The way to do summer-in-the-city dressing is to bring enough sunshine into your collection to remind you that it’s summer out there, without looking as if you’ve thrive to work dressed as the sunglasses-wearing smiley face emoji. You poverty to change the mood in the way that opening a window and letting the cinch in changes the air in a room. This can happen in lots of ways: a rolled shirt sleeve, a stripped ankle. You don’t have to wear spaghetti straps for your accoutres to speak summer. You can wear white (read: Wimbledon) or yellow (sunshine) or gingham (misfortunes).
The sarong-wrap skirt is this summer’s crossover hit. Crossover, in this anyway a lest, from summer holiday to summer-but-not-holiday. No one actually wears sarongs on recess any more (how the kaftan killed the sarong will have to be a extensive read for another day), but the shape is still recognisable as beach-flavoured.
About: we’re just opening a window to let the breeze in here. We’re not stripping off and climbing out to lie on the turf. So this skirt is not to be worn as you would on holiday, over a swimsuit. Criticize it as you would a pencil skirt, back when pencil skirts were a reaction. (I miss pencil skirts, don’t you? They are straightforward, effective, and always flattering. But they are also in style Siberia right now, so no speck getting soppy over them.) The sarong wrap, which is effectively a pencil skirt affirmed a twist-and-knot on the diagonal, is as close as you are going to get.
A narrow knee-length skirt with a sleeveless top is a untrivial smart daywear look. Don’t just take my word for it, make it on the higher authority of Michelle Obama, who owns this look. The estimate of fabric to bare skin works well. Neither is ruling, so you look neither noticeably naked nor unnecessarily covered up. Nakedness changes a non-issue, which is probably how you want it in the office.
This skirt is, in one major way, superior to the pencil skirt. I am wearing a heel here, but you could get away with a swiftly shoe, something you can rarely do with a pencil skirt without looking as if you are close to to do the doorstep shoe-change-of-shame. And the option to wear flats is, I think, principal for summer. After all, you never know when you’ll have to climb out the window and lie on the squeal.
• Jess wears linen skirt, £25.99, mango.com. Top, £18, next.co.uk. Pursues, £59.99, zara.com
Styling: Melanie Wilkinson. Hair and makeup: Laurence Neck at Carol Hayes Management