The two or so weeks that I recently spent in the Garden Route were not as warm as usual. Summer in Knysna most often sees me in a series of lightweight dresses, because, as I tell passengers in my car that are alarmed at my aircon addiction, my internal heating and cooling system is faulty. I seldom get cold, but I often get hot. And then I get flustered. And I don’t handle it well. At all.
I have devised eccentric systems to cope with this affliction – a host of fans, both electric and handheld, and my trusty car aircon, help me to (literally) keep my cool. It is for this reason that I find dressing for humid or hot climates a challenge. In my opinion, dressing for Summer weather by day is neither elegant nor comfortable. While I am a self-confessed fan of short hemlines, I am at a loss when it comes to things like boobtubes, halternecks and spaghetti straps – Summer styles for the bust and beyond. And while I like short shorts and mini skirts, I find the inclusion of a waistband during heat waves like the current one to be plain madness.
A floaty dress in cotton or silk is the best solution.
I found my perfect one at Truworths LTD just before my departure for Knysna – ultra light cotton, with loose floaty sleeves, a flattering neckline and a ruffled drop waist. Drop waists are ideal for Summer if they suit you, because they skim the body and make it feel as if you’re wearing next to nothing.
Another drop waist dress that I’ve been getting good wear out of lately is this tie dyed blue silk Country Road frock, which is old world elegant with a modern twist.
While I was in Knysna I also found this L’Equipe Sportif top, which made the perfect travel outfit on the way back to Cape Town. 100% cotton, roomy and drapey, it’s also an extremely unusual style and has a slight stripe. I love the button detailing on the sleeves and back and it looks great over a little cream Country Road slip or dark skinnies (for when it gets colder!)
My final Summer saviour is this ancient Miss Moneypenny silky skirt, that I bought at Scar on Long Street when it was still a little clothing store. It’s light as a feather and I love the slightly Boho print. When I get tired of the fuschia I wear it inside out, with the zip exposed.
And that’s what Summer dressing is about for me: finding ways to stay comfortable and most of all cool, while still looking chic. Seeing girls striding the streets in crotch-cradling short shorts and unflattering halterneck dresses as soon as the temperature starts to rise makes me cringe.
Hot doesn’t have to mean scanty (or skanky).