Fashion notes: Better weather in the UAE calls for a fashion facelift
With a long-awaited temperature drop just round the corner (fingers crossed), it’s an opportunity for us all to take a break from our televisions and computer screens, get some fresh desert air and let the climatic change be reflected in how we dress. Kick off the strappy stilettos, tailored trousers and pussy-bow blouses, and start shopping for printed pullovers, drawstring joggers and trendy trainers.
If you’re anything like me, dressing for outdoor excursions often poses a challenge – we want to keep accessorising, keep layering, and aren’t quite sure of the line where our looks become too much. We fear being too simple and casual in our outfits. Try to keep some distance from typical sports-luxe style – it has become rather repetitive, with masses of women walking around in mesh panel leggings and crop tops with the occasional jacket tied around their waist. Instead, do some boundary-pushing and find styles that speak to you – think dressed-down versions of your favourite fashion staples; trade in your leather dresses for leather-panelled leggings, and switch up your silk shirts with printed cotton versions, but ensure your look has that fashion-forward oomph.
When one generally thinks of outdoor fashion, plaid shirts, quilted jackets and Hunter boots come to mind, along with movie scenes of family camping trips and lakeside picnics, with visions of undesirable outfits – un-chic layering, mannish shoes, topped off with lifeless ponytails and a dreary lack of any accessories. Erase these images from your mind and take in these tips for putting together runway-inspired outfits for the upcoming season’s pool of outdoor adventures.
Aside from year-round beach trips, there are a couple of different outdoor excursions you may find yourself on here, and each comes with a different dress code. If you’re off on a desert camping trip, filled with dune-bashing, bonfires and the like, go with your first instinct and dress in denim. Jeans with boyfriend cuts or distressed effects are fun to work with, or you could opt for a denim-on-denim ensemble.
If you want to take the much-trodden path of plaid shirts, don’t wear them closed, and don’t wear them with jeans. Try wearing with the buttons open, over a loose black tee and leather leggings. A statement necklace and round sunnies will complete the chic look. Alternatively, wear a light sweater on top of a closed plaid shirt, and accessorise with layered chains or a string of chunky pearls for a different outdoor excursion – like a picnic or afternoon walk.
Now, picnics are sadly underrated – I suggest you take advantage of the pretty new parks and outdoor craft markets and organise a picnic with family and friends. Because picnics don’t necessarily call for strenuous activity, you also have more freedom in putting together an outfit: a pretty little dress could be appropriate. Look for classic gingham patterns or mixed-print combinations. A brand that has been on my radar for some time, and is now available at Boutique 1 stores in Dubai, is Cecilie Copenhagen. If wanderlust, adventure and style are all elements that characterise you, you’ll be just as drawn to her kaffiyeh scarf-inspired pieces as I was.
Accessorising isn’t an all-out no-no when it comes to outdoor fashion – but do stay practical. If you’ll be running around, you don’t want your crystal-studded statement necklace whacking you in the face. Still, have fun with the more relaxed environment, and sport those cute, kitschy pieces that you can’t get away with wearing at the office.