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Jul 17, 201304:17 PMPatterned

Heat Wave Chic: Looking Good While Drenched in Sweat

Jul 17, 2013 - 04:17 PM
Heat Wave Chic: Looking Good While Drenched in Sweat

It’s going to be, like, a thousand degrees each day this week. This city is just one hot, sticky mess. You know that feeling of opening an oven door and getting smacked across the face with scorching heat? Yeah opening your front door mimics that and multiplies the feeling from your highest hair follicle down to that hangnail on your pinky toe. You momentarily step outside to sign for a package and find yourself drenched in sweat. The heat makes an appearance in every single conversation you have, whether you’re making small talk with the receptionist at the city government building or lethargically chatting with friends on your front porch.

So how do you “beat the heat,” as they say? How do you keep cool without walking around in your bathing suit. I mean, at what temperature do we all mutually agree that wearing just a bathing suit around town is completely acceptable? I’d say this

I pretty much have one main qualification for a hot summer day ensemble: will this outfit prevent butt sweat? If the answer is “yes,” then I go with it. So on that note, here’s my list of summer essentials to help stay cool and avoid leaving a puddle of sweat behind you.

1.      Crop tops

This is a trend that I was a bit afraid to get behind. But take the leap, and I promise you won’t regret it. Let that tummy get some air, no matter what your size. Here’s the thing: just because you’re wearing a crop top doesn’t mean that your entire belly has to be hanging out. Belt a skirt at your natural waist, allowing just a sliver of skin to peek out between your top and skirt. Try one with a bustier shape or gravitate towards a flowier, forgiving option.

2.      Mid-length circle skirts

My skirt of choice this summer has a flared shape with soft pleats and hits me right below the knee. It may not seem like a flattering length on everyone, but throw on a pair of leg-lengthening wedges and give your reflection in the mirror a thumbs-up. There are tons of vintage skirts out there covered in amazing all-over prints that you should be taking advantage of. Pair it with a solid top, or even one with a subtle, complementing print for an easy, stylish look. Seriously, if all you do is buy a few basic tank tops and a few vintage circle skirts, and pair those two essentials with your favorite accessories, you are guaranteed to look chic all summer long.

3.      Sundresses

Is there any article of clothing more quintessentially summer than the sundress? I think not. This summer I am all about dresses with a bustier top and A-line skirt. The top is supportive enough to contain us small-chested ladies, and the fit does really flattering things for my waist. Beyond that, I want to be draped in flowy maxi dresses. You may think that, since maxi dresses have more fabric, they’re not heat-friendly. But think again, especially if you’re choosing them in light, breathable fabrics. Vintage dresses are my absolute favorite. You can find so many unique frocks that have inspired the mass-produced items found at the mall today. Do some digging and find the perfect thrifted dress today!

4.      Cut-off shorts

I recently figured out how to make the perfect slightly-messy cut-off jean shorts. This life changing realization has me scrounging the denim aisles at Salvation Army to find more old jeans to cut up and alter. I prefer thicker denim, like older Levi’s that are 100% cotton. They hold their shape better than denim that has spandex or some kind of stretch element to it. First tip to making the perfect cut-off? Cut the shorts at an angle, starting a tad lower in the inseam and working your way diagonally up towards the outer leg seam. The line doesn’t have to be too severe; a slight angle just helps lengthen the look of your legs. Sometimes it’s hard for me to find jeans that fit in the waist but are still loose enough in the thigh. If you find a pair that fits you really well at the waist and throughout the butt, consider using a seam ripper to loosen the outer seam near the hem of your new shorts. It allows your thighs to get some breathing room. If you’re really feeling creative, decorate your shorts with studs, lace, a strip of leather, or whatever else you fancy. Pair your shorts with one of those cropped top we were talking about, or tuck in a tank top and belt the outfit to complete your look. Let’s face it: denim is one of the most versatile fabrics in our wardrobe. Your possibilities are pretty much endless.

5.      A casual updo—a sweat-preventing hairstyle

This is the first summer in a few years that my hair actually touched my neck. I’m quickly realizing the extent to which my pixie hairstyle spoiled me during the summertime. Each day I contemplate chopping all of my hair off again, but I’m trying to hold strong to my plan of growing it out. Instead, I’ve found an alternative. It involves nothing but some bobby pins and some dexterity. Starting on one side of my natural part, I twist my hair along my hairline all the way around to the back of my head, where I pin it. I repeat the process for the hair on the other side of my part, creating a crown of sorts. By the time it’s all pinned in to place, there should be no hair hanging down; it should be contained within the roll. Whether you utilize a look like this, some well-placed braids, or a sleek pony tail or top knot, get that hair up!

Here’s to surviving the heat wave and looking good doing it!

 

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About This Blog

Designer Yves Saint Laurent once said, “Fashions fade, but style is eternal.” Contributing writer and editor – and co-owner of Harrisburg’s new boutique, Stash – Jen Merrill analyzes the true meaning of style as she explores trends and ideas related to clothing, accessories, home décor and design in this new online column.