June 28, 2017

Keeping it Cool: 6 Wardrobe Tips For Summer in the City

It’s summertime and the living is easy. Dressing for summer in the city, however, can be a little tougher. Busy streets and sweltering temperatures can make it difficult for an active urbanite to keep their cool. While the ideal solution would be to sport your favorite swimsuit and hop in the pool, this isn’t always an option. Check out these tips for the days when you’ll have to hit the subway (instead of the sand).

1. Get Covered

It may seem counterintuitive, but covering up can help keep you cool by protecting your skin from the sun’s harmful rays. Obviously, you’re not going to slip into a turtleneck on a 90-degree day. Instead, go for a wide-brimmed hat to protect your head and face, and a shirt or dress in a natural fabric that covers sun-sensitive areas like your shoulders and chest. Above all, remember to slather on the SPF.

For urbanites who walk or take the subway to work in the summer, dressing for the heat is a must.

2. It’s All in the Fabric

Finding a work-appropriate outfit on a sweltering summer day doesn’t have to be such a struggle. The key to keeping cool while staying covered up is all in the fabric. Natural materials (like linen and cotton) are much more breathable than their synthetic relatives. So pop on your favorite linen dress or cotton trousers—but whatever you do, stay far away from the polyester.

Wearing a hat can protect you from harmful rays—and is the picture of summer.

3. Layer it On

One of the challenges of dressing for the summer is remembering the transitions from the heat outside to the A/C indoors. This is where layers come into play. Keep a light sweater on hand so you can bundle up inside if necessary. You might also want to keep an umbrella or light rain jacket handy for those unexpected summer thunderstorms.

Air conditioned buildings like offices, restaurants, and movie theaters can get chilly, so keep a light sweater handy.

4. Lighten Up

While your favorite LBD is a timeless classic, it’s not doing you any favors in the heat. While darker colors absorb heat, light colors reflect it—and keep your temperature cooler in the process. If you still want to keep it neutral, go for a white, khaki, tan, chambray, or light gray color palette. Pops of pastels or neon can add some summer fun to any outfit and show off your tan at the same time.

Light-colored, breathable fabrics like linen and cotton in loose silhouettes keep you cool.

5. Comfort is Key

When the temperature is setting records, it might not be time to break out your trendiest, and least practical, outfit. Instead opt for loose, flowing silhouettes that won’t cling to you. As far as footwear, go for comfy and breathable options here, as well. Your favorite pair of sandals will work, along with any breathable, moisture-wicking running shoes like Allbirds or some trusty Nikes.

Keep your feet dry with moisture-wicking shoes or comfortable sandals.

6. The Future of Fashion

Today we have more technology than ever before to help keep us cool. Even simple developments like moisture-wicking fabrics are big breaks in braving the heat. If your day allows for a sportier look, try fabrics like Dri-Fit or CoolMax, which are great for breathability and evaporation. You could also give wearable tech a try with products from companies like Qore Performance, which has developed accessories that offload excess heat. So staying cool—and looking it, too—is easier than ever.