22 In Getting Dressed

Fashion solutions for hot weather, Part Two

fashion solutions for hot weather

Keva layers sheer fabrics to stay cool and I’m wearing a 100% linen Chico’s shirt


I’ve been thinking about what I wanted to share with you in Part Two of  Fashion Solutions for Summer Heat. (Here’s Part One if you missed it.) I settled on two things: fabrics and their content and lightweight accessories.

Well, isn’t it just grand that I was visiting my favorite store in Sonoma yesterday, J.James, and two of my favorite people, Keva and Valerie, were demonstrating exactly what I wanted to share with you! Thank you, Ladies!!!

Keva, in shades of yellow, loves wearing sheer fabrics in the summer, layered. Nothing’s cooler than a floaty skirt! The piece under her asymmetrical yellow top is a pretty vintage-looking camisole. “Of fer nice,” women in our family would say. (Yes, it’s fer, not for, just the way Mother said it!).


Lightweight necklaces for hot days on BrendaKinsel.com

Lightweight necklaces are perfect for the heat


Sorry we lost the true color in this closeup picture of Keva’s top, but it’s the necklaces I wanted you to see. She starts with a thin gold necklace, then she’s got a double layer of soft pearls, and then a lovely longer necklace that shimmers so beautifully. I complimented her on it and she said, “Valerie made it!” Of course, she did. Valerie can make anything! (You’ll see her in a minute.)

I’m doing something similar regarding jewelry in this picture of me in Santa Fe where I ran into a true jewelry designer hero of mine, Belle Brooke. Her jewelry is shown here in Sonoma at Studio Collections Jewelry right next door to J.James but her studio is in Santa Fe. I’d remembered she was in Santa Fe (once) but had forgotten that fact so when I stumbled into her studio and discovered it was her I was so happy! Her jewelry has worked well for a couple of clients of ours.


Wearing an airy skirt to stay cool

Belle Brooke and Brenda in Santa Fe at her studio


Simple necklaces

A simple necklace still adds value to an outfit


The value of lightweight necklaces

The necklace I’m wearing while meeting Brooke is a double chain of crystals, pearls, and gold textured beads. It adds some luster while still being lightweight. I call these kind of necklaces nothing necklaces. They’re neutral. They add value, mostly by adding texture to an outfit, without making a statement. Sometimes that’s exactly what you need!

It was great with my Chico’s 60% cotton/40% modal white T-shirt and the 70% linen/30% silk skirt I found in Santa Fe at a consignment store the day before this picture with Brooke was taken. I added my Eileen Fisher super lightweight 100% linen jacket. I’d brought with me one of the button bracelets I made in my long ago past. I made this one using the backside of Mother-of-Pearl buttons because I love the texture so much. It all adds up to a comfortable, summer chic outfit.


Full pants are cool for summer

Valerie, wearing linen pants, made both these necklaces


Necklace by Valerie Raven

Lusting for Valerie’s necklace!


Compare my necklace and Keva’s necklace to Valerie’s necklace which has more design weight. She made it of course! I love it for summer because of the color of the beads and the silver bird. (I’m listening to the birds in the trees outside my home office window right now!) I’m crazy about birds. If I were a robber, I’d have grabbed that necklace off her neck. But that would be “Oh fer bad.” Instead, I admire it and her for making it.

As we leave the necklace discussion, I’ll say this: Most often in summer, it’s “cooling” to wear a necklace that is light in color or materials. Save the heavier necklace looks for fall/winter.


Fabric content matters when it comes to staying cool!


Fabric content

Fabric content is key to cool fashion


I’ve mentioned some of the fabric contents of clothing pieces already. Knowing I wanted to write about fabrics, I went into my closet and pulled out the clothes I wear on the hottest of days and made a photo collage of the fiber content labels for you. It used to be that I only wore lightweight cotton (Pima cotton or Egyptian cotton being the coolest) fabrics in summer or 100% linen. I don’t care that linen wrinkles. Wrinkles and linen go together like ice cream and waffle cones. (Mother was not a fan of wrinkles. She’d look at a wrinkled top and say, “Oh fer wrinkled!”)

But now there are so many combinations that offer that lightweight feel we want in clothes we wear in hot weather.


Cool fabrics for summer

Erin’s blouse is 70% linen and 30% silk


This blouse that Erin wore to work one day was another one I lusted for. It’s just barely sheer but not enough that she has to wear another layer under it. It was a very hot day but she looked great and felt great. Notice her little necklace at her neck. This print wants all of the attention. It doesn’t want to be bothered with more jewels.


sheer linen for summer

Sheer linen pants are a winner


Both Keva and I were lusting after Valerie’s pants. Here’s a closeup of them. They are sheer and 100% linen. We could see the shape of her legs in a certain light. “I love that!” Keva said. So did I! And I liked how Valerie wore a longer tunic top as an example of how to cover up any parts of one’s body that one would rather keep more private.


Tencel for summer

Pants with Tencel are lightweight and cool


This J.Jill paisley pant is so fluid and cool to wear. It’s 100% rayon which is man-made fabric. It has very thin fibers which allows it to breathe. It’s lightness keeps it from sticking to the body. Gotta love that non-sticking part! (Oh fer nice!)

