When it comes to the brutal combination of soaring temperatures and humidity, one thing is for sure: dressing stylishly is no easy feat. Flaming temps introduce us to style challenges, but we are here to say that it is still possible to look good when it is hot as hell outside. The key is to choose the right fabrics, colors and cuts to make you feel cool and comfortable all day long.
Maybe you're packing for an island getaway, maybe you need some office-based solutions for those dog days in the summer, or maybe you just need a little laid-back look to run these mundane affairs. Regardless, don't stress. In this guide, we cover everything you need to know about attire when it's extremely hot out there.
This goes without saying, but lightweight clothes are ideal for those super hot days. Heavy fabric obstructs air circulation, making you overheat faster. We all know that a sleeveless sweater will keep you cooler than a long-sleeved shirt, and shorts will be more practical than pants, but which fabrics are the lightest? Linen is about as light as it gets, which is why it is such a popular fabric for summer garments. Seersucker is another lightweight fabric and has a classic yet elegant look that is perfect for summer parties and weddings. We love the look of a seersucker blazer or seersucker shorts paired with a flattering blouse, which is always in style but be sure to keep you cool like a cucumber.
All garments with finer threads will be more breathable. More importantly, you want to look for fabric with a loose weave. A dense weave not only holds air but also captures moisture. Generally, natural materials such as cotton, linen and chambray are best at wetting away moisture. Some synthetic materials such as polyester or nylon blends are also extremely breathable, which is why a lot of workout clothes are made with sweat wicking fabrics. When you see words like "quick dry" or "performance" on the tags of men's shirts or women's dresses, you know that they have created maximum breathability. There are even performance buttons for men made with quick-drying technology and natural cooling minerals that are helpful on the brutal summer afternoons.
Breathability is an important factor when it comes to choosing the right summer shoes as well. You may notice that many loafers and boats are equipped with small holes in them, and the purpose of these holes is to increase ventilation. When it comes to letting your feet breathe despite the heat, you can't beat a pair of cloth or leather flip-flops.
… and come loose
The reality is that sticky clothes don't allow much ventilation, so it's not the best choice when the thermometer hits 90. Summer is a good time to go for a slightly more relaxed fit. Looser shorts and roomier skirts allow for more airflow, which can help you stay comfortable. Midi dresses for women who have a floating fit are also perfect for days when you want to look elegant.
Do not skimp on the sunscreen
You may be wearing sunscreen every day, but did you know that there are other steps you can take to protect yourself from harmful UV rays? Look for clothing that offers UV protection. By wearing these high-tech garments, you don't have to stress to get irritating tan during the day. Make sure you still apply sunscreen to areas where your skin is not covered by clothing, such as face, hands and feet (no one wants a peasant tan!)
Ditch the Dark Hues
There is a good chance that you have heard that it is a bad idea to wear black when it burns out hot – and there is a good reason for this advice: black absorbs more light, meaning you will feel warmer when you wear it on a bright, sunny day. This rule doesn't just apply to black. Very deep shades of brown, purple and green can have the same effect. Instead, choose bright colors, such as white, beige, light gray and pastel, which will reflect the sunlight instead of absorbing it and thus retain less heat. Fortunately, spring and summer are the perfect time to wear shades that match the mood of the season. So go ahead and embrace the lighter and brighter shades of powder blue, coral, pink, yellow, lavender and mint. Not only will you feel cooler regardless of temperature, you will also stand out at the cool new brewery that just opened.
Just because the temperature is soaring doesn't mean you have to compromise your personal style. Be sure to keep these tips in mind as you pick out your summer clothes so you can look – and feel – cool.