Dressing for the hot summer months is about feeling cool and looking cool, in terms of both temperature and style. Whether you live in dry or humid summer conditions, lightweight, breathable fabrics in light colors are the perfect way to stay as comfortable as possible, and look stylishly in-season. The best fabrics to keep you cool are natural, such as cotton, chambray and linen. Cotton is great because it allows air to circulate. Chambray is a type of cotton, similar in look to denim, but much lighter. Linen is known for it’s exceptional coolness and wrinkling, which is part of its luxurious beauty. But if you feel the need to iron linen pieces, then this fabric may not suit you.
Among synthetic fabrics, Rayon also is great in dry heat. In humid weather, however, synthetic blends are best because they wick moisture away from you. Beware though, synthetic blends tend to retain perspiration odor, whereas natural fabrics do not. Whatever your fabric preference, select light colors such as white, cream or pastels that don’t absorb sunlight.
Maximum airflow is the next consideration. Think skirts, dresses and wide leg pants. Any of these options, at the various lengths available, provide great airflow for your lower body. And, all three options can be perfectly appropriate for office, date night or weekend if you select thoughtfully. Skirts and dresses are always available in classic styles from pencil to voluminous A-line silhouettes. My favorites are skirts and dresses that have interesting architecture, a feminine flounce, or multiple layers of super lightweight fabric to provide a sophisticated layered look. Think boutiques (see Boutiques versus Department Stores) to find these items. Wide leg pants, from palazzo to a gaucho-type crop pant offer equal versatility in terms of length, width and print size. Taller women can carry off wearing a much fuller leg and larger prints, regardless of the length, whereas more petite ladies should opt for less volume and smaller prints.
I hope these smart summer dressing guidelines help you to look and feel cool and chic!