How I navigate the b******t British weather

  • Marie Claire is supported by its audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn commission on some of the items you choose to buy.
  • It's all about those key pieces

    Like anyone renting in London (let’s be real, who can afford to actually own, amiright?), space, and specifically wardrobe space, is an issue. And as much as I badger him, my husband will not let me take over his side of the wardrobe. So I’ve done what any self-respecting person would do: I’ve split my wardrobe in two.

    As in, every season, I dig out the vaccum storage bags, pop my winter/summer wardrobe in them and vacuum the air out of them like I’ve never vacuumed before (or if you’re more sensible than I, you could try streamlining your wardrobe first). However, one thing I’ve learned since moving to the UK is that you can never really rely on the weather (sorry). So I’ve found that when transitioning from winter to summer, there are a key items to keep behind, alongside all the summer dresses.

    A thin knit

    As much as I loathe the idea of wearing knitwear in summer, sometimes the temperature drops below 20 degrees, in which case I’m happy to find a cosy jumper. The key is to have a style that’s not too chunky, and versatile enough to be worn during the summer months. Think a fine Breton knit, or a bright pink sweater, which can easily be worn over a sequin skirt.

    zara jumper

    A trench coat

    If you haven’t already checked out my raincoats edit, please do, because it’s a true wardrobe saviour. For example, this morning, I threw mine over a silk shirt and shorts combo that I really wanted to wear for my night out tonight, but knew wouldn’t keep me warm enough. The trench not only kept me warm, but dressed the look down so I didn’t look too fancy.

    topshop mac

    A Breton top

    By now, you’ll know all about my love of Breton tops, and there’s nothing like that classic top to keep you warm on a rainy day. You can dress it up with a pleated skirt, or down with some frayed jeans (you can shop my edit of the best Breton tops here).

    breton top

    A blazer

    Another winning cover-up, a black or navy blazer can be worn over a summer dress, or white t-shirt and shorts, so you still sort of feel like it’s summer when really it’s not.

    jcrew blazer

    A white t-shirt

    I can’t get enough of the humble t-shirt, all-year round. For example, I’ll wear it under my favourite slip dress to keep warm, or with mum jeans and a flared-sleeve jacket. You could also wear it with a maxi skirt and trainers, dungarees… the combinations are endless.

    acne t-shirt

    A long-sleeved dress

    Luckily, this season has been all about 70s style floaty maxi dresses with long sleeves, which is just as well as it’s the perfect mid-season dress if you’re bored of wearing trousers.

    mango dress

    Ballet pumps

    Whether flat or with a block heel, ballet pumps are the perfect dressy shoe to be worn with anything from denim jumpsuits to dresses. Word of advice: avoid suede if there’s a remote chance it’ll rain.

    cos shoes

    Now I realise I’ve accidentally provided you with the complete cool French girl wardrobe essentials, but at least you’re guaranteed to look chic at all time.

    And there’s nothing wrong with that.

    Reading now

    Popular fashion stories