If you live in the UK – or any of the other parts of the world currently enjoying soaring temperatures – we’re going to take a wild guess that your biggest style dilemma right now isn’t how to look “cool” in the style sense: it’s just how to look – and FEEL – cool, period.
Summer, as we’ve noted, can be a wonderfully fun time for fashion, but it can also be a challenging time, too. When it’s so hot and humid that all you want to do is throw yourself into the nearest fountain, it can be hard to even think about looking stylish, so here are some quick tips to help you stay stylish in a heatwave…
1. Keep it simple
When it’s very hot out, the last thing you need is lots of layers and accessories to worry about: we get warm just thinking about it. Summer is a great time to embrace simple style, clean lines and uncluttered silhouettes. Floral prints are always popular, but a simply cut shift dress in a bold colour will make a statement without having to be worn with anything more than a pair of shoes, so there’s less for you to have to think about when you’re getting dressed, and less for you to have to carry around, too. Dresses are particularly easy in hot weather because the one-piece nature of them means there’s nothing to come un-tucked or require adjusting: just throw them on, and be on your way.
2. Minimal makeup
It’s not just your clothing which needs to be kept simple during a heatwave: your makeup routine (if you have one) might benefit from some paring-down too. Not only will heavy makeup clog your pores and make you feel even warmer than you were to start with, it can also look overdone on a very hot day – or start sliding off your face mid-morning, when the temperature starts to rise. Of course, we’re not saying you have to go totally bare-faced if you don’t want to, but fresh, dewy looks lend themselves to hot summer days, and don’t require too much effort, either. There’s always sunglasses if you feel the need for more coverage.
3. Breathable fabrics
Choose fabrics like cotton or linen, which will allow your skin to breathe, rather than man-made fibers which can do the complete opposite.
4. Loose clothing and comfortable shoes
Clothes that are too tight aren’t a good look at any time, but tight, restrictive clothing is particularly uncomfortable when it’s hot out, so go for looser, more “flowy” fits that won’t chafe. Remember, bodies and feet can swell a little when it’s very warm out, so consider sizing up if you need to, and choose comfortable shoes with lot of wiggle room. It goes without saying that open toes and sandals will be cooler and kinder to the feet, but if you prefer to keep your toes under cover, bear point 3 in mind and look for something like a cute pair of canvas flats, which will allow your feet to breathe.
5. Cover up
It might sound counter-intuitive, but while it’s tempting to think that the answer to “what to wear in a heatwave” is “as little as possible!”, that’s not necessarily the case. If the fabric is natural, and the fit is right (See points 3 and 4), covering up can be more comfortable than stripping off – and depending on the setting, it might just look better, too.
6. Buy an umbrella
Not just for rain, a cute umbrella can be a chic way to stay in the shade wherever you are.
7. Take care of your hair and scalp
If you have long hair, it’s probably going to feel uncomfortable around your neck in a heatwave, so now is the time to break out the messy up-do (perfect for summer days). Remember, your scalp will burn in direct sunglight, just as the rest of your skin will, so if you don’t want to spray sunscreen on your hair, invest in a shady sunhat to keep you cool and safe from the sun.