Pre-living in the tropics, high summer fashion was an eagerly anticipated but fairly insignificant portion of my year. Possibly relegated to two weeks’ holiday in sunnier climes, certainly a minor piece of the seasonal pie. A couple of summer dresses and a pair of sandals used to cut it. But here in Singapore that balance is turned on its head. Constant high summer dressing (by which I mean nudging 40 degrees and off the scale humidity) creates its own dilemmas. Suddenly high summer isn’t an afterthought. It’s an entire lifestyle.
What we wear tells the world not only what we’ve got dressed in that day, but our personality and how we think. So consequently day to day dressing in perma-sunshine is IMPORTANT. We can’t just throw on a pair of shorts (no really, we can’t). We need direction.
The easy answer? Join one of the top five summer style crews. These gangs have got longevity: they’ve been around for decades, and they’re still recruiting new members. They’ll give you instant style credibility and you’ll be safe in the knowledge that you’re sartorially on track. They won’t land you in a detention centre, unless you go badly off road and they start incarcerating people for fashion crimes. Which might not be such a bad idea
1. NATURAL GODDESS
Reminiscent of the early supermodels, the natural goddess crew favours monochrome and nude jersey, the maxi dress and tan leather accessories. Great for girls with curves, this is summer with added sex appeal.
Style icon: Bo Derek 2016 catwalk inspiration: Michael Kors Current crew member: Gigi Hadid
The 1950’s remains a solid style gang, with the full-skirted sundress maintaining its status as arguably the ultimate in iconic summer looks. This summer more is more with tongue in cheek prints, quirky shades, and oversized headscarves.
Style Icon: Sophia Loren 2016 catwalk inspiration: Dolce Gabbana Current crew member: Katy Perry
3. CLASSIC CHIC The classic brigade works the crispest cottons, classic cuts, bright white and a touch of the nautical. Imagine Grace Kelly transplanted to the Hamptons and you’ll be halfway there. A timeless summer style inspiration (for those who can avoid chocolatey child fingers).
Style icon: Grace Kelly 2016 catwalk inspiration: Ralph Lauren Current crew member: Olivia Palermo
4. LUXE HIPPIE
Taking the 1970s as its inspiration, the luxe hippie look is all about sheer layers, frills and a soft colour palette, although think uber-groomed rather than gap year grunge. This season’s shoulder-bearing styles are on point to channel this crew. Style icon: Bianca Jagger 2016 catwalk inspiration: Chloé Current crew member: Poppy Delevigne
The 1960s is the era of choice for the ingénue camp. A retro-French take on high summer style means denim and breezy cotton separates in navy, white and florals. Think miniskirts and flat shoes teamed with the iconic basket bag and floppy hat. So cool you’ll barely notice it’s 38 degrees and rising.
Style icon: Jane Birkin
2016 catwalk inspiration: Chanel
Current crew member: Alexa Chung