Summer heat requires style know-how
The dog days of summer have arrived. Yesterday, I found myself sweating bullets on my walk to the train, and it wasn't even that sunny. My hair drooped the minute I stepped outside, my clothes stuck to my back and I probably would have paid a volunteer $10 to carry my gym bag.
It's not just the heat; it's also the humidity. You sweat even more on an 80-degree day with lots of humidity than on a 90-degree day with no humidity. Every year I discover a new fashion problem that goes along with said sweat. This year, I have been carrying a cross-body bag and noticed that when I sweat, the leather on the strap gets damp and rubs off on my shirt. Yet another delightful side-effect of the sweltering heat.
I often write a column about looking breezy while living in what is, essentially, an oven most summers, because every year I find that I have not yet mastered it. Some of the problems that I hope to remedy this year include:
Sweat showing through my clothes.
Look, I know it's not very ladylike, but I sweat a lot. (I read once that it's a sign of good health. Here's hoping.) I need fabrics and colors that don't show marks, and some are better at this than others.
In terms of fabrics, cotton is the best bet, hands-down. I try not to wear any of my silk tops on very hot days, as they do stain and are hard to dry-clean. Loose-fitting styles are also ideal, since the last thing you want is clothes that cling to your skin for dear life.
For colors, light gray is never, ever a good choice. If you go with breathable fabrics there is less chance of noticeable sweat marks, but light gray is far and away the biggest culprit. When in doubt, stick with other neutrals like black, navy and white.
It's raining, but it's too hot for rain gear.
You aren't about to wear your leather Tory Burch flats in a torrential downpour. But summer rain is often accompanied by temperatures that are way too hot for heavy outerwear or waterproof boots.
Invest in a pair of rain boots that are just rubber, with either no lining or something very lightweight on the inside. Most manufacturers carry short styles, so the rain boot doesn't have to cover your whole leg.
For a rain jacket, all you really need is nylon with a hood. My mom got me a thin North Face jacket that serves this purpose very well. I was still a little toasty, but much less so than I would have been in a trench coat.
My hair gets flat the minute I step outside.
This is the humidity at work, and your hair may get frizzy or poofy instead. It all depends on the hair type. On that note, my beloved stylist taught me one of my most valuable beauty lessons when I was complaining about this very issue: Work with the natural texture of your hair. My hair is straight and flat, so in the summer, I get cuts that let it be straight and flat. At his recommendation, I also started using Bumble and bumble All-Style Blow Dry, which contains powder to combat the excess moisture that kills a blowout.
My face is melting.
Tint and stain, girlfriend! You want to avoid heavy makeup and go for such summer staples as tinted moisturizer with SPF and a combo lip/cheek stain. I have the best luck with products that go from liquid to solid, like cheek stain and liquid eyeliner. I apply to my top lash line only, so I don't have to worry about "raccoon eyes."