Oooh-weee — it is hot, hot, hot. Not just here but globally. Did you see the temperatures in France earlier this month? They were WAY above normal. NPR reported that Southern France had their hottest day in history with temperatures reaching 113 degrees (source). Does this hot weather have you wondering what to wear in Summer?
Some of you know what that feels like. Arizona, Florida, Texas and Oklahoma all reach those temperatures during the summer but when people are used to much lower temps, it is a shock to the system.
You can find relief by sipping a cold beverage or going for a midday movie. Europeans are finding reprieve by swimming in the city fountains. They have reached survival mode.
Unless you have access to a body of water, being inside is the only option to keep cool.
To combat the high temps outside, businesses will run their air conditioning to the max, satisfying your desire for comfort initially but soon you feel chilled and want to go back outside to warm up.
We are well-versed on this sort of bipolar environment. If you have been in hot weather at all, you will also know the extreme temperature difference between outside and inside.
For those of us professionals who work in an office building, this makes dressing for comfort a struggle.
Who can relate?
Well, we have some advice for you to be comfortable in your clothes, regardless of the temperature. You’ve got more important things to worry about. Let us help you dress for success in the summer months.
From fabric to fit in dry heat and humidity, we promise you will stay cool outside and warm inside.
What to Wear in Summer: Humidity
Humidity is a game changer. It amplifies the effects of an already hot environment. If you haven’t had the opportunity to experience it first hand, the best way to describe the difference between dry heat and humid heat is to imagine a sauna and a steam room.
Both are hot but one has A LOT more moisture which makes the air quality much different.
One of our own Mercury Clothiers gals recently moved from the dry Colorado air to the humid Georgia air and although she has visited humid places before, she says living in it is something entirely different.
“I have vacationed in humid climates before and loved the humidity. My skin and hair never looked better but that was for 2 weeks. It’s a different story when you live in it and have to dress in something other than beach clothes.”
Beat the heat with Fabric
When the heat hits, choose a cooler fabric like cotton or linen to wear.
Cotton is a great fabric for hot climates. It doesn’t cling to the body, allowing your skin to breath. It does tend to shrink though so be careful when washing and drying cotton. We suggest washing on cool and hang drying.
Linen is the go-to summer fabric. There is a reason why people who live in tropical climates wear linen. Like cotton, it is breathable but it isn’t as heavy as cotton! It also dries very quickly and does not show sweat stains.
Wide-leg linen trousers are trés chic for office wear. Purchase more than one pair — one for wearing with a pointed-toe ballet flat and another to wear with a heel.
Typically any blend of cotton and linen is also a great option for wearing in hot climates because it possesses the best qualities of each fabric.
What to Wear in Summer: Layers
In addition to the fabric, another way to stay comfortable all day long is to dress in layers. This allows you to put on and take off pieces when you need. We have listed some of our favorite combinations below.
- Twin set
- Short-sleeved top & cardigan
- Blouse & cardigan
- Blouse & blazer
- Dress & blazer
Keep a pair of socks in your desk drawer so your feet can be toasty when you are sitting for long periods of time.
How Fit Affects Your Temperature
How a piece of clothing fits is one of the most important aspects to fashion. A great fitting piece feels good and when you feel good, your confidence shows.
For the hot summer months, opt for loose-fitting clothing. The shape allows air to flow around your body which cools you down faster. Naturally, this fit benefits you in the heat, dry or humid. Pieces like wide-leg trousers and A-line dresses fit in this category.
What to Wear in Summer — Beyond the Fashion
Beyond the fabric and fit, your hair and skin care are also affected by the heat.
According to Curly Girl: The Handbook, 65% of women have some degree of curly or wavy hair. For those girls, humidity is either your best friend or worst enemy. Curly hair naturally gravitates towards moisture so when there is moisture in the air, the hair strands reach up to catch as much as they can, resulting in frizz.
A good frizz-free product is essential to add to your repertoire. This one is our favorite from Ouidad.
Using a setting spray or powder is necessary to prevent your makeup from running down your face. Blotting papers like these can also help keep your makeup in its place. Keep them in your purse or desk drawer for a quick spruce up throughout the day.
Your skin needs some attention during the summer too. A good cleanser and cleansing routine is necessary to get rid of the dirt, sweat, and makeup every night. Routinely visiting the spa for a facial or using a beauty tool like this one can really help in promoting clean and healthy skin.
While you are escaping the summertime heat during the day, remember that warm summer nights are a great time to enjoy the outdoors. If you haven’t read our post on how to take your look from day to night, click here. There are 5 ways to transform your workwear to after-workwear and you don’t want to miss them.