Breezy days on British beaches are on the cards this summer, which means a new kind of cover up. Step forward the oversize shirt. It’s been on the fashion crowd’s off-duty staple list for a while now, after billowy boyfriend shirts appeared at Gucci, Bottega Veneta and Loewe. Five sizes too big or borrowed from your man is the look you’re after.
While we all know kaftans work wonders for disguising all the bits you don’t want on view, pre and post a dip in the sea, they look more at home in St Tropez or by the pool of a Greek villa than in windswept Scarborough.
With no buttons, they’re also difficult to wriggle in and out of with damp skin. That other classic cover-up, the sarong, offers even less coverage when it gets chilly — and won’t help to keep the sun off your shoulders, either.
For a much more modern look, buy a large shirt and leave it unbuttoned. (I love that it covers the arms, but still shows a hint of swimsuit underneath.) Or do it up as required. It’s the less try-hard relative of the kaftan and says, ‘I haven’t been planning this look for months.’
And it’s versatile, too. For an evening look, add a skinny belt with a camisole top underneath — Marks & Spencer do some of the best in white and nude, £5 — and pair with slim, cropped trousers.
Go for a breathable, light cotton like Eberjey’s sheer one (below) or white linen, like the one I’m wearing here from Zara. Prints are lovely, but can be restrictive when it comes to matching with swimwear, so opt for a neutral colour to get the most wear out of yours. Whatever you choose, just make sure it’s roomy as well as long — so there’s no reason to say no to an extra ice cream.
Juliet Dunn at matchesfashion.com