Cool Dressing for H*O*T Days!
Some of you might know that I lived in Singapore for almost 7 years in the 90s. (Well it is #throwbackthursday!) One of my biggest challenges in living there was adjusting to the brutal heat and humidity that comes with every single day. Most days, temps are in the high 80s and low 90s with humidity levels reaching 96%. Talk about bad hair days! I hardly ever wore my hair down and this was when I really came to embrace the importance of the head wrap. I quickly learned to wear light-colored layers, weightless, sheer natural fabrics, and plenty of sleeveless and halter neck styles. After about 6 months I had it down, was acclimated and actually stopped taking 3 showers a day!
So here we are in our own Singapore-like weather and facing that same challenge of wanting to look good while feeling comfortable. And with global warming, it's getting even harder to stay cool.
Here's what I learned about dressing for the heat and humidity:
10 Basic Rules
1. Stay with natural fabrics. Wear cotton, chambray, and lightweight linen. Give a pass to polyesters which don't breath, and silk which stains.
2. Wear airy fabrics. Get some natural air-conditioning by wearing lace, mesh, eyelet, embroidery, and crochet -- all great for adding a little spice to a basic summer ensemble.
3. Stay away from clothing that clings. This is the time for billowy shapes that skim the body. Say no to jeans, but if you must wear them consider a pair made of chambray which looks like denim but is much lighter in weight.
4. Wear more skirts and dresses. They allow for air circulation making you cooler than pants or shorts will. Don't tuck anything in -- that extra fabric at your waist is too much when it feels like 100 degrees out!
5. Choose light colors like white and pastels. Black fibers absorb more heat than lighter shades. If you do choose black, make sure it's sheer or practically weightless.
6. Wear your most minimal bras and panties. This is the time for your sheerest, laciest undergarments.
7. Keep your hair off your face. Now is the perfect time to experiment with headbands, scarves, headwraps and turbans, all great options for keeping your hair back, neat and cool.
8. Lighten up with accessories. Forego the big necklaces and multiple bangles. Earrings are the best way to add style to your outfits, especially if you're wearing your hair off your face for extra coolness. Here are some great ones to consider!
9. Give up your shoulder bag. Trade your large handbag for a small lightweight bag that fits just the essentials. There are so many cooler ones (both meanings:) to carry, like small backpacks, crossbodies, and fannypacks.
10. It's time for your strappiest of sandals! But let's not resort to flip-flops. Consider the cooly updated slides which have more support than flip-flops.