"It’s sooo hot!” That’s the conversation starter coast-to-coast as women sweat through their blouses and blowouts. Above-normal temperatures and humidity are a challenge not only to your health but also to your looks! Sure, air-conditioning and fans help indoors, but step outdoors and in minutes a freshly groomed appearance is reduced to a damp, frazzled, stinky mess. Want to avoid a meltdown? Here’s how to feel stylish, not sticky:
1. Wear loose flow-y clothing
Fashion has our back. Whether you’re headed to work, a summer wedding or just crossing off your everyday to-dos, make the trend for oversize shirts, wide-leg pants and breezy dresses your uniform. Roomier clothes that hang away from your skin — in casually relaxed to voluminous fits — let air circulate so perspiration can evaporate faster and cool you down. Pull-on pants like the Old Navy High-Waisted Linen-Blend Wide-Leg Pants for Women in Chambray Blue ($20, oldnavy.gap.com) paired with any tee or tank, lightweight jumpsuits like the Caslon Cotton Gauze Belted Jumpsuit in Rust Argan Oil ($79, nordstrom.com) and loose tops or dresses with sleeves that balloon, flutter and puff like the Chico’s Poplin Abstract Print Dress in Blue Grotto ($149, chicos.com) can make a 100-degree day feel less like a tropical swamp or scorched desert … no matter where you live.
2. Choose natural fabrics that breathe
Clothes in generously cut silhouettes are step one for increasing air flow. Choosing outfits made with lightweight natural fabrics like cotton, linen, rayon (sometimes called viscose and actually made from wood-pulp) and modal (a type of rayon) is step two — and doubles the cooling sensation. Good examples are the A-line elastic waist Banana Republic Sedona Linen Dress in Buffalo Brown or Black ($190, bananarepublic.gap.com), the featherweight L.L. Bean Women’s Cloud Gauze Shirt, Long Sleeve in Coral Quartz or Vintage Indigo Stripe ($70, llbean.com), the H&M Women Linen-Blend Shirt in Blue ($40, www2.hm.com/en_us) and the softly draped Quince 100% European Linen Maxi Shirt Dress in Golden Brown or Black ($60, quince.com).
Be picky. Silk is a natural lightweight fabric but quickly reveals and retains sweat stains and odors. Skip jeans since denim, though cotton, is dense and heavy, closing in heat rather than dispersing it. (Opt for chambray for a similar “denim” look and attitude.) Heavy sweat-ers will be comfier in light, loose ventilated weaves like linen rather than cotton; those with sensitive skin will appreciate the supersoft feel of rayon or modal. Check the label when it comes to blends; choose fabrics with a higher percentage of natural fibers in the mix.