Soft, light, stylish ways for summer

The breathability of your summer outfits can be enhanced with natural fabrics such as cotton....
The breathability of your summer outfits can be enhanced with natural fabrics such as cotton. Petra Bagust and son Jude model Nom*D's Breast Cancer for Cure's organic cotton T-shirt. NOM*d has incorporated a reworked print from its 2016 summer collection, LONG LIVE. PHOTOS: SUPPLIED

Summer days will hopefully result in temperatures soaring, inviting a restyle of our wardrobes to flow with the warmer temperatures. Here are five essential styling tips for the warmer weather.

With heat and humidity laying a haze over our day, an Otago summer is warmly welcomed in.

We celebrate with outdoor adventures, foraging for berries, real fruit ice creams dripping on to our clothes and, of course, splashing in the always colder-than-we-remembered/hoped-for rivers, lakes and oceans.

The glow of this warm season offers rest and relaxation and style can provide the easeful expression of this quality.

Here are five styling tips to infuse ease to the daily ritual of dressing.

A relaxed organic cotton T-shirt is an easy and sustainable building block of any summer outfit....
A relaxed organic cotton T-shirt is an easy and sustainable building block of any summer outfit. Jessica Clarke wears Zambesi’s Breast Cancer for Cure design. Zambesi’s artwork explores a phrase meaningful to the company, "Never Give Up".

Lights and brights

When curating your summer wardrobe, a light or neutral colour palette offers many benefits, both practical and creative. These lighter tones keep you cool in the rising heat of the day as they reflect light rather than absorbing it, keeping the heat of the sun’s rays at bay. A deeper colour palette absorbs the light rays of the sun, taking in more heat energy, adding to that felt heat of the day. To remain cool yet incorporate the personal expression of your favourite colours, consider pastel tones as these offer light-reflecting versions of your favourite colours. For the office, a neutral linen blazer or a light blue button-up shirt pairs professionalism with practicality and elegance. Neutrals provide a base for the playfulness of summer style, acting as a blank canvas to be adorned. Add pops of vibrant colour, pattern and texture through your accessorising, with a patterned silk scarf, bold earrings or bright sunglasses.

The Ksubi x Superette Soft Gradient Biggie Men's T-Shirt offers a relaxed fit in 100% cotton,...
The Ksubi x Superette Soft Gradient Biggie Men's T-Shirt offers a relaxed fit in 100% cotton, guaranteed to keep you cool this summer.

Go with the flow

Unwind this summer in loose-fitting garments. These breezy garments support air flow around your body, helping to keep those temperatures down and allow our skin to breathe. Trend is on our side currently, seeing the soft muted tones and flourishing silhouettes of ’70s-inspired dresses, tops and skirts, offering whimsical, nostalgic and breathable style options. Billowy sleeved blouses and tiered skirts are in abundance at local boutiques such as Hype in Dunedin or 47 Frocks in Wanaka.

If you are looking for a summer sewing project, patterns for relaxed silhouettes are easily found online at e-stores such as Papercut patterns, a New Zealand-based pattern design house. To go with the flow at work, consider a cotton shirt with puffed sleeves or a pair of spacious culottes.

Keep it natural

The breathability of your summer outfits can be enhanced with natural fibres or materials such as cotton, linen, wool or silk. These materials are naturally derived and 

Less is more with the Meadowlark x Superette, Broken Heart hoops and necklace. Minimal gold...
Less is more with the Meadowlark x Superette, Broken Heart hoops and necklace. Minimal gold jewellery elevates outfits with a subtle glow.

breath easily on skin without trapping moisture. Other natural plant fibre fabrics include bamboo and hemp, with organic hemp being one of the most sustainable fabrics available. A historically utilised fabric, it is thought that the original Levi’s jeans were made from hemp canvas. Other plant-based, easy wearing fabrics include viscose, modal and lyocell. These fabrics, like cotton and linen, have a natural cellulose fibre base, which is drawn from wood pulp, then through manufacturing processes is reduced and spun into a textile fibre. Through natural origins and an industrial process, a man-made natural fibre is generated.

Fabrics to avoid in the heat of summer are synthetics such as polyester and heavyweight fabrics like denim. These fabrics trap heat and moisture creating discomfort for the wearer in the warmth.

To take care of your cottons and linens, air them out in the sun often. The sun acts as a sanitiser and stain remover eliminating bacteria. However as silks are more delicate, protect these by keeping them in the shade.

All-in-one outfits like dresses simplify those slow summer days. Witchery’s summer campaign...
All-in-one outfits like dresses simplify those slow summer days. Witchery’s summer campaign offers many vibrant and voluminous all-in-one outfits.
All in one

For the ultimate leisure of a summer lifestyle, opt for all-in-one outfits like dresses, jumpsuits or playsuits. These picks simplify those slow holiday mornings and beach days, as all you need is in one outfit that can easily be thrown on. Utility additions such as large pockets optimise any dress and style additions such as cut-outs optimise air flow. A summertime knit or cotton cardigan can be layered upon these ensembles to add a professional polish for workplace attire.

The By Charlotte x Superette earrings and necklace show how a summer outfit can be framed with a...
The By Charlotte x Superette earrings and necklace show how a summer outfit can be framed with a light addition of jewellery.
Less is more

A natural and effortless summertime makeup and accessory approach can be realised with the philosophy "less is more". Lightweight makeup options can give space for a natural internal glow to be illuminated. A base of sunscreen will provide essential protection from the sun and offer a sheen to build upon with a light, barely there, BB cream.

To reflect the radiance of the sun feature warm golden tones, such as bronzes and peaches, highlighting the cheekbones, brow bones and bridge of nose. For a splash of colour, a pastel pop of eyeliner or a standout pair of sunnies brightens up the eye area and naturally reflects those light rays.

When accessorising an outfit the "less is more" principle lightly frames an ensemble, drawing subtle attention to the elements of desired elevation. Consider fewer jewellery pieces to frame the look; keeping jewellery to a minimum allows the skin to breathe. Outfits can be refreshed with natural fibre accessories, such as canvas or linen tote bags, bucket hats and caps. These utility items promote cooling and tie an outfit together with effortless breathability.

And, of course, the most natural and enlivening accessory for any summer outfit is a warm smile.

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