In the dead of winter, it’s easy to fantasize about balmy summer days — who doesn’t daydream about frolicking along the boardwalk in an airy off-the-shoulder dress or lounging on the beach in a Rihanna-approved monokini when the snow is piling up outside? But when warm weather is finally in full swing, that’s another story entirely. When the mercury starts creeping above 85 and the humidity factor is off the charts, the honeymoon period is officially over. It’s HOT. Unfortunately, hopping into every fountain or pool you pass just isn’t going to fly, so developing a sartorial strategy (which just might involve going braless) to deal with scorching hot days is essential. Ahead, you’ll find 15 stay-cool silhouettes, accessories and shoes that will keep you feeling fresh and fab all summer long. Because nothing gets in the way of those fine-tuned style sensibilities.
1. Pixie Market Crochet Crop Culottes Pants ($99): When it comes to off-duty dressing, you totally have the right to strip down to your skivvies. But when Monday rolls around, covering up is a must — at least to some degree. If your place of employment is a shorts-free zone, look to the next best thing to keep you cool while you get your girl boss on: culottes. The relaxed fit and mesh paneling of this crocheted pair encourage circulation and movement, unlike your average dress pants. If culottes don’t cut it, test drive a pair of billowy palazzos or classic styles in lightweight fabrics.
2. Reformation Braelynn Two Piece ($178): If you live in rompers all summer long, add this two-piece set to your ranks for too-hot-to-handle summer nights and days. This crop top and skirt combo has the whole easy-breezy thing down pat, so you can stay cool, calm and collected no matter what the thermometer says. Pull hair back into a sleek low chignon and throw some shade with a wide-brim boater hat.
3. Free People Daydreamer Underwire Bra ($48): Skip the extra padding and push-up bras when temps are straight-up scorching. Opt instead for lighter under-layers that let you breathe easy, like a bralette or this lace underwire bra that delivers just the right amount of sexiness and support.
4. Yumi Kim Mia Off-the-Shoulder Romper ($229): You love a little mix-and-match action, but the thought of tucking in during this weather? Totally out of the question. Give your summer uniform of off-the-shoulder tops and shorts a makeover with a shoulder-baring romper that eliminates (even the most minimal) layers from the equation. Pair it with barely-there gladiators and a messy topknot for a throw-on-and-go getup that handles the heat like a pro.
5. Madewell Wishbone Lariat Necklace ($32): Statement necklaces are so your jam, but this is not the time to load on the baubles. An understated lariat or a few minimalist pendants are the way to go when you want to add a polished finish to your look without weighing yourself down.
6. Missguided Strappy Plunge Floral Maxi Dress ($85): A maxi dress is always a good idea. For maximum cooling effect, go there with open backs, plunging necklines, slits or sassy cutouts that let air in. Keep the rest of your look subtle, opting for natural-looking makeup, a fuss-free ‘do and pared-down accessories.
7. ASOS Ultimate Crop Cami ($9): That silk cami you love so much? Leave it at home if you plan to face the elements. Although it’s a natural fiber, it repels water rather than absorbs it. The fabric can get a funky puckering or rippling effect from sweat, plus it kind of latches onto body odor — not ideal. This airy jersey crop top is a better bet, with its lightweight fabric and open halter back. Trust us on this one.
8. Zara Long Skirt With Lace Trim ($50): Pieces with built-in breathable details, like thigh-high slits, are a no-brainer when sweat-inducing temps become a thing. This floaty maxi skirt will keep the threat of getting all hot and bothered at bay, while showing off those gorgeous gams. What’s not to love? Play it (really) cool with an embellished crop top and effortless metallic slides.
9. Yves Saint Laurent Eyeliner Effet Faux Cils Shocking in Black ($34): Melting makeup? No thanks. Keep that perfectly applied cat eye in check with waterproof eyeliner that can handle sweat fest 2016. Even if you’re not a fan of waterproof makeup, it’s not a bad idea to keep some on hand for when temperatures get out of control.
10. Mara Hoffman Mini Swing Dress ($220): Whether you’re headed to the beach or hanging out in the backyard, a slip-inspired dress offers an easy way to keep cool. Pop it on over your swimsuit or rock it solo with pool slides, then prepare to kick back and relax in comfort.
11. Everlane The Linen V-Neck ($35): If you’re a tee-and-jeans kind of girl, add this classic v-neck to your summer lineup stat. The ultra-lightweight linen-jersey fabric means you won’t part ways with your preferred warm-weather uniform even in the face of brutal temps. Just make sure you swap out those cropped jeans for a pair of breathable chambray shorts.
12. Urban Renewal Recycled 90’s Shortall Overall ($69): Even your trusty cutoffs can start to feel like too much when you’re sweating up a storm in stifling heat. Consider short-alls your new BFF. Their well-ventilated styling is so key, plus they can easily be layered over a bright bralette or crop top for a trend-right look.
13. Splendid Candee Lace Up Sandals ($88): When it’s too hot for shoes, but stepping out barefoot (or in flip-flops) just isn’t appropriate, these strappy gladiators step in to save the day. The thin straps will keep your feet feeling footloose while racking up the style cred.
14. Show Me Your MuMu Mateo Tie Back Tropical Top ($96): Form-fitting styles and extra fabric are not your friends in this kind of weather. Reach for this carefree tropical top and a billowy A-line skirt when the heat gets to be too much, then head to the waterfront for a refreshing sea breeze and margs on ice.
15. Planet Blue Cleobella Karina Jumper ($110): Let a little heat get in the way of seizing the day? Never! Whether you wear it as a beach coverup or a casual GNO getup (complete with a lacy bandeau and block heels), this cotton ikat jumper is your best bet when the thought of sitting inside has you bored to tears.
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