GAIL ROLFE shows how you can go subtly sexy in summer straps

  • Gail Rolfe shares how slinky straps can help you add a sexy element to your look
  • The Mail’s fashion editor in the 80s shares the best summery style picks
  • She says it’s a way to embrace a slight baring of skin in the current climate 

The British climate is good for anyone with body hang-ups — probably most of us. Luckily, our usual chilly weather makes the art of concealment easy, thanks to oversized jumpers, long coats and midi dresses with thick tights.

Women in Mediterranean countries aren’t so squeamish and expose their bodies without fear. Wrinkles and flabby biceps — who cares?

Which brings us to this summer’s trend for strappy sundresses. It may not be the easiest of looks to embrace, but as every Spanish or Italian woman knows, when temperatures rise you need a floaty dress that wafts coolly around your body and sits light as air on your bare shoulders.

Dress, £229, allsaints.com; sandals, £24.99, asos.com

Dress, £14, hm.com; sandals, £225, russellandbromley.co.uk

It may not be the easiest of looks to embrace, but as every Spanish or Italian woman knows, when temperatures rise you need a floaty dress that wafts coolly around your body and sits light as air on your bare shoulders

Blazer, £132, jigsaw-online. com; dress, £150, kitristudio.com; sandals, £20, warehouse fashion.com

Blazer, £132, jigsaw-online. com; dress, £150, kitristudio.com; sandals, £20, warehouse fashion.com

Dress, £89, hush-uk.com; sandals, £110, jigsawonline. com

Dress, £89, hush-uk.com; sandals, £110, jigsawonline. com

The mercury might not reach record-breaking heights in the summer weeks we have left, yet there are still lots of warm days to come where a strappy dress will be spot-on.

You can make the trend more wearable. Follow the age-old style advice never to expose both leg and cleavage in one outfit — happily this year’s midi and maxi sundresses make that easy. Ideally, choose one that stops above the ankle, so the feminine skirts whoosh around your legs.

Wider straps allow you to wear a normal bra if you like more support. For styles with flimsy straps, make sure you go for a good strapless bra.

Dress, £125, allsaints.com; sandals, £38.35, warehouse fashion.com

Dress, £125, allsaints.com; sandals, £38.35, warehouse fashion.com

Dress, £77, jigsaw-online. com; sandals, £60, hushuk.com

Dress, £55, omnes. com; sandals, £175, whistles.com

The mercury might not reach record-breaking heights in the summer weeks we have left, yet there are still lots of warm days to come where a strappy dress will be spot-on

Dress, £164, lkbennett.com; sandals, £79, Castaner at farfetch.com

Dress, £164, lkbennett.com; sandals, £79, Castaner at farfetch.com

There are some bias-cut, slinkier versions of the strappy trend around, which are perhaps more difficult to assimilate into your wardrobe.

If you love them, but are upper-arm-conscious like so many of us, try adding a T-shirt underneath.

Feeling spoilt for choice? You can’t go wrong by choosing the Jigsaw navy-and-white stripe cotton, with its wider straps; the LK Bennett joyous red floral; and the navy linen blend from Hush for its subtly sexy cut-out.

Always keep a layer at hand to throw over your ensemble if you want to: a gossamer thin scarf, for example, or a denim or linen jacket which is cropped short at the waist and elongates your figure.

In the end, though, like everything in life, it all comes down to confidence. Wear a gorgeous dress without worrying while the sun still shines.

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