Dealing with the oppressive summer heat is no small feat. Soaring temperatures can make it downright unbearable to spend much time outside, while humidity only makes it more difficult to cope. As the season progresses, you’re likely to find more and more excuses to sit at home, parked near an air conditioning vent, a cold drink placed firmly in hand. While that sounds great, it might not be reasonable if you tend to do things like go to work or run an errand or grab the mail.
Whatever is on your agenda—even if it’s a quick jaunt to the curb—you should be prepared with clothing that can help you stay as cool and comfortable as possible. That may seem like an impossibility when the sun is blazing. Still, it’s easy to find summer dresses, tops, and bottoms that are made of cooling, lightweight materials that prioritize your comfort all season long. Here are a few options that are destined to make the dog days of summer far more bearable.
Nothing says summer comfort quite like cotton. It’s the most ubiquitous of materials, and you’ll find it on everything from shorts and tank tops to skorts and dresses. It’s ideal for any climate, making it a more versatile and flexible choice that can take you through the seasons. It’s even comfortable to wear on humid days. Its greatest benefit is circulation. Because it’s so breezy, it promotes enhanced airflow through the delicate natural fibers. That allows your body to tolerate the heat a little more efficiently, so you can stay on top of your style game no matter how high the mercury rises.
Try a chic midi dress made with cotton for nearly anything on your schedule, whether you’re headed to the office or hosting a backyard barbecue. They’re easy to dress up with accessories, and you can also give them a professional look by stepping into a pair of pumps and, if called for, adding a structured blazer during a meeting. Feel free to take it off when it’s just you tapping away on your keyboard in the office!
If you love the idea of wearing denim but aren’t quite on board with wearing such a thick material when it’s so hot outside, consider chambray instead. It offers a similar appearance yet provides far greater comfort in the heat. While it’s definitely possible to find lightweight denim, it won’t quite feel as cool and breezy as chambray.
Ideally, your chambray of choice should have a loose weave, which lends them a slightly gauzy finish. That means it’s thinner, promoting better air circulation, so you feel as cool as possible even when the forecast is practically forcing you to stay at home. A pair of chambray capri pants is the perfect choice for a quick run to the café or a walk around the neighborhood to get your daily steps in. Throw on a lightweight T-shirt or a tank top, and you’ll feel just comfortable enough to pull it all off.
There’s almost no fabric more synonymous with the intense summer heat than linen. Just glancing at it is enough to conjure up visions of trips to the beach, strolls on the boardwalk, and lazy Sunday afternoon brunches. If any of those are on your itinerary—or you merely want to keep your cool as much as possible—then adding a few pieces of linen to your wardrobe is the most effective way to accomplish that.
The best part is that linen garments are plentiful. You’ll find everything from loose-fit women’s pants with elastic waists to swingy, sleeveless dresses. If you sense a theme here, it’s true: everything is designed precisely with comfort and simplicity in mind. It’s easy to get carried away by details and accessories, but you generally want to forgo additional elements in the heat, so your body isn’t weighed down by unnecessary volume. The lighter your clothes, the better you’ll feel. Being a natural fiber, linen possesses a wonderfully light weave that enhances airflow. It cools you down almost like nothing else, making it the perfect choice for a relaxed poolside lunch or a dog walk through the park.
There’s no question about it: where summer weather is concerned, your fabric choice truly matters. Avoid polyester, fleece, vinyl, acrylic, and nylon, all of which limit airflow and leaving your skin feeling warm and sticky. With so many stylish options available, it’s easy to find clothes that you love in fabrics that are perfect for summertime wear. They’ll keep you cool and help you stay on top of your style game at the same time.