one of the greatest trials and tribulations of my life is how to dress for summer humidity. humidity makes the biblical lake of fire and brimstone seem more like a lukewarm soup. i love summer, i love heat, i love breezy, bohemian clothing. however, the fact that my personal style rules include that i always sport sleeves and my thighs must be covered makes it difficult to even think about being outside between the hours of 8am and 9pm. public nudity is simply unfeasible(though tempting). it's been my personal quest to put together a list of items i would actually want to wear while i am enjoying(not just surviving) summer.
my humidity-driven summer style must-haves:
(and no, just because i live in south carolina my list doesn't include a stars and bars bikini.)
1. an easy care/easy wear dress or two. something that doesn't require layers, cardigans, tanks or burkas. the dress is the whole outfit. i believe that cardigans in summer are for movie theaters only. plus, there is no experience more exhilarating than a nice breeze blowing up your skirt. onlookers enjoy it too.
2. hanes T shirts/white T shirts. consider them the building blocks of your wardrobe. i love them with cut off shorts and gladiator sandals and a chunky necklace. or a pencil skirt and wedge sandals for a slightly elevated look. simply the best.
3. loose shorts/pants. faded denim, chinos, seersucker, sometimes even the dreaded linen if they are a linen blend. tight, dark denim makes me feel like a sausage in summertime. i already know i ate too many nacho cheese drenched hot dogs at the barbeque, i don't need my waistband reminding me each time i move. but i always avoid cargo shorts. that just my personal preference. i've got thighs and i don't need gigantic tent-like pockets announcing to the world that they are not so well hidden under a flap of fabric that could also house a 747. i need the cargo pockets on my chest.
4. SINGLE LAYER SHIRTS- this is probably the MOST important thing to me. i HATE/LOATHE/DESPISE wearing a shirt and then another shirt because the first one is too short, too low cut, too see-through, too stained(not really, i do have a few grossness limits). how about i just dump a bucket of sweat all over myself and get it over with? the basic gap t has always been a friend to me. and i am currently jonesing for this shirt from francesca's. or i got a heck of a deal on some basic Ts from kohl's for $2.80 each. they are in the juniors section and because of that i bought large.
however, my dear friend jamey does recommend the shade demi cap sleeve T for those shirts that simply must be worn and must be made modest.
5. skirts- oh my darling BFF the skirt. over your swimsuit. paired with your hanes T or your single layer T. one and you are done. the perfect one can take you from grocery store to pool to dinner out. just change your shoes and accessories.
*did you enjoy the gradual absolute mess my hair became in this series of pictures?
*and yes, i am very tan. not that i purposefully lay out and tan. the sun just loves me.
SHOES- avoid flip flops unless you are headed to something uber-casual. i love gladiator sandals and wedge sandals. since summer dressing is so low-key and laid back, your shoes can really bring an outfit to another level. like, "yeah, i just naturally rock this bohemian-sweaty-shirt-sticking-to-my-back-vibe because these shoes say i'm trying, but i'm not. i think i'll have a lemonade and read some very hard-hitting and inspiring young adult fiction."
SCARVES and BELTS- scarves loosely draped are the essence of laid-back chic. and they can double as a sweat towel. i'm not kidding. belts look great slung low over the hips in summer. wrap them, tie them, buckle them, just don't cinch them. tight booby belts in summer are as repressive as corsets. take a deep breath and let it flow my little star-moon-hippie flower.
JEWELRY- pile it on and don't worry about looking cluttered. my favorite earrings are a silver pair shaped like angel wings. they make everything seem like i am too cool for school. i love to mix them with gold jewelry. it's summer, anything goes!
HAIR- buns hun. that's how i roll. sometimes i even dry and curl my hair so that my bun with be fuller and bigger and stay in better. i like the ouchless elastic hair ties by goody. i have gobs of hair and they secure very well for about a month before they are hopelessly stretched out. it's an ongoing issue for me.
my dear carie does recommend these though:
finally, my MANTRA. i normally don't believe anything really has to "match", they simply have to "go". it's a gut feeling. and not that gut feeling you get after taco bell. the feeling that approves your outfit because it just feels right. this goes into overdrive once the temperatures top 75. if it keeps me cool and comfortable, bring it on.