticking to my clothes
  • stick to a pale colour palette – I love wearing a lot of white or ivory – with a flash of colour
  • avoid wearing pearls and other porous jewellery as they absorb sweat and dirt.

I’ve been a fan of these knitted cardigan jackets eversince I found my first one in a Paris thrift store in the 80’s. This one is also thrifted and a lot more comfortable than a tailored cut yet smarter than my beloved cardigans. I feel more comfortable wearing a top with a cap or short sleeves like these (pure silk by Monsoon) rather than sleeveless. My pencil skirt (Banana Republic) is mostly cotton, unlined and machine washable. If I don’t have time to go home and change, I make sure to carry a pair of heeled sling backs and an off white pashmina in my tote to use in the evenings should the temperature take a dive because I always feel the cold.

Since I don’t really suit ballerinas, my on going challenge is to find flat shoes that are both comfortable and dressy. I love these studded ‘gladiators’. My sunny Celine bag is a brilliant design with sections inside to easily organise my things and a useful outside pocket. The leather is light and durable.

This is a variation using the same top. I added a more structured tailored skirt (pure cotton and unlined by Jaeger) which means I can afford to loosen up with a little cardigan (M&S). My feet get too hot in court shoes and for me, the perfect solution are slingbacks – these are my trusted old Jimmy Choos. I learnt not to load everything in my tote anymore. I use a small or medium size shoulder bag and only put a pashmina, fruit, water and a thin file in the tote. This is the classic Longchamp Roseau tote.

I really enjoyed this latest challenge and look forward to the next one. Thanks so much to Elle for hosting!


24 thoughts on “Petite Fashion Challenge #9: heat wave work wear

  1. Stylepint

    Love both your outfits, the first is very Chanel-esque and the second, so ladylike! The Celine bag is so beautiful. I never knew that pearls were porous or that jewelry can absorb sweat/dirt…I just assumed they naturally change color as they age. lol =)

  2. Cee

    I loved your first outfit, but then saw the second one and gasped. So feminine but completely work appropriate. Thumbs up on both!

    1. couturecoco Post author

      Thank you! I easily feel overwhelmed with too much accessories and stuff to carry so always try to keep everything simple and minimal.

  3. Olyvia

    I love your informative tips! I didn’t know pearls tend to absorb sweat and dirt! I tend to stay away from all jewelry in the hot summer except for little earrings.

  4. Elle

    Your outfits are soo well put together, I especially love the last look. And I really appreciate your tips for summer dressing, it’s a must-read! 🙂

    1. couturecoco Post author

      Thank you! I’ve been trying to find a similar blouse as I know this one is not going to last too much longer. Using colour is quite new to me, I’m a neutrals fan trhough and through.

    1. couturecoco Post author

      Thank you! I’m trying to reduce my bag collection now I’ve learnt what suits and what I actually use.

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