May 6, 2014

The Mercury is Rising: How To Dress For the Heat

The snow is finally melting after a dreadfully long winter. So dreadful in fact that those of you on the east coast were probably beginning to wonder if you would ever see the sun again, but alas the dog days of summer are upon us. It’s time to say farewell to your North Face collection and welcome back those cute flirty frocks and bold bikinis that make summer fashion sizzle in the sun.

Creating a new summer wardrobe is easy; all you have to do is increase your current one by adding a few key items. Soon you will be looking stylish and staying cool no matter what the occasion. Let’s start with the basics. The next time you are out shopping for your summer wardrobe, keep the next nine things in mind. First, dress light. There are some fabrics that can increase your body temperature, causing you to sweat more than usual. No one wants that so stick to light fabrics. When choosing fabric, go for clothing with natural fibers. They allow air to circulate which lets your skin breathe in the heat. Choose fabrics in light colors as they absorb less sun than darker colors. Second, keep it loose. This does not mean your clothes should be hanging on you it just means to avoid skin tight anything. As a rule of thumb you should be able to make out your silhouette. Keeping your clothing loose will allow your skin to breath and cool off instead of overheating. Choose a loose fitting, lightweight, flowing, flirty frock which can be dressed up or down depending on the occasion. If the occasion is casual pair your sundress with some cute flats. If it’s a fancier affair then choose a pair of stylish wedges. Third, choose colors that easily mesh with other colors currently in your wardrobe. This will be helpful when fall comes and you need to add a few layers to your summer look. Fourth, carry a hair clip in your purse at all times. That way you can pull up your hair at a moment’s notice and your hair won’t stick to the nape of your neck, making you even warmer than you already are. Fifth, less is not more in this case. I know when the temperature can fry an egg on the asphalt you feel the need to wear as little as possible, but just remember you can stay covered and keep cool and at the same time look stylish and chic. I think Mark Twain said it best, “Clothes make the man. Naked people have no influence on society.” Sixth, always wear shades to protect your eyes from the sun’s harmful rays. Sunglasses also prevent squinting which can lead to wrinkles and we don’t need any more wrinkles in addition to the ones aging already provides. Seventh, always wear sunscreen. Eighth, don’t pack up those light weight winter scarves just yet. They can be moved from your neck in the winter to your head in the summer. Ninth, don’t overload on the accessories. Less is more in this case. Some great summer accessories are beach totes, straw hats, and waste belts. Try matching all three items with the same color. This is an easy way to look stylish and summery with little effort. The best accessory you can wear with any summer outfit is body confidence, never leave home without it.

There are many different occasions you will need to dress cool for this summer. Below, I have listed a few examples of what to wear for each occasion.

1: Work
Picture Credit: Google Images

The most important thing to remember here is that linen is a lifesaver. Just be sure it has a little stretch so it will keep its shape. Remember to stick with light layers at work. Light colors are cooler than dark, but try not to look too beachy at work. Light colors show wrinkles more than dark. Try wearing a lightweight tailored blazer thrown over a sundress with a cute pair of kitten heels. You can also try wearing a tissue tee over tailored shorts, both in solid colors. Top this look with a white blazer and some cute pumps in the same color as your tissue tee.

#2: Casual

Choose loose cotton dresses with sandals, boxy tops, tissue tees, and loose shorts. For something different try wearing a vintage tired maxi skirt, which can be found in most thrift shops or online.

Picture Credit: Google Images

#3: Beach
Picture Credit: Google Images

The key thing to remember here is that beach ware doesn’t just consist of a bikini and flip-flops. Wearing a salsa and beer stained string bikini while partying like a rock star at your friend’s beach BBQ only seems like a good idea at the time. Tan lines, a hangover, and a beer belly are not. Make smart choices this summer. Instead of flaunting a barely there bikini all by it’s lonesome, try wearing your swimsuit as a base under your clothes so you’ll be ready to hop in the water at a moment’s notice but until then you’ll look amazing. Try topping your suit with a cute and sexy sun dress which is easy to step out of. You can also wear a cute pair of shorts, just avoid denim as it is too heavy when wet. Pair the shorts with a tank or a tissue tee. You could also choose to cover up with a maxi sundress, belted with a cute waist belt that matches your sandals.

#4: Date Night
Picture Credit: Google Images
Picture Credit: Google Images
Picture Credit: Google Images

What you wear on a date largely depends on what you will be doing or where you will be going. That being said if your date is on the casual side, like going to the movies, then take advice from #2 in this blog post. If you are going to a fancy restaurant or attending a play and you plan to dress up for the occasion, then I have a few ideas for you. Wear a snug, belted summer dress with either heels or a pair of fancy flats. If you go with the heels, choose a pair with peep-toes which help your feet stay cool by allowing air to circulate inside your shoes. If you wear flats choose a solid color that is a few shades brighter or darker than your dress and make your belt the same color as your shoes. Be sure to take a cardigan or a pashmina to throw over your shoulders if you become chilled at any point during your date. Top off this look with a pair of pearl or diamond stud earrings with a matching pearl or diamond bracelet. Keep your jewelry at a minimum. Instead of wearing a lot, choose just one statement piece like a chunky necklace. Style your hair in a sleek high pony tail or bun because you will appreciate having your hair off the nape of your neck when it’s sweltering outside.

Now that you have a starting point for creating your summer clothing collection the hard part is done. Now go out and bronze up that 6 month winter complexion.

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