9 Practical Summer Staples Ideal For Pulling Your Outfit Together


Fashion trends come and go like the wind, and with the summer’s socialising largely taking place outdoors, some of our fashion choices have quite literally gone with the wind, too. 

Indeed, as any Brit will know, predicting the weather and, accordingly, dressing appropriately is impossible, with four seasons regularly falling in a single summer’s day here.

The UK’s warmest season sees several competing elements in place, with changeable weather the only certainty and changeable outfits and levels of formality following suit. The key here, we think, is to deploy practical clothing pieces and accessories that are adaptable, removable and able to tie your whole outfit together.

Today, we’re here to examine just a few of those; here are 9 seasonal staples to pull your summer outfit together practically but stylishly.

A Trench Coat 

Let’s not get bogged down in semantics here; a classic trench coat can be part of your outfit and pull it together, simultaneously. 

Trenchcoats have withstood the test of time and have been featured on catwalks year after year, proving that you really can’t go wrong with a timeless cut in unpredictable times. Such reliable mainstays currently feel more important than ever, as we transition from outdoor dining and drinking to indoors and back out again to savour the sun. 

Indeed, it’s still a few months before you reclaim the textured Ted Baker jackets or padded North Face numbers from the back of the wardrobe. In the meantime, trench coats are a wardrobe staple that serve to pull together an outfit rather than just keep you warm.

Throwing a trench over most outfits provides an extra layer of class and elegance, and even on a casual day, when slung over a hoodie and leggings, a trench will coordinate your ensemble, giving you a casual but stylish look. 

If you work or socialise in fairly formal environments, you could opt for a peacoat; uber-sophisticated and dapper, make no mistake. Peacoats are also great for a variety of weather conditions, which can be a blessing in the UK’s topsy turvy summer months. 

The Versatile Maxi Dress

Inspired by the latest summer outfits at The Cool Hour, we can’t help thinking that the maxi dress is the season’s true must-have. This long, flowing dress is stylish and versatile, making it perfect for the unpredictable British summer.

Maxi dresses are known for their comfort. Made from lightweight, breathable fabrics, they keep you cool on hot days while providing enough coverage to protect you from the sun. The flowing design allows for ease of movement, ideal for activities from picnics to evening strolls.

One of the greatest advantages of a maxi dress is its adaptability. It can be dressed up or down depending on the occasion. Pair it with sandals and a sunhat for a casual look, or add statement jewelry and wedges for a more formal ensemble. The maxi dress transitions effortlessly from day to night.

Given the UK’s unpredictable weather, layering is key. A maxi dress can be easily layered with a denim jacket or a lightweight cardigan for cooler evenings. It serves as a perfect base layer that can be adapted to changing weather conditions.

Maxi dresses come in a wide range of styles, patterns, and colors, allowing you to express your personal fashion sense. Whether you prefer bold prints, delicate florals, or solid colors, there’s a maxi dress for everyone.

Beyond style, maxi dresses are incredibly practical. They require minimal effort to style, making them a go-to option for busy summer mornings. Plus, they are easy to pack for summer getaways, taking up minimal space in your suitcase.

The Plain White Tee

Not only does wearing white help you reflect the sun, but the direct simplicity of a plan white T-shirt is without doubt one of summer’s greatest staples, and can be styled in multiple ways.

Looking effortlessly sporty at the height of summer and a little more fashion-forward when paired with a denim jacket as summer moves into autumn, the only thing you need to worry about in your plain white tee is keeping it crisp, clean and free from summer stains.

Fortunately, we’ve written a whole piece on how to remove ketchup, wine, grass and more from your clothes. You can thank us later!

Denim Jackets

Speaking of denim jackets, they represent a summer fashion icon if we’ve ever seen one. Pairing well with just about anything (though we’d recommend a lighter colour worn beneath for maximum contrast), and working in every season, denim jackets are particularly useful in late summer, when you want to look effortless as the evening’s surprisingly chilly temperatures take hold.

The classic blue denim will always remain in our hearts, sure, but both black and white denim jackets have become increasingly popular in recent years. Long may it continue!

