As we approach August, the state of schools opening aside, this is the time that my feed starts to fill with everyone’s pre-fall rituals as they start looking forward to pumpkins, a certain latte, and cooler temperatures. This is also the time when I start to really not like those people simply because I live in Texas and chances are we will be craving iced tea and air conditioning as we continue to sweat until Thanksgiving (welcome to Texas). As a native of the Lone Star State, I have learned many hacks over years of dressing for the capitol to outdoor festivals, and everywhere in between. And specifically growing up in East Texas, behind that pine curtain, where the humidity hangs heavy in the air, you learn real quick that “summer wool” is a joke Yankees made up.
My number one tip for dressing in hot and humid weather is the less it touches your sweaty body, the better. Enter my all-time favorite, the caftan. We have talked about these magical pieces a lot on the blog and have shown them in a variety of fabrics. In this case though, cotton and linen are your friends. Leave the synthetics for cocktail parties inside at other times of the year. The loose fit of a caftan can look glamorous or work over a swimsuit with flipflops poolside. It is a major bonus that this airy sheath covers a multitude of post-coronavirus-lockdown sins.
Beyond the caftan, any items in these breathable fabrics are a sure bet for hot and humid attire. I am a fan of the classic cotton, button-up shirt. Even in summer, I opt for long-sleeved shirts and just roll them up to combat the heat. With my fair complexion, I need the added coverage, and this is one of the best ways to get it without melting. #redheadproblems
Be sure to pick colors that will camouflage sweat. White is always your best bet, but patterns are good alternatives to hide any dampness creeping onto your shirt. Avoid silk as it is prone to sweat stains and can just cling to your body in all the wrong ways. Another smart choice is chambray instead of denim. Loose chambray cropped trousers instead of jeans gives you the same denim look at a fraction of the weight.
If you work in an office, take advantage of the relaxed summer dress code – or just the dress code if you live in Texas. Pick a natural-fiber sundress over a sheath dress. Just adding a lightweight sweater or cardigan or a linen blazer will immediately up the professional quotient. Another favorite is a nice linen tank with high waist linen trousers, tossing on the cardi or blazer for meetings. And if your office allows, dressier shorts with a button-up blouse can do the trick.
As with every season and every look, foundations are key. We are talking about your underwear here. Again, opt for 100 percent cotton or one of the more of the high-tech sweat-wicking fabrics made for working out. UnderArmour and others are now combining the two to make undergarments for everyday wear that keep the moisture to a minimum. Set aside the lace, the padding, and any unnecessary straps and embellishments. This is the season to keep things simple and unfussy.
Need to save face? Mineral makeup in Texas is a must. It is sweat-proof, oil absorbent, and stays put. Cream blushes are your friend, and a good bronzer can double as eyeshadow alongside a swipe of liquid liner that will not budge. And do not even think about wearing anything other than waterproof mascara. If you really want to splurge, I recommend eschewing the mascara in favor of eyelash extensions. Not only does it save valuable time, but you will never have to worry about raccoon eyes again. A nude lip liner and some gloss and you are out the door. This is not the season for layers upon layers of makeup. Minimalism is key to avoid looking like Alice Cooper by 11:00 am.
Top if off with summer hairstyles to beat the heat. The top knot, a braid, or high pony are all winners. Dry shampoo helps keep the sweat at bay. Ok, dry shampoo is life, but that is for another post. When all else fails, nothing finishes off a summer look like a straw fedora, Panama hat, or a multitude of other styles to literally put a lid on your bad (or dirty) hair day. I have also become a fan of the headscarf circa 1975. It served its purpose to cover my roots during Corona Times but is a glam look to heat and humidity-proof your locks as well. Just throw on some gold hoops and a big pair of sunnies and you can Bianca Jagger yourself just about anywhere you want to go.
We hope you find these tips helpful for keeping the humidity at bay. Feel free to share any of your strategies to looking dry when the atmosphere around you is anything but!
Images by Breezy Ritter