Lucy Mangan’s recent diatribe on summer (Why I hate summer. 03.07.13) struck a chord, oh how I agree with her. I too hate summer – well, the heat, actually. The UK is in the midst of a heatwave with temperatures reaching 30C, and for those of you living in the States, that’s around 85F, which I’m sure is really no big deal at all. But it is not only unusual for the UK it’s ghastly for pale-skinned Brits who burn easily and flop around longing for a cool breeze.
For me, my dislike of hot weather is also about the clothes you have to wear or, not wear. OK, I admit it, I’m a winter person and I love wearing woolly jumpers and tweedy skirts along with thick black tights and leggings. And my legs can look good, in tights, in the winter. To uncover and bare those legs to the elements is an ordeal – and some – mainly because my skin is not merely pale it’s kind of a whitish-blue. And as I age, on my arms and hands there’s a nice spattering of age spots (you could see them in Lorna’s film) and on my legs there’s a lot of those spidery veins delicately traced around the sides of my knees in many shades of purple.
However, I do have a large collection of charity shop summer skirts and dresses, which I enjoy wearing. Here is a cool floaty dress (East, no less) bought this week for just £1.75.
On cooler days I wear these summer clothes with leggings. But when the heat is on I use an artificial suntan on my legs, which helps a bit (Dove has been the best I’ve tried so far) although I can never quite get rid of that bluey-purple look. For me, a good pedicure with toe nails painted a cheerful colour is a must to draw attention away from the knees, and will add to the festive feeling that the summer sun brings to most people – but like Lucy Mangan I long for the days when it is cooler when cardigans and tights (the thicker the better) can be worn again!
The frugal fashion shopper