Looking Hot in the Heat


The sun appears to have resolved its differences with Ireland, so here are some colourful summer looks to raise your temperatures and your spirits

THEY SAY that you shouldn’t “cast a clout” until May is out – but with temperatures due to hit 19 degrees in Ireland this week, let’s all agree to throw that particular rule out the window, shall we?

For the Irish woman more used to covering up than stripping down – steady on, now – sunny weather can often throw up several puzzling questions. Are shorts ever appropriate for a setting other than the beach? Can you go about your daily life in these soaring temperatures without visibly sweating through your shirt? Will jeans cut it on a summery Saturday?

We like to look at Ireland in the sun as a holiday of sorts, and therefore items that would usually be eschewed due to their ridiculous hipster associations (non-functional hats, for example) or their sheer ubiquity (maxi dresses) become fair game, and you can finally get around to wearing those summery clothes you buy on an annual basis, hoping for that elusive temperature increase.

We’ve teamed a pair of scalloped-edge shorts with a printed tee for a lunch-appropriate ensemble, while Saturday shopping warrants the wearing of jeans (minimising the possibility of heat-induced thigh chafing, which is a very real concern for some). The bright mint-green shade nods to the sun while keeping you cool, at least figuratively. A kaftan will keep the sweat count low, and is great for keeping those quick-to-burn areas such as shoulders under wraps.

And if you are one of the several million Irish people who will plan to spend Saturday on the beach, our advice is: go early, bring sunscreen and, to quote a well-known movie classic, do not get into the water. It may seem like a tropical paradise, but the Irish Sea will need a few more years of global warming before it’s enjoyable.

Summer bag essentials:

We all know a good SPF is essential for any sun holiday (apply liberally every two hours and don’t use any sun-tan lotion that is more than 18 months old), but there are several other products we wouldn’t be seen without abroad, come hell or high baggage charges.

Ojon Instant Restorative Hair Serum(€26.50 for 50ml at Arnotts) makes the difference between beach hair and Jerry Hall hair. Apply a cent-sized amount to the ends of your hair while it’s still wet and allow to dry naturally.

Lush A Million Kisses lip tint(€6.50) – this is the most moisturising lip tint you’ll find for less than a tenner, and the colour really lasts. Apply with a finger and smudge for a relaxed, just-kissed look.

Palmer’s Cocoa Butter(€4.29 for 250ml) – there’s a reason some products reach classic, cult status, and in the case of Palmer’s Cocoa Butter it’s because it works: it moisturises even the most damaged skin and, what’s more, it smells incredible.

It doesn’t hurt, of course, that it’s as cheap as chips.

Benefit Brow Zings(€39.50) – you don’t want to do a full face of make-up when you’re on holidays, but doing your brows will have almost the same lifting effect.

This palette from Benefit makes it really easy – and a light hand gives a really natural effect.

Brand Focus

We Are Handsome

Bio: We Are Handsome is an Australian fashion company that focuses on print and colour, taking as inspiration the “halcyonic, sundrenched days of old” and designed by Indhra Chagoury and Jeremy Jules Somers. The brand’s products are designed and made in Australia, using Australian fabrics.

Aesthetic: We Are Handsome is perhaps best known for its swimwear; this season’s selections include tiger-printed swimsuits and separates, as well as vintage inspired florals and the odd cheeky toucan. Last season’s horse-print swimsuit sold out worldwide.

Price tag: Not for the faint-hearted, a We Are Handsome swimsuit will set you back from £120 (around €150) for the teeny, weeniest of bikinis.

Stockists: Harvey Nichols, Matches and Selfridges in London; online at net-a-porter.com.

Reader queries

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Email any fashion queries to rmaccabe@irishtimes.com