Summer is here, the sun is hot, the air is muggy, your layers are minimal and it’s date night. What do you wear? Summer is one of the most challenging times to style during the year. What’s great about all the other seasons is that you can layer, layer, layer to make your outfit creative, stylish and memorable. In the summer, however, the option to layer and creative gets turned down ten notches, as you will now only be able to wear one layer. It’s hot out, and when it’s hot, staying “cool” (literally and figuratively) while on a date is a must. Here’s how you do it:
Get Back In Touch with What You Own
It’s important to re-evaluate your wardrobe when the seasons change. I tell all my clients to pull out their favorite seasonal gear and put it front and center in their closet at the start of each new season.
When it comes to summer wear, pull out your stripes, whites, prints, shorts, skirts, tee’s and anything else that screams “summer.” Breezy dresses for women? Most definitely! Hang all your summer pieces right where you can reach them and see them as you get dressed. You can even hang a few of your favorite t-shirts so they are easy to grab and style.
Then take any fall-like, heavy, wooly and dark pieces out and tuck them away in storage bins or push them off to the far reaches of your closet. This way your creative styling won’t be clouded with clothes you cannot use; instead all you see are great items that you can wear right now. I call this “maintaining the real estate.”
Pay Attention to Your Fabrics
When it comes to summer, cotton and linen fabrics are your best friends. They are light-weight, breezy, and let the air flow freely so you can stay as cool as possible. We all have cotton and cotton blends in our closets, which makes for easy picking when putting on dating night! Linens are great to invest in as well. They always come handy in the summer, as well as when you go on vacations.
Men look great in button-downs, relaxed slacks and shorts. Women can find them in blouses, draped pants and of course skirts and dresses. Cotton lace is also a stylish and functional summer fabric. One cotton fabric I would avoid, however, is heavy denim. We all have jeans in our wardrobe, from boot to skinny. And while it looks great in fall, heavy denim feels even heavier in muggy weather. If denim is your style jam, then look into finding a light-weight cotton or cotton-blend denim to last you during those hot months.
Learn the Four-Piece Rule
As we know, layering is practically impossible – nay, unbearable – when the weather is hot and muggy. But when only wearing one piece, like a dress, or two pieces, like a top and jeans, you shouldn’t have to sacrifice your style. So I give you the “four-piece rule.” This works for both men and women. When you are getting dressed, you should consider four wardrobe items incorporated into your look.
- For men, an example would be: a short-sleeve linen button-down, light-weight denim, a brown belt and a watch. This would work instead of just wearing a t-shirt and jeans.
- For women, an example could include: a dress, a belt, a necklace and an airy cotton scarf for arm coverage. The idea is that when you add these pieces into a single look, it gives your outfit style and personality, instead of just being clothes you are wearing. Accessories, belts, scarves and any wardrobe items work great. But shoes and handbags don’t count… so no cheating!
Keep it Fresh
Okay let’s talk about the elephant in the room: summer sweat. It’s one of the most uncomfortable dating disasters. It’s important to stay clean, fresh and as dry as you can during summer activities.
- For men: layer a white cotton shirt under your button downs, or even under another t-shirt to provide extra protection. (And a quick tip: your under shirt should be fitted and slim to the body. No sleep shirts, yellowed shirts or baggy shirts as undershirts. That, unfortunately, reads sloppy instead of confident.)
- For women: keep a travel-sized sweet pea or grapefruit scented spray to spritz anytime you are feeling a bit uncomfortable. The spray will cool you off and the scent will work some magic on your date.
Brim for the Win!
Hats are a must-have accessory for summer. And Yes! They count as a wardrobe item in the “four piece rule!” They add a touch of style, mystery and personality to an outfit. There are all different kind of hats to choose from, so pick something that feels like you and fits your activity. If you are doing something sporty and during the daytime, a baseball cap can look casual and fun. Or, if you are hitting up a boardwalk, taking a sunset beach stroll, or perusing the farmers’ market, try a straw-style, Cuban hat or a fedora hat.
Just as a reminder for men, your hair get’s a little messy under that hat! So, if you are going to wear it, commit and keep it on! For women, when you are having that pesky bad hair day… a fedora is your go-to quick fix. Functional and fashionable!
Have a cool and stylish summer everyone!