Fashion notes: Time to play up the layers
A few years ago, dresses were something of a taboo if your personal style was defined as tomboy. Flirty, flouncy and floral-printed dresses were not typically compatible with minimalist, effortless-chic modes of dressing. But with the summer heat almost upon us, dresses are going to be the ideal garments to wear – even if you’re doubtful about carrying off feminine prints.
I hold a rather old-fashioned opinion that any woman can pull off a floral print, and that florals don’t “suit” only a handful of body types and personalities. That being said, if you absolutely detest the pattern, then by all means stay clear of it; fashion should never be forced.
But, if you find yourself simply intimidated by bold, floral prints, use layers to pare back the look. No, not a chunky leather jacket – that should be tucked away by now, along with your turtleneck, only to be brought out for the few winter months we have. While jackets and jumpers work well as layers during wintertime, the same principle of layering can be applied to the current season.
A crisp white cotton shirt for instance, can really elevate a strappy floral dress. And, if you’re the tomboy type, wear a plain or graphic T-shirt underneath. Your instinct may tell you that the two clash, but trust me, the look is very “in”. For women who wear the hijab, this is a great way to make summer dresses more wearable, particularly since very few designs for the warmest months come with long sleeves.
When done right, the results can look effortless, eclectic and unfussy. So excuse me while I hit the high street – Namshi.com and Asos.com (which now offer free returns from the UAE) – for some versatile patterned dresses. I’ll be living in the layered look this season.