What to wear in a heatwave © Donna Karan

What to wear in a heatwave

Take inspiration from around the globe with LUXOS’ guide to dressing for the summer heat

by 07 July 2015

Summer is officially here and so is the heat, but that is no excuse for a wardrobe meltdown. If you live in a seasonal climate where 70˚ is considered a “bit of a scorcher”, then you might not be quite so au-fait with dressing for such blistering heat. But our friends in Southern Europe, Asia and the Middle East on the other hand, are used to dressing for such hot days and steamy nights and do so with such ease and elegance. Whether you are dressing for business or off duty, on holiday or at home, take inspiration from the folk who live and work in some of the most stylish and sun soaked destinations around the world...

Barcelona cool

With its cosmopolitan city set and eclectic arty vibe, not to mention a sultry summer climate, Barcelona certainly knows how to dress for the heat in a very cool manner. It is all about adopting an effortless nonchalant approach to both your office and day-to-day wardrobe.

Super lightweight trousers are ideal for the office and wear with a relaxed tank and some edgy chunky soled shoes for a smart yet casual approach. Go for preppy pinstripes, cool cottons and laidback linens in whites, off whites and grey. Once the business day is over, ‘up the urban’ and go for tough-luxe cropped denim, cotton motif tees, plimsolls and trainers for an edgy yet cool city style.

LA-Office-Look
For the office: shoes: Stella McCartney, top: The Row, sunglassed: Saint Laurent, trousers: Equipment

LA-off-duty
Off duty: dress: Current/Elliot, hat: Rag & Bone, sunglasses: Miu Miu, shoes: Saint Laurent

Related: Barcelona city guide

Asian elegance

With its super populated and super steamy cities including Hong Kong, Singapore and Bangkok, Asia is no stranger to a hot and humid summer, yet somehow its residents manage to pull off extreme elegance without a drop of sweat in sight.

Hone this effortless summer style with crisp cottons, chic shirtdresses, elegant midi skirt and blouse combos and Asian inspired prints and patterns bursting with colour and sophistication. Black and white also offers a distinctly refined summer style. When it comes to your footwear, make sure your shoes are as comfortable as they are stylish with chunky pool sliders and wearable wedges.

Asia-Office
For the office: skirt: Milly, top: Tibi, bag: Michael Kors, shoes: Nicholas Kirkwood

Asia-Off-Duty
Off duty: bag: Opening Ceremony dress: Toteme, sunglasses: Linda Farrow, shoes: Marni

Related: Hong Kong city guide

Middle Eastern glamour

The desert is renowned for its stifling heat, yet the Middle Eastern women and the region’s expats seem to pull off the most glamorous of summer styles even at the height of the thermometer gauge.

Breezy kaftans and billowing maxi dresses offer a cool and stylish cover up and can be worn as equally by day with flats and a sun hat or with heels and accessories after dark. Swirling bold patterns, animal prints and deep shades of rust and shimmering gold offer a sense of the region’s rich heritage and decadence and don’t forget to accessorise. Beads, statement necklaces and chunky cuffs offer that all-important finish to any ensemble. Wherever you are, once the sun goes down, so can the heat, so always carry a pashmina or light jacket as a chic evening cover-up for those cooler nights or sudden weather 180s.

middle-east-office
For the office: dress: Theory, necklace: Lanvin, bag: Chloé, shoes: Aquazzura

Middle-East-off-Duty
Off duty: dress: Roberto Cavalli, hat: Philip Treacy, sunglasses: Bottega Veneta, shoes: Rene Caovilla

Related: Dubai city guide