x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Katie Trotter: The perfect summer ensemble

M's fashion columnist offers tips for the perfect Abu Dhabi outfit, whatever the weather.

Here is what happens in summer. We wake up and look outside. It looks the same as the other 364 days of the year. It's baking, of course, again. Yet like the child drawn to hot coals we reach for a summer dress, as one would expect in an almost volcanic climate.

The problem is, fast forward an hour or so and we are unexpectedly cold. In fact, we're freezing - which gives summer dressing a whole other set of rules. How in one outfit can we cover both the sub-zero temperatures indoors and the ones outdoors that are something close to the molten interior of the Earth?

Think of this kind of dressing as a building exercise. Start with the jacket, however unnecessary it seems in summer. Like anything, if you start with the outside and work your way in you can fill in the gaps with purpose. It can be a smart linen or light wool blazer or perhaps a collarless, slouchy silk number with oversized pockets, but whatever it is you must carefully consider your colour scheme when building everything else around it.

You see, nobody thinks of multi-layering here. It's too hot to think. When we pack up our wardrobes and wave goodbye to miserable British summers or piercing New York winters, we are also waving goodbye to half if not more of our wardrobe. But instead of floundering around in shallow water we need to rebuild the foundations. So, dear readers, I hereby introduce to you your kit for all seasons.

Let's start with a pair of interesting trousers, for which you have more than a generous choice this season. Try the pegged cropped trouser for an unexpectedly flattering silhouette, or perhaps a wide-legged patterned silk if you dare. Really anything goes here but the skinny jean.

Print, print and more print. We are about to have a sky full of stars fall upon us after Dolce&Gabbana brought us nothing but for Autumn/Winter. And be careful to keep accessories sharp and shoes masculine for a more grown-up aesthetic. There has also been a distinct nod to the East, so look for an inspired mix of pattern.

The pleated skirt should be another staple, and ideally a dusky pink or a steely grey, and able to be worn softly or with an edge. The cuff or the choker necklace is the accessory to watch for. Although often seen by most of us as a rather frightening invention, it is almost unavoidable. Just stick to a modernist feel, preferably in gold or bronze and worn with a flowing maxi as seen at Lanvin.

After all, it makes perfect sense to dress your outfit up, enabling you to peel off the layers as the day (and you) come to a close.




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