Stylish summer outfits to beat the heat

Office-friendly summer fashions as modelled by Shanghai bloggers

Fashion bloggers Denise Lai (www.superwowomg.com) and Jason Lam (www.toughlove.hk) showcase Time Out’s picks for a chilled workplace-friendly look, as picked by a textile expert to keep you cool in summer. 
Kimono jacket, 399RMB, Marks & Spencer (left)
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Kimono jacket, 399RMB, Marks & Spencer (left)

If baring your shoulders or arms is a no-no invest in a light, unlined cover-up which drapes rather than clings. Kimono jackets, like this printed chiffon number, are bang on trend this season: for longer-length cotton or silk versions in gorgeous prints, head to local atelier Bubblemood.

Marks & Spencer 863 Nanjing Xi Lu, near Shimen Yi LuSee address details.

Top 950RMB, Markise @ XINLELU.COM
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Top 950RMB, Markise @ XINLELU.COM

Pale colours do a good job of reflecting rather than absorbing the heat. This ivory draped top features a silk front and linen back panel for an interesting textural contrast that’s also super-absorbent and quick-drying to eliminate sweaty back syndrome.


Skirt 1,238RMB, Nuomi
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Skirt 1,238RMB, Nuomi

‘Bamboo fibre is a less orthodox but equally efficient choice for summer attire,’ says Chang. ‘It’s absorbent, breathable, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-static, and de-odorising.’ Ethical designers Nuomi were one of the first to use the material in their simple, unfussy designs, such as this flowing maxi-skirt.


Nuomi 196 Xinle Lu, near Donghu Lu. See more branches here.

T-shirt 79RMB, Uniqlo
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T-shirt 79RMB, Uniqlo

Uniqlo’s Airism ‘innerwear’ range features a specially designed techno-fabric that’s ultra-light, absorbs perspiration and controls odou. All this makes it a great inner layer for wearing under shirts – especially for when you’re moving between the humid outdoors and aggressively air-conditioned indoor environments.


Uniqlo Around town. See branches here.

Shirt 630RMB, Croquis
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Shirt 630RMB, Croquis

‘It’s all about natural fibres in this hot weather,’ says WGSN’s textile correspondent Pauline Chang. ‘Cottons, silks, and linens or blends of all three’. Home grown chain JNBY/Croquis crafts mercerised cotton (treated to give a sheen and silky-smooth texture) and other easy breezy fabrics into office-friendly styles, such as this silk-cotton blend shirt. Black is also an excellent colour choice for shirts as it conceals those pesky underarm sweat patches (avoid pale blue and grey at all costs).


Croquis 245 Madang Lu, near Hefei Lu. See all stores here.

Trousers 399RMB, Marks & Spencer
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Trousers 399RMB, Marks & Spencer

Shorts are on the ‘banned’ list of most office dress codes, but don’t despair: long, flowing trousers will actually keep you cooler as they allow the air to circulate around the body. Opt for a loosely tailored cut in a textured fabric and a neutral shade, such as these grey linen trousers for a less beachy, more boardroom-appropriate look.


Marks & Spencer 863 Nanjing Xi Lu, near Shimen Yi Lu. See address details.

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