It’s the middle of summer, and in addition to getting tired of the daily grind, you’ve come to the conclusion that it’s way too hot outside (and possibly inside) to get dressed. All you can think about is swimwear, and you spend every spare moment daydreaming of the next time you’ll be able to head to the beach or the pool. But in the meantime, you still have to get dressed and ready for work and your other commitments whether its sweltering or not.
So what can you do when the heat is so bad that you just want to run — or teleport — from one air-conditioned space to another, or perpetually walk around with an icy drink in hand? Believe it or not, there are some outfits that can keep you comfortable despite the heat and humidity. Read on to check out our go-to outfits for when the summer is just too hot — and rest assured that we’re wishing for cloudy days and cool breezes in your near future.
1. A simple dress and sandals
A simple dress is a summer staple, and for good reason. Throwing on a dress in the morning is about as simple as it gets, and while you’ll immediately look chic and put-together, you’ll also feel cooler and less constricted than you would in your typical pair of pants. We’ve got plenty of favorite dresses, but if you need a style that goes particularly well with your favorite pair of sandals, check out this Alice + Olivia Fit-and-Flare dress in classic navy, which pairs easily with a sleek sandal like Sam Edelman’s “Gigi.” By choosing a cute style that keeps your bra straps under wraps, you’ll have an easier time looking and feeling put-together without worrying about strapless bras or spaghetti straps.
2. A tee and a skirt
A tee and jeans may be your go-to outfit in the spring or in the fall, but your favorite tees can also come in handy during the unabated heat wave in between. Pair a solid or striped tee with a polished skirt, and you have a quick and comfortable outfit that’s second only to a one-piece outfit like a sundress in terms of simplicity. Pair a top like J Brand’s Oakwood tee with Theory’s knit mini skirt for a sleek take on a mod look. Top the outfit off with a cute pair of sunglasses, and you’ll look and feel cool the next time you have to leave your apartment or step outside of the office.
3. A button-front shirt and shorts
Retailers introduce tons of cute tops in their summer collections, but far too many of them are skintight, not breathable, or otherwise unfriendly for those dealing with hot summer climates. Get around the shortcomings of trendy new pieces by opting for a classic style: the button-front shirt. You can find a button-front shirt that’s cut straight up and down for a menswear-inspired look, or choose one with darts to minimize the extra fabric. We’d go with Barneys’ mandarin collar oxford cloth shirt, styled with a polished pair of shorts, like ATM Anthony Thomas Melillo’s silk style. Pair the right shirt with a cute pair of shorts, and you’ll have a summer outfit that’s classic but still comfortable (and does a good job of keeping the heat off of a still-fresh sunburn on your neck or shoulders).
4. A short-sleeve blouse and a midi skirt
If you like your button-front shirts in the cooler months but aren’t so sure that you’re up for an oxford mid-summer, try a lighter take on the button-front shirt with a short-sleeve, button-front blouse. Tuck it into a swishy midi skirt to highlight your waist and combat the hottest days of the summer with retro style and vintage flair. Our favorite pieces to assemble the outfit are Madewell’s “Central” chambray shirt, which features a spread collar and gathered details at the shoulders, and The Fifth Label’s “Passport” midi skirt, which features a dramatic flared silhouette but a comfortable stretch-knit construction.
5. A tank top and lightweight pants
Just because it’s summer doesn’t mean we have the energy to shave our legs every day. (Though it’s worth reminding everyone that you don’t have to shave your legs to show them off — you do you, girl!) If you want to give your razor a break or are just trying to avoid getting another sunburn on your legs, cover up a little with a lightweight pair of pants. Make up for all of the fabric covering your lower half by opting for a swingy tank top. We’d pair Topshop’s linen and cotton trousers with a simple top like Sun & Shadow’s rib knit tank for a look that’s casual but still chic.
6. A jumpsuit or romper
Not everyone likes a dress, or feels confident that a Marilyn Monroe moment isn’t just waiting to happen. If you’d prefer a one-piece outfit that doesn’t involve a swingy skirt, choose a jumpsuit, instead! If it’s so hot that you’re ready to give up on looking put together, rest assured a romper can save the day. Like this tie-strap style from Madewell. It features a relaxed silhouette, a scooped neckline, and ties that fasten at the shoulders for a playful look.