Summer is finally, officially here – at last! The temperatures have been hovering around the 60° mark and there is bare skin peeking out wherever you look – sometimes more than you want to see! Now I love the heat, and when everyone else is walking around basically naked, I will be wearing a thin hoodie. But for those of you who don’t do well in near melting temperatures, here are some style tips to help you stay cool on the hottest summer days, which will also let you look great!
Cover your head
You probably think that wearing something on your head will just make your hair stick to your head in a hot, sweaty mess. But when the hot sun is beating down on you – covering up will protect your head from all those UV rays and actually keep you cooler. So invest in a few thin head scarves, and a light hat – something with holes for ventilation that doesn’t fit too closely is best. Your hair is a natural winter scarf – so keep it off your neck as much as possible!
Avoid heavy jewelry
Heavy necklaces will press against your skin, or against your clothes, which will make you sweat more. Anything made with metal will get hot, which will transfer to your skin, meaning you get hot. Bracelets cover your wrists, and if you know anything about cooling fevers you know that’s bad! Anything lightweight can stick to your skin and make you sweatier. Earrings are a much better option because they don’t touch any skin, and if you get slightly chunky drop earrings – no one will notice you’re not wearing any other jewelry! If you don’t have a pair yet, try looking for one in Nordstrom. There’s plenty of fashionable designs that you’ll be able to get on a budget.
Avoided padded or lined anything
For those of us with slightly (okay a lot) less in the chest area padded bras are a godsend. But when the temperatures are up, a padded bra is one of the worst things you can ever wear – unless you like boob sweat! And in case you hadn’t noticed – if your breasts are hot, you are hot! Anything that is lined is designed to keep you warm, or to keep any breezes from reaching your skin. In summer – that is a bad thing! The lining is also normally a synthetic material which traps heat, so opt for one less layer between you and any cooling breezes with unlined dresses, skirts and jackets.
Choose natural fabrics
Things like polyester and rayon are extremely versatile and anyone who makes clothing loves to use them. But natural fabrics are much better at absorbing and then releasing heat, wicking away sweat and keeping you cool. Plus natural fabrics dry a whole lot faster, so if they do get any sweat patches (it happens to all of us!) they will dry up and disappear a whole lot faster. At the end of the day – cotton, silk and even wool are a lot more breathable than any synthetic fabrics and in summer, breathable clothing is king!
Save the slinky or form fitting clothes for cooler days
Lightweight clothing is ideal when you’re trying to keep your temperature down on hot days – but when that clothing is right against your skin it will stick to even the lightest sheen of sweat. That will just make you feel sticky and uncomfortable, even when you’re not actually that hot! So no matter how flattering it is, avoid anything that hugs your body such as tight fitting tank tops, slinky dresses and slim line skirts – rather choose structured tops, slip dresses and loose or flowing maxi skirts, especially if the day is going to be especially hot or you’re spending a lot of time in the sun!
Choose plain and simple, and open weaves
When you’re shopping for your summer wardrobe, you’re going to find quite a few extremely beautiful but heavily embellished items. I know how beautiful they are – I have more than a few beaded dresses or tops with gorgeous embroidered panels. But all that means is that there is something heavy to press against your skin and an extra layer between it and those lifesaving breezes. So rather wear your plainest items with zero embellishments on the really hot days – even if the embellished items are made with thin summer cotton or lightweight chiffon! Layering your clothing can completely change an outfit, and also hide a few bumps and bulges you feel uncomfortable about. So if you’re going to layer in the summer, go for something loose fitting as the bottom layer and a very loose open weave knit that won’t block any cooling breezes for the top layer.
Wear socks to wick away the sweat
You probably think that open toed sandals are the way to go in the summer, but the problem is that the material used to make them often makes your feet sweat more than they would normally. Your feet also tend to get dirty a lot more easily which also makes them sweat more, and you have more sweat glands in the bottom of your feet than anywhere else so they already sweat more than any other part of your body. If you’re going to go open toed, then make sure the soles aren’t made with patent leather or any other sweat inducing synthetic materials or get insoles that will wick the sweat away. Otherwise wear cute socks with light closed shoes like ballet flats or canvas sneakers.
It’s not just how you dress
Ironically having a HOT shower on a hot day will keep you cooler than having a cold shower! When you have a cold shower, your body automatically raises your core temperature so although your skin is cool, you are actually hotter when you get out than when you got in. Having a warm shower is also better for removing the layers of dirt and dead skin cells you’ve collected since your last shower – dirt which forms a fine layer and makes it more difficult for cooling breezes to reach your skin or for your body to release excess heat through your pores. The same principle applies to your clothing – while wearing clothing multiple times cuts down on your washing – even when something looks clean, the sweat and dirt trapped in the fibers makes them less breathable and that makes you hotter! So rather wash your clothing between wears, or if you’ve only worn them for a short while then rinse them out when you take them off.
Now that you know how to keep yourself cool while everyone else is melting, you can go out and stock up on your new summer wardrobe. And as a simple guide to help you while you’re in the stores and not in front of your computer reading this – plain and simple, loose and structured, unlined and ventilated, natural fabric items are the perfect choices when shopping for the hottest summer days!