Style

Here’s what to wear if you’re really, really sunburned

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Sam Diss
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You had a great weekend sitting in the park, didn’t you, with your pop-up BBQ and sausages and those nice little brioche buns someone had incorrectly mislabeled for the clearance shelf. Few too many Amstel cans, however, and suddenly your left arm is sizzling like the delicious meats on the grill and tight as a drum. This is bad.

But here are a few ways to dress around the pain, to lessen (or attempt to lessen) the redness, and make you not look like a prick who doesn’t understand how sunshine works:

THROW RED AND YELLOW AND ORANGE RIGHT OUT YOUR WINDOW

Or at least just don’t wear it. And yes, this is an obvious one, but you’d be surprised how many people you see fight fire-with-fire and end up looking like a Fruit Salad chew. Black, navy, olive greens, and white, evenly, can help lessen the impact and low-key prints and patterns can help distract the eye from your unsightly vermilion hue.

AVOID SKINNY STUFF

After the damage you’ve done to it, you need to avoid tight-fitting clothes so it’s wide-legs over taper - which is handy, because wides are back and cool again, and make you feel a bit like you’re in Almost Famous.

GET THE LONG SLEEVES OUT

It’s a little bit counter-intuitive, but a lightweight long-sleeve shirt or jacket can be your best mate when the sun comes out. While social pressure and the rarity of actual sunshine may make you feel bad for covering up, your skin will thank you, and if you’ve already damaged it with sunshine, you’re gonna fuck your shit up even more if you don’t play it safe. Plus: a light blue Oxford with shorts is a baller, I’m-on-a-yacht look and will make you feel better than you really are.

DENIM IS THE ENEMY

As anyone who has ever gone commando in jeans will know, denim is not a forgiving master. It is an irritant, a rub-n-chafer, and the sensation of raw denim on your raw, glowing skin will make you want to scream. Go for a lighter pair of chinos if you want to not cry.

WEAR COTTON

Light, soft, breathable. Just wear cotton. Can you imagine how warm it gets when you’re Jonah Hill and you live in Los Angeles and have to strain, constantly, with every fibre of your being, to remind everyone just how bloody much you love streetwear? Cotton is the one.

WEAR DARK SHADES

“Ooh, but it attracts the sunlight!” they say. “Ooh, it absorbs the heat!” Yeah, mate, we know: we all did KS2 Science. Black absorbs all wavelengths of light and reflects none, yadda, yadda, yadda, OK, OK, stop talking to me.The fact is, dark colours – regardless of skin-tone – negate the strength of bright colours: it’s why you wear ker-aaayzy trainers with simple, dark trousers and why a nice bit of goth will serve you and your blistered skin well.

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Sam Diss

The Associate Editor of New Projects at ShortList, Sam enjoys making up words to annoy editors, writing features about sports, music, weird things, and cool people, and listening to Mark Morrison's 'Return Of The Mack'. He's also a fairly capable centreback. Follow Sam on Twitter: @SamDiss

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