Transition Sunnies

If you wear glasses, you’ll be all too familiar with the hassles of specs come summer. Having to carry both sunglasses and glasses with you, and switching them back and forth every time you go indoors and back out again gets a little tiresome. Not to mention the handbag real estate two cases take up. 

Enter the ‘transition sunglasses’ which darken in the sun, then lighten when you go inside. After months indoors, we’re all after convenience and comfort wherever it can be found. Transition specs, offering continuous UV protection, give us just that. 

If it’s fashion over function that you’re prioritising, however, then sporty frames are looking set to have a huge summer, suggestive of a wearer who relishes both working out and basking in the sun, equally.

Should you be trying to pair your sunglasses with jewellery, you want to ensure they complement each other. Angular cat eye sunglasses are very much on trend this season, and should be paired with equally acute earrings. Alternatively, try semi-subtle rimless sunglasses matched with the necklaces in an overblown, statement style as a challenging counterpoint.

A Summer Scarf

Yes, we’d all like to convince ourselves that British summers are unrelentingly sunny and hot, predictable and requiring the skimpiest of outfits all round.

But they aren’t. And as such, come summer, a lightweight scarf should be a mainstay for the next few months, whether you’re heading to the beach or the bar. Ideal for a breezy night, when you duck into a shop or supermarket and suddenly feel that chill, or for sitting on it in the park and protecting your hair from a sudden summer shower, it’s one of the summer’s most versatile accessories.

A carefully chosen scarf can also pull together an otherwise simple outfit, either when worn around the neck or shoulders, or even as a headscarf…

A Head Scarf

Speaking of seasonal scarfs, silk headscarfs are a great way to add some colour and personality to your summer style. Choose geometric, big bold prints and squiggly multi-coloured patterns, and pair these with some hoop earrings to really up the ante. A practical, stylish accessory if ever there was one, summer headscarfs are also brilliant at hiding that dreaded summer frizz many of us fall victim to.

There are, of course, many ways to wear a silk headscarf. You can easily update a low pony with a silk scarf – just roll and tie around a secured ponytail. Equally, you can tie it in a bandana style to tame unruly poolside hair. And when it’s not on your head as a headband, loop it through your jeans or around a bag handle for a little added flourish. 

Make-up Co-ordinated With Your Outfit

A fun summer trend to play around with is matching your makeup, colourwise, to your outfit. It’s super fun to do, and it’s pretty simple to create a coordinated look. It’s generally recommended that you choose one colour palette, prioritising more refined, low-key makeup to create a harmonious look. This doesn’t mean that you should avoid bright makeup altogether but rather that you should ensure it doesn’t clash with your outfit choices. 

Of course, you don’t want to be too literal and simply match the colour of your outfit or accessories to your makeup. This creates a look that is too uniform. Instead, opt to marry accents of your outfit – the trim on your jacket, for instance – with subtle elements of your makeup, such as your eye shadow.

Alternatively, pair colours which are naturally suited – think navy and teal, maroon and peach, or violet and dahlia. 

Read: 5 DIY beauty moves to make this Summer.

An Umbrella, ‘Ella, ‘Ella 

There’s an old Irish proverb which suggests sagely that ‘’Any fool carries an umbrella on a wet day, but the wise man carries it every day.’’ And this couldn’t be more apt than for during British summers.

Sure, umbrellas are a staple in our handbags for the winter months when the skies are in various degrees of open. Indeed, here in the UK, most of us wouldn’t dare go out of the house without one during those bleak times.

That said, in many countries, umbrellas are a summer staple, essential for protection against the sun. Indeed, the word umbrella comes from ‘umbra’, the Latin word for ‘shade’, and this is as good a reason as any to deploy this accessory not only for its traditional use, but also to pull your outfit together.

Pairing the design, pattern or even shape of your umbrella with an element of your outfit can look sophisticated and classy, whether you’re shading from the sun or sheltering from the rain!

The Bottom Line

These are just a few ways to finish off an outfit to give you a polished, stylish look which is adaptable to the current, unpredictable weather and socialising conditions. Shall we see you in the beer garden? We’ll recognise you by the groovy umbrella and your summer scarf!

Oh, you thought we’d forgotten about your hair? Check out these trending hairstyles and cuts for summer and get inspired!

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