Spring has been treating us to sneak peeks of warmth and sunshine. With Summer coming firmly into view, my thoughts are racing ahead to how I can keep cool, calm, collected and utterly fabulous looking.
Looking good while staying cool can be a tricky proposition. After all, you don’t necessarily want to spend the entire summer season looking like you’ve come straight from the beach, but boy, beachwear certainly helps to keep you cool!
Read on to find my top tips on ways to stay stylish but not sweaty, magnificent but not melting and hot looking but, well, not hot feeling.
Get yourself some good underwear
Let’s start with the foundations. Getting these right is the ideal way to set yourself up for sweat-free success with a good summer bra and pant combo.
The less is more school of thought might steer you towards thongs and tangas, but I’m about to propose a crazy idea- Bawbags Boxer shorts for women. The wide waistband is way more comfortable than a lacy bit of elastic can ever be, and it is also less likely to leave marks on your skin when you change into your swimsuit.
Fuller coverage might seem like it could make you hotter, but the secret is in choosing fabrics that will do the work of keeping cool for you. Look for breathable materials with a bit of sweat-wicking action to stop any dribbles of sweat from running where you don’t want them.
Bras follow a similar rule- breathable fabrics and a wide chest band to absorb sweat will help prevent you from becoming uncomfortable. If you are not lucky enough to have gravity-defying breasts head to a specialist bra shop to get fitted with a bikini top or swimsuit that will support you while you swim; you can thank me later.
While summer days can be sweltering, summer nights can often be a tad on the chilly side. A silk shawl or coverup is the ideal companion for the days that could easily turn into a night out. The natural fibres of silk give it semi-magical properties, and it can keep you cool in hot weather and nice and warm once the evenings start to draw in.
Kimono style cover ups are ideal for giving you a sleek silhouette with plenty of coverage. Choose one with a delicate pattern, and it will be ideal for taking an outfit from beachy casual to nighttime chic. If you are looking for something more formal, linen unlined jackets with long sleeves can give an outfit structure but not take up space in your suitcase.
Embrace the sun hat
Sun in your eyes combined with a sweaty and sticky face is a one way trip to feeling miserable. Luckily wide-brimmed sun hats are back in fashion, and I am making them my absolute go to this year. A touch of shade on your face can make a huge difference in keeping the temperature down. Not having to squint quite as much to see tends to keep headaches at bay, especially if I have forgotten my sunglasses.
A hat also keeps the sun from beating down on your scalp and heating up your hair. Not to mention it gives you a place to tuck away hair once you’ve been for a swim.
Bonus tip: if you have a toddler who hates hats (don’t they all), try them with a wide-brimmed hat, it’s the only thing my 3-year-old will keep on her head.
Ditch Denim for Chambray
Denim is a great look for most of the year. It can be dressed up or down with ease. It’s also long lasting with a great shape. However, denim and hot summer sun does not mix quite so well. Daisy dukes certainly have their place but if you are looking for some with a tad more coverage give denims lighter, and distantly related cousin, chambray, a try.
The weave of chambray makes it soft and breathable but provides a little more structure than linen for a more refined look. If you love to wear jeans whatever the weather or are a fan of a denim shirt dress, be on the look out for chambray versions. They will keep you cool and take up much less space in your suitcase when it comes to planning your holiday outfits.
Now, Kendall Jenner might be an advocate of socks with sandals, but I can’t say I am one hundred per cent on board with the trend. However, some scientific research shows that wearing socks can help lower your core body temperature. In addition, they can also help whisk away any pesky moisture or sweat that accumulates on your tootsies over the course of the day.
If you opt for trainers this summer, I recommend finding some breathable sock options (cotton or a polyester blend are best). Bamboo socks are also a hot trend at the moment, similarly to cotton and polyester they do an excellent job at wicking away sweat, but more importantly avoid the absolutely awful feeling of going sockless in sweaty trainers.
P.s. If foot stench is an issue for you, bicarbonate of soda or baking soda mixed with a few drops of lemon oil left in your shoes overnight will sort you right out.
For cooling clothing, try dark colours
Let’s get scientific again. White reflects light, and black absorbs it, so, therefore, dark clothes should be a no-no when trying to keep cool. On the one hand, yes, black will absorb the heat from the light, but it will also absorb your body heat. This property makes wearing loose-fitting darker clothes an ideal option for places that are hot but get a breeze. The colour will absorb your body heat, and the wind can take it away.
Who knew that there could be so much science to deciding what clothes would keep you cool? I hope this article has helped you to understand some of the fundamentals of dressing well for the summer without all the sweat. And if all else fails? Carry a portable fan around with you!