and neon pinks
Sure, white repels the heat, and surer still, it is unfailingly elegant, but dark skies and generous rains allow a special liberty to compensate for nature's greys with parrot greens and neon pinks, and well, everything in between.
Head out for some bold new colours while the clouds overcast the sun and give your whites some rest; they've paid their dues.
While bright and luminous colours may not normally be for the weak at heart, remember that the heavens above are providing a plain backdrop for you to use to your advantage. Brave the turquoises and embrace the tangerines, because truly, the element of grey all around will be sure to dilute your choices. After all, who wants to wear dowdy neutrals when you can (and should) flaunt some neons...and get away with it?
If this is fashion too forward for your liking, there are of course ways to dial down your wardrobe. Opt for bright kurtis, kameezes and tops in lollipop hues paired with white or pale printed shalwars and pants for an offsetting effect. This way, not only will the ensemble seem more suited to your personal style (if light is how you like it), but the prints will add a fun and feminine element to your attire.
The welcome onset of the long, Pakistani kameez is really where all the hype is at this season. Forego the waist-touching cuts in kameezes; we really have seen them enough, and choose instead the softer, more graceful mid-calf length designs that promise to be the new favourites for at least a few seasons to come.
For those who are yet unprepared to bid final adieu to shorter length, play with your lime greens and sunflower yellows in short tops and kurtis.
A wise (wo)man would do well to not be permanently fooled by the brooding heavens above - they last only as long as the showers do and the sun is forever on an attempt to reclaim its aerial territory. Stay true to loose fits and flowing cuts throughout the summer; winter will always allow you to do otherwise.
Our love-affair with cotton sees no foreseeable end for reasons mentioned above. Nature has turned over no new leaf and the worst bouts of heat and humidity may be far from over. Invest in solid, one-toned and printed cotton fabrics for that will neither deny you that breezy summer feel nor injure your wallet.
If your outfits serve morning-to-evening long-hauls, a good idea might be to choose mixed materials as opposed to pure cottons to skive worrisome ironing and maintenance regimes.
Hair and makeup - less is more!
This is as good a time as any to subscribe to the 'less is more' adage because nothing complements spritely summer outfits more than a fresh, clean face. The call for dark eyes and sensual lips will come if you wait for it, and now is not the season to make premature use of them.
This summer, eyes will find their definition in thin and elegant lines of kohl and mascara while lips will fare well in sugary pinks and oranges, topped off with a sparkle of gloss. A hint of blush may add colour and contour to your face, but only when done with subtlety.
Allow yourself some liberties with your hair if you've kept, or at least fooled others into thinking you've kept make-up to a minimum. Bouncing beach curls will add sport to your look and you can afford to wear your hair down on days when the clouds come hand-in-hand with compromised temperatues.
Where the fun well and truly begins. If one-toned kameezes were your worry, find them complements in chunky bangles, multiple bracelets, oversized rings and trailing beads. Toy around with contrasts and complements because the accessories you pick will gain identities of their own against solid backgrounds.
Fresh flowers are in keeping with cleansing rains, and never do poorly in lending a touch of feminine grace.
Bags and belts can be as large as convenience demands or as sleek as you desire; hung casually off your shoulder for the former and adding shape to your mid-riff for the latter.
Those flowery prints and brightened hues make perfect pairs with playful ballerina pumps and jewel-toed thongs. Flirt with your feet, don't punish them, so keep the backbreaking heels at bay. Easy, breezy and casual is what it's about, and heels are anything but.
This summer, as (not if) you contemplate a wardrobe overhaul, consider the bold but fun lollipop hues. After all, a little courage with colour never hurt anyone.
By Subhi Shama
Photo: Sazzad Ibne Sayed
Makeup, styling, wardrobe: Farzana Shakil