It's Hot Out There! What Do I Wear?
Though I split my time now between California and Louisiana, I was born and raised in Louisiana - home of HOLY COW IT IS FREAKIN' HOT.
I'm pretty sure that's our state motto, actually.
Louisiana summers (which start in March, if we're lucky) don't make things easy on the resident fashionista. It is SO hot, and SO humid, that you are pretty sure that someone has stuck a blow dryer up your nose and turned it on full-blast every time you walk outside. And that's saying it nicely.
Of course, while the preferred way of life is to hibernate for the summer and not poke my head out until the end of October - or just spend my summer in California - it's just not always an option. There are things that must be done - trips to the grocery store, toting kids to and from summer camps - and, oh yeah, WORK. So, while it might be my inclination to strip down to my skivvies and lay down on the carpet in the middle of the living room with the air conditioning set at 65 and the fan on high (not that I've EVER done that) it seems that the show must go on and I will be forced to leave the house.
So, what is a heat-wave stricken fashion diva to do?
Luckily I've learned a few tricks through the years that I'm happy to share with you. Here goes:
Number One: Dresses are your friend.
Look, lots of folk in my day have called me a girly-girl. Maybe that's because they met me in the dead of summer. I have over 40 dresses in my closet (yes, I just went and counted) and the number is growing. Casual, jersey sundresses are great for summer, can be dressed up for work with a pair of espadrilles and some great jewelry and the best part is that you have nothing touching you at the waist to make you sweat. Coco Chanel blessed us with the knit jersey dress - feel free to thank her as you cool your fanny in front of the frozen food section at the grocery store.
Number Two: Closed-toed shoes are the devil.
I know that they say that we lose all of our heat through our head, but I'm convinced that a big key to staying cool involves keeping my feet cool, too. Open-toed shoes are a must - I wanted to lunge at the crazy woman in the New Orleans Airport this morning who was wearing a pair of UGGs with her shorts and t-shirt. Aside from them just being plain "UGGly", anything more complicated than a flip flop makes absolutely no sense in the summer. If you have a formal event to go to, make it a flip flop with a heel. Done and done. (Also see espadrilles, peep toe heels, etc.)
Number Three: Find a chic, casual "updo".
Don't worry, I'm not asking you to the prom or anything, but for a fashionista in heat (wait, that's a different article entirely) an updo is a must-do. I actually hate my hair in any shape or form unless it's down and loose but frankly, that just makes no sense in the summer. Even I have had to change my long-standing, long-hair ways, experimenting with sleek ponytails, a loose braid that falls over one shoulder and a messy bun. Find your perfect updo and your neck will thank you.
Number Four: No sleeves, please.
Seriously. Why would you torture yourself more? I know short sleeves are supposedly summer attire, but not during the heat of summer. The short sleeves will make you sweat more and will make it much harder for the air to pass through your clothing. Sleeveless. If you get cold indoors, carry a few cardigans in your car. Just make sure that your work environment is welcoming to sleeveless attire (for the record, this does not mean spaghetti strap, halter top, or strapless - which are NEVER ok in the workplace - sorry.) and if it isn't, then take a cue from Britain's sweetheart Princess Kate, who famously wears blazers over almost every dress that she owns.
Good luck out there - and stay cool!
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