City summers are a little different, particularly if you live or work downtown. It's just as hot as anywhere else, if not more so, since the buildings can block much of the natural airflow in an area. Also, there are people you may want to impress since business districts do a lot of, yes, business, and the dress codes tend to be more formal. So the question is, how to look sophisticated without suffocating? Great question! Here are some ideas for chic outfits that you can wear confidently around the town.
Shorts are a casual summer staple. The reduced fabric exposes your legs to the wind and lets them breathe a little. However, while the cut-off jeans-style might work for a laid-back Saturday or a quick beach jaunt, they may be a little out of place if you have a lunch date at a nice restaurant or if you are meeting your girlfriends for happy hour. Make your shorts city-worthy by going with a high-waisted cut and choosing materials other than blue denim. Even denim high-waisted shorts in white or black looks cleaner. Some patterns are really nice, like plaid or twill. Keep your eyes open for unique styles as well, like the retro sailor shorts with two lines of buttons or a belted paper bag design. That will get you away from the shabbier cut-off look.
You got to find a way to wear your summer dress in the summer. It's a requirement. The thing is, many summer dresses might feel a bit too casual. That just means you need to find a way to dress it up! Firstly, you can be choosy with your dress. A dress that is knee-length or so is decently modest, and if it is made of nicer material in either a tasteful pattern or a solid color, it feels a bit more elegant. Fit-and-flare designs make good dresses for this kind of impression. Secondly, you can switch out sandals for heels. Heels automatically increase an outfit's level of class, so take advantage of them when you need to. Lastly, play a little with your jewelry, especially if your dress is more simple. Some fancy jewelry can change the tone of an outfit quickly.
Florals are so summer. Floral women's blouses are an easy way to get some flowers into your life without having to water them. Pink flowers on navy, orange blossoms on light gray, red roses on white, there are so many options! Keep in mind, patterns tend to look best against solid colors. If you have too many competing patterns next to each other, it will look overwhelming. Larger patterns, especially those in lighter colors, draw the eye and make the body look bigger. A person whose body shape is bottom-heavy may want this effect, while someone else who is more top-heavy may want to go with a darker color and smaller flowers.
A blazer is a great way to add sophistication to any outfit in a pinch. It's a nod to that business dress code that is more common in cities. Yes, you can wear a blazer in summer without melting. Choose a lighter color and a thinner material like cotton or linen to keep you cool in the heat, and you shouldn't have any problems. A blazer over your summer dress or your floral blouse can easily refine your look, commanding respect without the need for a full suit. Playing with the blazer's formality is also fun. Adding one while wearing your high-waisted shorts could be a great combination, provided the fabrics aren't too mismatched.
Midi skirts or full-length skirts are great city wear. They keep you cool while giving you a very feminine look. Separate them from the cotton maxi dress by choosing high waists and pairing them with an elegant black or white blouse. A gorgeous pleated chiffon skirt in a beige or a pastel pink would look stunning. If you wanted more color, a fun pastel yellow with a navy top is a cute, eye-catching combo. Add a stately pair of sunglasses, and you are good to go! Speaking of sunglasses...
Nothing says "city" like a fashionable pair of sunglasses. Separate yourself from beach-style sunglasses by sticking to solid brown or black frames with simple gold or silver accents. Look at your face shape and remember that you are trying to balance it into an oval. If you have "corners" in your face, use designs that are rounder or at least curve the edges. If your face is more circular, pick sunglasses with some of those pointier corners. If your face is something in between, good news! There are sunglasses in between too. Try on a few different styles and decide which pair makes you look the most polished and feel the most confident. Then put them on and get ready to own this city!