Dressed for: Breathability

Already Pretty outfit featuring burnout tee shirt, cropped silk cargo pants, Lucky Brand wrap sandals, Alivia May necklace, potato pearl bracelets

Burnout tee, Gap (no longer available) – similar
Pants, Anthropologie (no longer available) – similar style
Necklace, courtesy Alivia May – giveaway forthcoming!
Earrings, Noir via Ideeli – similar
Stretch pearl bracelets, thrifted – similar
Sandals, Lucky Brand (no longer available) – similar (also Lucky)

I was able to take a bit of time off over the 4th of July holiday, which meant being outside more than usual. And THAT meant super lightweight garments in breathable fabrics (like cotton and silk) were required. Most air-conditioned buildings make me uncomfortably cold, but I calculated that it takes approximately 25 seconds out in the 100+ degree heat and 70% humidity to go from freezing to clammy and warm. Yep, I totally counted.

Are you dealing with punishing heat and humidity in your neck of the woods? (I doubt many of you Southern Hemi folks are!) Do you reach for breathable fabrics when it’s unbearably warm?

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  • Gwen

    I am all about linen shorts and lightweight, loose-fitting cotton blouses right now here in Minneapolis!

  • Yep, I’ve been sticking with thin cotton all week. Nothing that can’t be tossed into the washer and dryer. As much as I hate being cold, I’d rather deal with snow than the level of pure hellish heat and humidity of this summer.

    Your keeping-cool look is perfectly laid back but so chic. I love the trousers.

  • I love this outfit! It’s awesome to see how a completely ordinary outfit can look totally stylish with the right shoes and necklace – they totally make the outfit!

  • I am loving this simple look, with those awesome sandals to give the wow-factor. I basically stay indoors : > and stick with all-cotton, loose fitting clothes on days I have to be outside.

  • Christie

    It has been HOT! I wasn’t expecting that when we moved. Love those shoes!

  • Sarah N.

    Jersey, jersey, jersey. Jersey dresses and skirts are my go-to in the heat. They breathe, they wash easily, they’re comfortable, and they often create a polished look (if you go with good-quality jersey).

    I unearthed my favorite sarong yesterday for a BBQ and was reminded why I love it– it’s a long maxi skirt, extremely breathable cotton, and if accessorized correctly (blue printed sarong, black top and simple silver jewelry), it can look pretty sharp.

    One of my biggest things with hot weather is knowing the situation– when I’m inside intense AC all day, I’ll wear trousers and cardigans like it’s autumn, and expect to layer. But if I’m spending the afternoon outside on a 90+ day… I’ll wear something lightweight, and expect to sweat. Sometimes you just need to roll with it.

  • Lor

    love this laid back outfit! Do you know what brand those pants are? I wanted to try to stalk them on ebay 😉

    • Sal

      Sure! Looks like they’re by a brand called “Daughters of the Liberation.” Cool name.

  • Anonymous

    The grass is always greener…. I don’t think we’ve had more than like 4 days of consistent sunshine in Portland since last september and I hate it. this week is supposed to be nice though, thank goodness. my sundresses and sandals are languishing unworn.

  • Erika A

    Thin cotton dresses and linen pants with lightweight tank tops are my go-tos. I haven’t had to break them out much while living in California, but now that I’m moving back to the northeast, I’m sure they’ll be summer staples again.

  • Cajun country, it’s hot and sticky. I usually like cotton & spandex tops. Breathes and very comfy. If I thought silk would do the job I’d try that. But I see few silk tops in plus sizes.

  • It doesn’t get humid too much in Phoenix (probably one month a year), but I usually have to reach for dresses when it does. I do wear spandex shorts underneath to combat some uncomfortable thigh rub, but it’s still pretty breezy. I usually have a sweater packed away in my purse, in case I go into a store or A/C’d building.

    Oh, and not too much jewelry! Maybe just a ring or something that doesn’t stick to me when I sweat. Clammy is such an icky feeling!

  • Oh, how I pine for those trousers!! Keep cool :).

  • Cleo

    Killer necklace! And fantastic deployment of lipstick with those falsely tame colors.

  • Jen

    I love heat, but when it gets beyond 95°, it is a bit much for even me! So I’ve been wearing lots of cotton sundresses, maxi skirts with tanks, and jersey skirts with flowy tops. Fuss-free clothes that catch whatever breeze I can find!

  • Trillium

    I live in DFW, and it is in the 100 range for a few months during the summer. I absolutely hate it! Who likes a damp bra? Or worse? 😉

    Anyway, I’m not much of a shorts girl, but I do wear a lot of skirts, and especially linen pants. I find them very easy to wear and to care for, and they are super light enough for me to not get totally roasted. They can be dressed up or down and are super comfortable. I also wear a lot of light cotton tanks and tees to try to beat the heat. Of course here, all you have to do is walk from the house to the car and you’re sweating! Yuck!

    • Sal

      Trillium, I don’t know how you survive. Give me 30 below any day over 100+!

  • I definitely go for light-weight and breathable in this sort of weather. Mostly cotton shirts, loose skirts/dresses (although that’s a general default for me), and light-weight head coverings.

  • Jude

    Southeast Louisiana here. Cotton, cotton and more cotton! I have found that a colored silk shirt will darken with sweat and highlight your pit areas and white silk will become sheer when wet. Silk is nice on a warm day, but a blazing hot day with high humidity has me running for the cotton tee and skirt combo.

  • Hannah

    It started warming up here in Portland YESTERDAY, so clammy and warm sounds like a dream. But I usually go for cotton or loose-fitting jersey (hey, it’s Oregon).

  • Viktoria

    I wear a silk t-shirt under a cotton shirt. The silk keeps me dry, the cotton absorbs the sweat. I know some people think I´m crazy to wear two layers, but it´s so much more comfortable. However, in my neck of the woods (Swedish Lapland) we haven´t seen that much summer yet…

  • A very stylish outfit indeed. The only thing I could think of to make it perfect is to match the color of the lipstick to the color of your nailpolish. The color of the necklace is already returning in your shoes bukle and in the right light (top photo) the color of you hair is already returning in to color of your shoes.

  • You look awesome – so it IS possible to look chic in the midst of a heatwave! I’ve mostly been wearing linen pants with silk tops. Actually, anything linen or silk will do!

  • Anneesha

    Just wanted to share my favorite summer tip – Donna Karan Cashmere Mist anti-perspirant/deodorant IS THE BEST. Worth the high price tag ($18?) because it lasts a long time. Nordstrom usually has a late-summer special of 3 for $32 or something.

    Sal – love how smooth the line is under the sheer-ish tshirt! Good job with proper underpinnings.

  • Molly

    My goal in this heat is not only breathable fabrics, but outfits that I can wear without a bra. I don’t own a bra that isn’t stifling in this heat, aside from a couple thin silk ones that are pretty much equivalent to going without. I don’t know where I would find such a bra that is actually wearable underneath tank tops. Since my breasts are small enough, bralessness is my goal whenever the heat is unbearable. Summer makes me love having small breasts.

    • Galena

      Oh my god, I wish I could go braless. As it is, I have to put antiperspirant on my underboobs (technical term, of course) before bra-ing because otherwise I chafe and it is TERRIBLE and I could potentially rash up.

  • I live in New England. It’s also been hot and humid, and I wear black yoga tank tops a lot. The black doesn’t show any sweat and the armholes are usually big enough so that my pit sweat is able to evaporate instead of soaking into the fabric and stinking it up.

  • Thursday

    Silk and cotton dresses, I wish! We’ve scraped a thick layer of ice off the car every morning this week. So much winter left to go…It’s all tights and knits for a while here.