We all know of summer’s arrival by the soaring Texas temperatures and heinous humidity, but we may not all be aware of the proper ways to combat the heat. That’s right, there’s more to consider this season than just color trends— the cut and composition of your outfit and accessories can have a major impact on your comfort.
Here are a few tips for fighting the good fight against the sun’s brutal rays this season in style.
“The less fabric you have actually touching your body, the more comfortable you will feel,” says Cosmopolitan’s Charles Manning.
Indeed, though it may seem contradictory, a flowing maxi dress is likely to keep your body much cooler— and better protected from the sun’s UV rays— than a tight tank and short shorts. Loose-fitting, flowy designs also tend to be more flattering on all body types.
A roomy shift dress from Eileen Fisher, made from organic cotton, can come in a variety of lengths and styles from $178 and up (eileenfisher.com). Or try a pair of palazzo pants from Anthropologie for a look that can transition from beach to bar (anthropologie.com).
In the fight against Texas heat, choosing natural fabrics is simply a must. Synthetic fibers, by their very nature, are not as well-suited for moisture-wicking or breathability.
“Cotton, for example, is more breathable than polyester or rayon,” Manning says.
This is because of the weave of the material itself. While natural fabrics like cotton and linen have light, loose weaves that promote airflow, synthetic fabrics like polyester and rayon contain waterproof components that can trap moisture near the body.
Though it may surprise you, denim is a big no-no during summer heat for the same reason. Need a suitable replacement for your favorite cut-offs? Try some belted cotton shorts by Anaak ($155, matchesfashion.com) or a linen skirt by Reformation ($148, nordstrom.com).
When the sun is beating down on you, the weight of heavy, beaded jewelry or other accessories can feel overwhelming. Cosmo recommends shedding embellishments, especially heavy pieces with beads or metals, in lieu of simpler adornments.
“A small cotton scarf is great for absorbing sweat,” Manning says, “whether you use it to tie up your hair or wear it around your neck with your hair down.”
It’s a good idea to keep a wide-brimmed hat or cotton scarf on hand when you know you’ll be spending lots of time in the sun. We love the rafia-braid lampshade hat from HAT ATTACK ($98, revolve.com) and porcelain flower scarf from Armani Exchange ($60, armaniexchange.com).
It’s a fact we (hopefully) all know by now: Lighter colors reflect light, with white being the most reflective color of all. Black is thus the greatest heat absorber.
“Dark colors absorb light and can make you feel hot,” Manning explains.
We’ll spare you the lengthy scientific reasoning behind this phenomenon— suffice it to say that this is a great opportunity to explore new, brighter color options in the season to come.
White tennis shoes are already on every woman’s wishlist (they literally go with everything), we think you can step up your color game even further with a crochet lace sundress from TOPSHOP ($55, us.topshop.com) or an off-the-shoulder striped cotton-blend gauze mini dresses from LEM LEM ($310, net-a-porter.com).