While you wait for the sun, revel in this season's long look.
Light as air and loose enough for unrestricted movement, this summer the soft, floaty dress is the only addition your wardrobe needs. If you are planning a summer holiday, attending a summer festival, or simply staying on these shores waiting for a sunny weekend by the seaside, a crepey viscose dress by Ghost will roll up as small as a T-shirt and can be thrown in the washing machine to be worn again and again.

You might have noticed that the shops are full of synthetics, more so than since the days of bri-nylon and acrylic in the Seventies. You may also have noticed that synthetics do not mean cheaper clothes. Some garments have 100 per cent nylon printed on the care label, alongside a dry clean only symbol. It seems there is little advantage in buying the new-style synthetics, even if they do feel like silk. The only plus point is that fabric with a percentage of man-made fibres will remain wrinkle-free. And at least a sloppy dress will not be tailored too close to the body for comfort.

The best buy of the season must be a flower embroidered, indigo-blue dress from Oasis. At pounds 39.99, it is a must-have and the good news is you don't have to be a stick insect to wear a shift dress. Look for a style with a bit of shape to it so that you don't look like you are wearing a sack. Esprit has a multi-purpose, ankle-length version in red or blue tablecloth check with a drawstring tie across the back.

A loose-fitting dress can be liberating, especially if you are used to wearing trousers in the office. And if you are less than 5'8", a single colour can lengthen and flatter. Nothing is easier than wearing a single item head to toe. Flesh coloured underwear is recommended: bra-straps are prone to show. Most underwear companies include skin tone bras and knickers in their ranges. Calvin Klein and Gossard make underwear designed to be nearly invisible.

If wearing a sundress seems too much like wishful thinking, do not despair. However sun-deprived you might feel, the sun will appear at some point this summer and when it does, you might as well be prepared. But beware. Bare shoulders are prone to turning red in the sun. So wear a hat with a wide brim and don't forget the sun lotion.

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