Fearne Cotton wearing a jumpsuit

Fearne Cotton dressed for now in a jumpsuit

May: that tricky time of year when the sun comes out, the shades go on and you can’t help but get excited about the prospect of summer. But then it all goes wrong when the weather lets you down as you find yourself shivering in a pair of shorts and sandals in the rain…

So what should you wear at this time of year? A hint of colour here, a flash of ankle there…these are our favourite items that nod to the summer but are totally practical too.



1. A longer line tailored jacket

Topshop checked coat

Yeah, the sun’s out, but don’t be fooled. There’s still a chill in the air. This jacket is the perfect weight; warm enough to sling on in the evening but light enough to feel summery. Opt for something tailored and you can wear it for work, too. Check print throw on coat, £75, topshop.com



2. Cropped trousers

Folk brick print trousers

Come May, we reckon you should ditch your socks (unless your wearing them as a fashion statement, of course), so show off those bare ankles in a pair of cropped trousers. We love the print and sporty style of this pair. Brick print pipe trousers, £195, folkclothing.com



3. Cut out or perforated shoes

Paul Smith shoes

Not yet warm enough for sandals, but too hot for proper shoes? We adore the hybrids that have popped up this season, from cut out styles to shoes with perforated holes. You can feel the breeze on your toes! Frank shoes, £270, paulsmith.co.uk



4. A short sleeved shirt

Zara shirt

Nothing says laid back cool like a loose, short-sleeved shirt or one with casually rolled up sleeves, and it’s still cool enough to button the collar all the way up. Look for styles with contrast details – this one comes in three different colours. Combined shirt, £19.99, zara.com



5. A leather skirt

Baukjen leather skirt

Make the most of the warm weather by baring your legs in a leather skirt that might be a bit too warm come August. This one is really clever because the leather is stretchy (no, we don’t know how they do that either but it’s brilliant). Mara leather skirt, £309, baukjen.com



6. A jumpsuit

A.P.C. jumpsuit

Slightly less scary than dungarees and just as comfortable as a onesie, we’re obsessing over jumpsuits and boiler suits in the InStyle offices at the moment. Just add shoes. Napoli jumpsuit, £295, by A.P.C. at avenue32.com


7. A short sleeved knit

Kenzo sweater

May and September are the best months to wear short-sleeved knitwear, so make the most of it before it gets too hot in a few weeks. Pair with a pencil skirt and pointy pumps for a lovely, ladylike look. Pullover, £245, by Kenzo at stylebop.com


8. A colourful parka

Parka London jacket

You simply cannot guarantee the weather in Britain, and you can be pretty certain it’s going to rain at least once a week at this time of year. Ditch the brolly and wear a cool parka instead. It’s also an invaluable item come festival season. Clemence, £220, parkalondon.com


Let us know if you’ve dressed right for the weather where you are today. Tweet us or Instagram with #fashionthermometer and a picture of your outfit.


Continued below...

By Hannah Rochell, features editor