Fashion musings

On Dressing for the Heat



It’s hot. You’re sweaty, the air feels heavy, and your sweat marks are traveling southbound at an alarming pace.

Summer is here, and there’s no way around it: you’re going to have to put on some clothes.

Dressing for an occasion that calls for sweating through one’s clothes before noon is a tricky one, but not impossible. After spending a few years in the ultimate dressing-for-hot-weather testing ground, Florida, I’ve learned a few lessons. (Here’s a free one: faux leather pants— cute in theory, a hot pool of contained sweat in actuality.)  Below is a series of steps I’ve crafted through many lessons learned the hard way.  Learn from my mistakes.



One: There’s no way around it.

It’s summer, and you’re going to sweat all over everything you know and love. Much like yet another greenlit Fast and Furious sequel, we may not like it, but it’s happening. The quicker you accept, the quicker you can move on to…

Two: Forget what you know.

Summer, for all of its benefits, has some shortcomings—mainly, shorts. We’ve been conditioned to believe that higher temperatures call for less fabric, when logistically speaking these are not the best choice.

Picture this: You’re outside, and starting to sweat. A tank top and shorts can only absorb so much of this, leaving the remainder to very visibly drip down your body, first in small drops and then as a cascading waterfall. More fabric, on the other hand, means more opportunity to absorb and thus less unsightly drippage.

Tank tops and shorts do have one benefit, though— where there isn’t fabric, there can’t be VSM (Visible Sweat Marks). Which brings us to…

Three: Choose wisely.

Skintight might seem like appropriate summer wear. It is not. When selected and layered carefully, the right outfit will cultivate a gentle breeze between garment and skin. Think of the flutter of a kimono against an arm. That extra movement helps create a wind circulation pattern contained around your body not unlike the wind system of Earth itself. This is summer dressing nirvana. With careful practice, you can achieve it, too. But in case you don’t…

Four: Have fun.

Because regardless of all of the above tips, you’re still going to end up hot, damp, and in need of an outfit change, so live it up and wear what you want.