Belfast Telegraph

Northern Ireland summers: We can't do cool and chic when mercury rises

By Maureen Coleman

Don't you just love Northern Ireland summers? Barbecues in the back garden, picnics on the beach and lobster-red adults flashing too much flabby flesh.

There's something about sunshine that makes normally reserved men – and women – cast off their clothes and inhibitions to display unsightly muffin tops and those over-sized beer bellies.

Of course beauty comes in all shapes and sizes and everyone is entitled to make the most of the glorious weather, regardless if they look more Hugh Hefner than Hugh Jackman.

But there's a time and place to flash massive tummies, and it's not Belfast's Royal Avenue at lunch hour. Less is more certainly doesn't apply here.

For Ulster folk, used to only occasional bursts of sunshine, dressing for such weather can pose many dilemmas.

It's sometimes hard to know what to wear when the temperatures soar and there's a balance to strike between keeping cool and keeping one's dignity intact. And while there are plenty of women running around in too-tight shorts or crop tops that do nothing to flatter their figures, it's men who are the worse offenders.

We should look to our European counterparts for example.

The Italians and French could give a masterclass in looking effortlessly cool and chic, even in sweltering heat.

You will rarely see a huge bare belly hanging over a pair of jeans wandering down the Champs-Elysees.

Well you might, but you can guarantee they won't be Parisian.

So let's show a little decorum and a little less flesh.

Unless, of course, you're built like Hugh Jackman.

Why it’s just not such a good look here this summer

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