Today’s post is an updated version of an old favorite.
The heat index is 112 in my city today—that’s hot enough to fry an egg on the sidewalk.
It’s sweltering at 6:00 a.m. I’d like to just hit the pool, but instead, I need to look presentable for work. It’s hard to stay polished when it’s hot outside: makeup melts, hair frizzes, clothes wrinkle.
You may not be able to keep as cool as you’d like, but you can keep cool enough—and look good while doing it—by following these tips:
Hair and Makeup:
Hair and makeup are 80% of your personal appearance: if they look good, you’ll look good. Unfortunately, good hair and makeup are much harder to get in the summertime! Minimalist routines work well this season:
• Skip the foundation—you’re better off without it than with it melting down your face.
• Go easy on blush and bronzer: they can melt, too, and it’s easy for them to look overdone in the heat.
• Learn to do a messy bun, cute ponytail, or side braid. (Tip: blow drying takes forever when it’s hot and humid. Just do the front and sides and pull your hair back to save time.)
• Don’t fight your hair’s natural texture. It’s too hard to maintain in humidity.
Let Him Wear the Pants:
• Dresses and skirts allow for more air circulation than pants or shorts.
• Don’t tuck things in, and unless your workplace demands it, don’t even think about pantyhose.
• A maxi can be as comfortable as a shorter dress.
• Choose natural fabrics like cotton or linen for coolness (though knit dresses aren’t terrible).
Pay Attention to Color, Cut and Cloth
• Wear light colors. Dark colors absorb heat, and make you feel hotter. Two of my favorite summer staples are white cotton pants and a white cotton embroidered shirt.
• Looser cuts keep you cooler by letting more air circulate. I love trim sweaters for fall and spring, but loose styles (like this from Macy’s) are better suited to summer.
• Breathable fabrics like cotton and linen are best.
Choose Light Layers for Intense A.C.
If you visit an office building, mall, or grocery store in the summer heat, the air conditioning may be humming along at a nippy 72 degrees.
Here’s how to switch back and forth between wildly varying climates:
• Carry a lightweight cardigan or jacket (or stash one in your desk). I always have a 3/4-sleeve cardigan or denim jacket handy in the summer time.
• Plan ahead. Don’t wear short shorts if you’re going to the mall—wear a maxi dress, and bring a cardi.
Accessorize—but don’t add warmth
I don’t feel put-together if I’m just wearing a t-shirt and shorts (but there’s no way I’m donning a sweater or jacket in this heat!) Accessories make the outfit.
In cooler weather, I’d wrap a scarf around my neck, or schlep a giant tote–but neither option is appealing on hot summer days.
• Tie that scarf around your waist or in your hair for style without unwanted warmth.
• Go for statement jewelry—an armful of bangles, or a big necklace.
• Don’t just wear the same old flip-flops! You’ll look more put-together if you wear pretty sandals.
Accept it—on the dog days of summer, you’re going to be hot. So you may as well keep your wardrobe in tune with the weather instead of fighting it.
But if you can swing it, I highly recommend the swimming pool.
How do you cope with summer heat?