3 August 2015

FEATURE: Hedging your bets this summer

Be prepared. Get this kit.

Will the final few weeks of summer be bathed in glorious sunshine, or will it chuck it down until the leaves start to change colour? Whatever the weather, it's a good idea to be prepared for everything that might be coming your way. That's why we've gathered together a mixed bag of laundry that will see you right all the way until the autumn... and beyond.

Awesome hot weather:
Nice. August has come through with the goods and the weather is as hot as a volcano's arse after a curry. Better get properly dressed then...

Helly Hansen HP Rider Trunk

Chaps, hitting the pool? You'll need some trunks, to both look great, and to make sure you're not arrested for indecent exposure. The Helly Hansen HP Rider Trunk (which is fashion speak for 'trunks' we assume) are cut nice and long, with a rope-tie waist and a very handy pocket on the lower leg. They are quick drying and have a mesh inner brief to keep your bits and bobs in place.


Son of a Tailor bespoke t-shirts

The classic t-shirt is a must during the warmer months, and can be worn both while slobbing around regretting your hangover following the previous night's barbecue, or when attending a swanky summer do, worn under a jacket or blazer. To make sure yours is a perfect fit and look, design your own. Son of a Tailor is a online maker of classic 'T's where users enter in all their details to ensure a bespoke fitting. It's a bit like the Mr Robinson shirt service we reviewed last year, but simpler and much quicker. And the end result, which is made from organic cotton, fits like a dream.


Anatom Memoryfit Sandals

You certainly won't want your feet baking in the hot sun, so slap on a pair of sandals. The Memoryfit Sandals from Anatom (whose hiking shoes we reviewed here last year) are about as sparse and cool as you can get. Hooking over your toes to stay on, the sandals feature a unique sole which, after a few times being worn, will mould to your feet and stay that way, ensuring continued comfort all summer. They're available for both men and woman as well.


Helly Hansen W Bliss Skirt

To aid full air flow to your legs, a skirt is the only option this summer. This effort from Norway is perfect, as it is easy to pull on with the elasticised waist, and made from ultra soft French terry fabric. There are slap pockets at the hips, and a drawstring on the front, making this a really good addition if you to need to pop something on over your bikini, or if you're going commando all day around the house, and need something quick in case the postman comes a-knocking.


Chatham Jessa Slip-On Tassel Boat Shoes

Exposing as much as your foot, while still offering tonnes of support, these saucy little numbers from Chatham are perfect for baking hot days out, and warm evenings in. The Jessa are a loafer-style shoe with a unique wedge sole, lifting the leg slightly while providing plenty of grip from the non-slip rubber base. Easy on, and cool all day.


Craghoppers Nosilife Tafari Jersey Skirt

Hot weather can bring out the bugs, so to help in the fight against being eaten to death while out and about, talk to Craghoppers. Their Nosilife range of insect-repellent clothing has been featured on this site before, and we loved just how damn effective it was. The Tafari Jersey skirt uses that same technology, all wrapped up in a light and length-adjustable garment. There's a zip pocket for your stuff, and the blend of polyester, cotton and elastane make it super light and airy.


Keen Uneek Sandals

And for that truly 'uneek' look, try something new. The Uneek sandals from Keen are special in that they are made from two cords and a sole, securely keeping your feet contained while letting in all that glorious cooling air. They really are something to behold, as the top section moves freely from the base, meaning they compress down very flat, which is handy in a suitcase. They feature an adjustable fastener which pulls the top-side cord tighter around your foot, so you get the perfect fit each time. Wearing them took a bit of getting used to, because despite the fact that they 'feel' like fully-enclosed shoes, air gets into them like open sandals. Once you're accustomed to the sensation though, they make the perfect hot weather shoe. Available in an impressive range of colours too.


BONUS: Finalise your summer look with loafers from MyLoafers.

Crappy chilly weather:
Oh dear, it's all gone wrong. Britain has once again served up an utterly disappointing summer that puts April and its famed showers to shame. If that is the case, wear this...

Craghoppers Nosilife Avila II Hooded Jacket

If the weather is less cool (thumbs raised) and more cool (nipples raised) then you'll need a suitable outer layer to fend off the chillies. This hoodie from Craghoppers utilises the same Nosilife technology to repel insects and harmful UV as we've seen before, but puts it in a versatile zip-fastening top. There are hand pockets on the front, a drawstring hood on top, and a soft poly/cotton blend to fend off the wind and rain. We were a little surprised at how thin the jacket was, and the material feels almost like t-shirt quality thickness. However, once on it is comfortable and cosy; perfect for a day with unpredictable weather.


Helly Hansen Marstand Polo

Perfect at any time of the year, whatever the weather, a decent polo shirt is a great short-sleeved top to strip down to, or a solid base to wrap up around. The Marstand Polo from Helly Hansen is a thick cotton top that comes in a dazzling array of nautical-themed colours and styles. Three buttons around the neck, a stiff and flexible collar, split sides, and also a dropped back so it can be worn when you're being all active and physical. Crucially for inclusion in the crappy summer section - rather than the awesome one - it is actually very insulating and cosy. And you can flick the collar up and act like a toff. Rah rah rah!

£45 (with some styles currently reduced to £27)

Craghoppers Nosilife Sabana Dress

Another testament to Craghopper's Nosilife treatment, the Sabana dress is long sleeved and will refuse to get crumpled up during a long haul flight. It features a unique twist knot in the centre of the dress, which ruffles the fabric together and actually makes it rather flattering to wear. The cotton/poly mix (with enough elastane to make it slightly stretchy) makes for a comfortable dress, while the skirt length will help keep your pins nice and toasty should you get a tad chilly. This is the perfect travelling outfit.


Chatham Aqua-Go Mist G2 Performance Sailing Shoes

A bit of a mouthful, but certainly a foot-full of greatness. These comfortable, light, and well ventilated shoes from Chatham are designed to take all that the sea can throw at them... so perfect for wandering along to the pub once your barbecue gets rained off. The sole is made from a rubber/latex blend for maximum grip in wet conditions, and see those holes along the base? Those aren't to let air in, they're to let water quickly drain out. Shoes with their own drainage system? Believe it, babe. The rest of the shoe is a phylon compound for added flexibility and increased air-flow. You might not be hitting the ocean waves this summer, but these shoes are perfect for the worst damp August Britain can throw at you.


Helly Hansen W Naiad Dress

Whereas the above dress from Craghoppers was all about getting out there, no matter what the weather, the Naiad from Helly H would prefer you to approach life in a far more relaxed manner. A simple tunic-like dress, it features short sleeves and a drawstring waist. It is made from a soft cotton/modal jersey blend, so despite the light and airy looks, it will actually offer some cosy protection from a chilly breeze. Great to throw on over a bikini when the weather turns, or to wrap up in on a summer's night while standing around waiting for someone to light the barbecue.


Craghoppers Nosilife Cargo Trousers

Back one final time in bug and UV-free territory, the Nosilife Cargo Trousers are the perfect damp summer addition for guys. Not only are these pants quick-drying (with drying loops sewn in), they include nine pockets, two of which fasten with zips, and a sealable drybag inside the left cargo pocket to stow your phone and other decidedly non-waterproof possessions. The trousers are 100% polyamide, making them tough as old boots yet comfortable as kipping on a cloud. You might be trekking through deepest, darkest (and dampest) Africa in these, but you'll still be fine and dandy.


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