Dressing for summer delivers a unique challenge in that you want to be cool and comfortable, but you don't want to be casual to the point of looking sloppy. There are days you need to go to the office or participate in a meeting where looking professional is important. At issue is the fact it's hot outside and you need to balance the need to stay cool while sticking to a dress code for work or events.
Summer is the best time of year to show off what you've been hiding under your winter clothing and give yourself permission to experiment with different looks. You're free to put on something with lots of flow, or a casual skirt with a frilly top.
Good summer outfits come in a variety of clothing combinations, and there is no wrong or right way to dress for the season. The goal is to look good and feel comfortable at the same time, and you can accomplish just that by trying new styles and changing up your clothing choices.
Part of staying cooler is wearing clothes that bare more skin in order to help you stay comfortable. Make sure to wear sunscreen to cover bare skin and protect it from sun damage. You can look good and enjoy the lighter clothing without worrying about the long-term effects of sun exposure when taking precautions.
Keep reading to check out the following tips for ideas on dressing for summer, looking great, and beating the heat.
10 Tips to Dress for Summer
1. Put the long sleeve tops and pants away for the season
Long sleeve tops and ankle-length pants trap heat against your body and make you hotter than you want to be. You're better off putting them in reserve for cooler days and ones you have to go into the office. If your skin is prone to burning easily, look for tops and pants that have UV protection and use technical fabrics that breathe.
2. Wear loose clothing and stay out of tight garments
Tight clothing traps heat against your body and doesn't allow a lot of air to flow through. You're going to get hot and sweaty in no time at all, ruining the appearance you're trying to achieve.
This is a great time to put on a loose-knit dress and pair it with The Essential Tote and a pair of The Lace Up sneakers from Rothy's for the ultimate in casual comfort. Wear a dress in a neutral color such as sand or gray to reflect sunlight away from your body and let your shoes and tote provide some contrast.
3. Look for fabrics that breathe
Natural fibers do the best job of letting air flow through, while synthetic materials do an excellent job of wicking sweat away from the body. As you look at garments for their fiber content, make sure they're made from lightweight fabrics. Heavy fabrics have a more dense weave and won't breathe as easily as their lightweight counterparts.
4. Ditch socks whenever possible
Socks are a great accessory to show off a hint of color and have that practical feature of making your shoes more comfortable. But socks are going to make you hotter even if they're made from cotton.
Leave the socks at home and wear shoes that allow air to flow through. A good example of this is The Square Wrap shoe from Rothy's. They feature an open weave that allows air to flow through and keep your feet dry. Or you can pick up a pair of The Flats from Rothy's that provide you with support and just enough foot cover for those days you need to look professional.
5. Pick bright prints and light colors
It's a known fact that sunlight reflects off lighter colors and won't penetrate further. That fact works on clothes as well. When you wear light colors, the sun reflects off your clothing and keeps you cooler. Combine that with clothes made from breathable materials and you wind up being more comfortable overall.
Darker colors absorb the sunlight, which means it reaches your skin and makes you feel hotter. Avoid wearing dark colors and prints even if they're made from breathable fabrics. You'll put yourself at a disadvantage the moment you put on something that's dark in color.
6. Wear lightweight and light-colored jeans
Can't get around wearing jeans for some reason? Put on a pair of your lightest-weight jeans to minimize the amount of heat that gets trapped. The best pair of jeans to buy are ones made from white or light-colored denim to reflect sunlight away from your body.
7. Consider wearing dresses more often
Dresses of all lengths, cuts, and materials are great for beating the heat. The very design of a dress allows air to flow through as you move, and looser designs won't trap heat. When you're feeling hot, simply stand up, walk around a little bit, and let the air flow through. You'll dry off quickly, and be able to resume what you were doing in comfort once again.
8. Carry a tote that holds your extras for when the weather cools off
It's not unusual for the night to be cooler than the day in terms of temperature. You're going to want an extra layer for those times when the temperatures have a large shift after the sun goes down. Consider a lightweight tote from Rothy's for carrying your extras. It's roomy enough to hold extra clothes and any other essentials that you need for the day.
9. Don't be afraid to show off some skin
This is the time of year to wear a little less and get away with it. Pull out that short sleeve top you put away last fall, or treat yourself to a pair of shorts with a pleasing pattern or design. Exposing more skin lets the body's natural cooling process keep your body temperature down. Of course, you should show off as much skin as you're comfortable with and choose garments that expose skin in all the areas that feel right to you.
10. Wear lightweight shoes
Lightweight shoes reduce the amount of effort required to walk and move. The less energy you exert, the cooler you stay. A pair of shoes like The Point from Rothy's is a great example of a pair of shoes that are lightweight, supportive, and breathable. You'll be able to stand all day long and look stylish in a pair of shoes like The Point.
How to Dress for Summer at the Office
Working from home made it so you didn't have to worry too much about dressing for the weather. The home office required dressing up to look appropriate for the camera, but you didn't have to consider putting together an outfit beyond that. Now that many offices have gone hybrid with partial at-home and in-office schedules, you need to have summer staples that are appropriate for the office.
Skirts and dresses
Women fought hard for the right to wear pants in the office, but they also retained the right to wear skirts and dresses. Take advantage of this option when dressing for summer and the office. The style, color, or pattern you wear needs to reflect the overall office culture, but you can stay comfortable by choosing items made from breathable materials like cotton or rayon.
Wear shells under jackets
Some office environments have a professional dress code that requires the wearing of jackets. A sleeveless blouse, known as a shell, provides you with a buttoned-down shirt front, but reduces the amount of material you have to wear under the jacket. There's a bonus in that you can take off the jacket on occasion and cool off while still retaining a professional appearance.
Put on casual shoes when you can
Being able to wear heels is a wonderful option, but they're not always the most comfortable shoes to wear when the weather's warm. Consider wearing flats or a shoe like The Driver from Rothy's. The Driver is a good example of a shoe that delivers a professional appearance, comes in multiple colors for matching with different outfits, and is designed to be worn from the car to the office while delivering support.
Choose breathable materials for pants and slacks
Sometimes you can't wear a skirt to work, and you're stuck wearing pants. Look for pants made from lightweight cotton twill or canvas. These materials hold their shape to provide a professional look while the cotton allows air to flow through and wick away sweat.
Need some ease in your pants? Look for a pair that's made with spandex or a similar elastic fiber that gives the fabric some stretch. The addition of spandex won't reduce the breathability of your pants, but adds a lot of comfort.
Stay True to Your Own Personal Style
No matter what, always stay true to who you are when it comes to how you dress. The setting or occasion dictates what you need to wear, but you don't have to sacrifice your style to conform. Put on what feels right, choose items that reflect your inner self, and use the setting, whether it's the office or the restaurant, as parameters for looking appropriate. There really is no wrong or right when it comes to fashion, just what looks and feels good on you.
Dressing for summer doesn't mean you have to sacrifice fashion. Pick a top with a bold print and pair it with solid-colored shorts, or get into that ankle-length swing dress, put on a pair of sunglasses, and finish it off with a pair of sneakers from Rothy's for a day at the beach. Your goal is one of beating the heat while looking your best, and these tips are intended to help you do just that.
Make sure to check out Rothy’s extensive line of eco-friendly fashion accessories for men and women. Rothy’s makes shoes and accessories made from materials that were diverted from waste streams to help save various ecosystems. The end result is one of high-quality items that are durable, made to last, and feel good to own and wear.