GS Journal

Dressing for a British Summer

British summer seems to be blazing hot one day, wet and wild the next. The key to dressing for this unpredictable weather is layering, particularly with knitwear that you can pull on when the temperatures drop. I’ve previously discussed my outfit suggestions and layering ideas for summer events, but what about general day-to-day wear to get you through the summer months?

My absolute favourite item for summer layering is a wool cardigan. They just go with everything, from jeans to dresses, and are so easy to unbutton or shrug off one shoulder when the sun makes an appearance. Our Alloa cropped cardigans are perfect for wearing with high-waisted trousers or dresses that gather at the waist. They also look great paired with slip dresses or long skirts, and can effortlessly be dressed up or dressed down. Alternatively, our Lea cardigans are available in a variety of vibrant hues, and are ideal for adding a burst of colour to your outfit. I love wearing a Lea cardigan at the weekend, as they take me straight from a walk in the park to al fresco cocktails at my favourite bar.

Another favourite styling trick for a British summer is to wear a knitted wool vest over a dress for added warmth. If the sun makes an appearance, you can shed your vest easily. Or if you know the weather is going to be gloomy but don’t want to commit to covering your arms, I love wearing one of our Laide wool vests as a top with a pair of jeans or trousers.

If I’m planning a camping trip or hike in the countryside, I don’t leave home without a wool sweater packed in my bag. It’s somehow always colder when you’re camping, and it’s always chilly on top of a hill, so it’s sensible to have a warm, cosy knit to pull on. Our Maud lambswool-cashmere jumpers and Leslie brushed wool sweaters are both perfect for this purpose.

Also, remember to take a warm jumper if you’re planning a wild swim, even if the sun is shining. I do a lot of hot-cold therapy using a friend’s sauna and ice bath. Inspired by a trip to Finland, I always keep my head and feet warm before and after submerging in cold water, wearing samar socks and a woollen beanie. You’ll be thankful when you emerge shivering from the cold water and pull on your warm layers.

Likewise, don’t forget a warm pair of socks if you’re hiking, camping, wild swimming or just hanging out in your friend’s garden. A pair of cotton socks are perfect for warmer summer days, or wool socks if you anticipate cooler temperatures. And I love a pair of sparkly socks for adding a fun twist to any outfit.

Too warm for a jumper? An oversized lambswool blanket scarf is the perfect year-round cover-up. I wear mine throughout the summer: to keep me warm on flights, to wrap around my shoulders on chilly evenings, to take camping and use as a blanket, or for a make-shift picnic blanket in the countryside.

As seen on @Jen.griswold styling the Leslie brushed wool sweater in Pearl, paired with a lace skirt and Selina sparkly chevron socks.


And, of course, the past few weeks have been a washout in most of the UK, with grey skies and lower than average temperatures. It can be tempting to turn the heating on when it’s cold in the house, but I refuse to put on the heating in July, instead reaching for an oversized scarf or warming yet lightweight knit such as the Leslie or Maddis cardigan to keep me snug and cosy.