Mana G popped this request into the box, and I wanted to address it before summer leaves us:
How to dress in ridiculously, stiflingly hot weather… And still look fashionable.
I wore the outfit above on a day when it was 95 degrees with a heat index of 105, and humid as hell. I was indoors most of the day, it’s true, but this outfit still fits my main criteria for a stylish hot weather ensemble. And they are …
Washable: If you’re like me, you sweat mostly from your armpits. If it’s hot out, there’s no WAY I’m putting on something that needs hand washing or dry cleaning.
Breathable fabrics: This dress is cotton, with only a few traces of spandex. Natural fibers like linen and silk work, too, especially in loose weaves.
Minimal layers: I avoid scarves, camis, slips, and all other layering devices when it’s hot. Keep it simple, and avoid more cloth than is strictly necessary.
Body-skimming garments: Super-loose clothing makes me feel hotter, since it creates a tent-like area around my overheated bod. Super-tight clothing makes me feel sticky and uncomfortable. But clothing that sits quiet and flat against my bod is ideal for hot weather. (Not sure if this is the case for all, but it’s certainly true for me.)
Maximum exposure: Everyone has levels of comfort with exposed body parts, so these standards will vary … but I am most comfortable in stifling heat when my skirt is both light and short, and I prefer short sleeves or a sleeveless top. Please, please ignore anyone who says that only women with toned arms should expose them. Those people have never experienced the joys of heat rash. …
Skirts and dresses: A bit of a breeze on your nether regions helps cool the whole. No, really!
Heavy on the accessories: A giant leather belt may feel heavy and hot, but a statement necklace, a few brooches, or a bright scarf worn around your wrist or waist will add interest. Since keeping it simple is the order of the day, make sure to keep it chic by adding accessories. (Caveat: I prefer those statement necklaces against cloth, not skin, as they just stick to my neck otherwise. Not always possible, but definitely preferred.)
Fabulous shoes: OK, fabulous shoes are ALWAYS a good idea. But again, since you’re likely to be very simply dressed, picking a pair that adds flair is an even better idea when you’re dressed for horrible heat.