So there you have it, my friends! More ways to look cool when you’re feeling hot.

Tell us about your jewelry selections in hot weather, would you? Thanks!


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  • Reply
    July 24, 2017 at 1:48 pm

    Very good advice. I love the layered look but I just can’t seem to find the pieces and put them together. It’s triple digit hot in Texas right now! I wore a heavy, chunky necklace to church yesterday. It was nice for my outfit but I was so ready to take it off when I got home.

    • Reply
      July 25, 2017 at 9:39 am

      I know what you mean, Emma. That day in Sonoma it only got into the 90s. Triple digits is a whole other level. But the necklace I was wearing in Santa Fe, my nothing necklace, is the best. It’s so lightweight and I don’t get home feeling like I have to strip down. My solution for triple digits is matinee movies!

  • Reply
    La Contessa
    July 24, 2017 at 2:39 pm

    Did you see my BirthDAY neck gear that was a GIFT?See blog Post Today

    • Reply
      July 25, 2017 at 9:40 am

      Yes, I did you amazing person with amazing friends! Crazy beautiful! Someone who didn’t know I knew you sent a pic because she knew I’d love it so much! It was perfect!

  • Reply
    July 24, 2017 at 6:40 pm

    In the heat and humidity, I generally add a slide to a simple lightweight cord instead of a traditional heavier alternative. I have several cords in various lengths. Love the skirts! They look cool and very feminine much nicer than shorts. What options we have!!!

    • Reply
      July 25, 2017 at 9:41 am

      I love your positive attitude, Kathy!

  • Reply
    Sandi Mcdougall
    July 25, 2017 at 5:12 am

    Another great article Brenda. I wear, too, love a skirt in the summer as winter in ND calls for pants. I’m definitely putting a light weight necklace on over my tshirt today before I head to work at Nichole’s. Thanks for the reminder.

    • Reply
      July 25, 2017 at 9:41 am

      You bet!!! We have to figure out our rendezvous. Coming in August!

  • Reply
    July 25, 2017 at 5:51 am

    These are great ideas!! Fiber content is everything when it comes to comfort in extreme temperatures. Please tell us about the black shoes in the last picture. I think you also have a beige pair that are similar.

    • Reply
      July 25, 2017 at 9:42 am

      You’re right! They are by the company Gabor. You know what my favorite thing is? They wrap at the ankle with VELCRO!!!!!

  • Reply
    July 25, 2017 at 10:40 am

    I like to wear silver jewelry with natural blue or green stones in summer, silver seems cooler than the warmth of gold and stones that mimic the colors of the ocean are my favorites in the heat. I have a larimar ring that I only wear on the warmer weather, it’s a stone from the Caribbean. Today I did a Brenda by wrapping a Mother of Pearl beaded choker around a double strand vintage white beaded necklace for a little interest at the neck with an open white linen shirt – oh fer fun!

  • Reply
    Kay Walton
    July 25, 2017 at 12:30 pm

    You NEVER cease to amaze and encourage me! Thank you for these 2 fabulous posts! Now off to shop for the right fabrics to add to my wardrobe.

    • Reply
      July 25, 2017 at 1:37 pm

      Yay, Kay!!!

  • Reply
    cindy hattersley
    July 25, 2017 at 1:20 pm

    I agree 100% LOVE LINEN and I too embrace the wrinkles! I do not have the greatest luck at Chicos although I am a huge fan of their no iron white shirt. I am going to check that linen one out. Loved the advice about necklaces. I never really thought about that but it makes total sense!! Always love your informative posts!

    • Reply
      July 25, 2017 at 1:39 pm

      Linen lovers unite! I’ve run into several fans of the no-iron shirt and I have a couple of them myself. But probably for summer, I like their linen ones most. Thanks, Cindy!

  • Reply
    July 25, 2017 at 4:25 pm

    Wow! I love Valerie’s look — the weights and colors of all her pieces really do balance well. BTW, I lived in Taos for ten years. LOVE that part of the world. And the people in it.

    And on the linen front, I scored a gray linen jumpsuit at my favorite consignment shop recently for $22. I was already “broomsticked,” and I’ve just washed it for the first time and am broomsticking it right now (twisting it for it to dry wrinkled — a great look). It’s a great summer piece. Very FLAX-y. 🙂

    • Reply
      July 27, 2017 at 6:09 pm

      Oh Ann, I love the sound of your jumpsuit. And thanks for reminding me about broomsticking! You’d love Valerie. She’s just the best! And lucky you for spending ten years in Taos. It really is special!

  • Reply
    Katherine Branson
    October 26, 2017 at 7:02 am

    I love the necklaces here and I always want to wear one, but I have issues with how they feel on my neck. Valerie’s necklaces is really pretty though and to think that she made it is so impressive! Maybe I’ll start wearing lightweight necklaces for starters! Thanks Brenda!

    • Reply
      October 29, 2017 at 5:36 pm

      Great idea, Katherine! I have clients who can’t wear earrings that are very heavy so we keep them light. Same with necklaces. I say go for it!

  • Reply
    October 11, 2018 at 9:46 pm

    Hello Brenda,
    I enjoy your style pictures reviews thoughts on how to be the best version of ourselves.
    You are an inspiration.
    Thankyou for taking the time out to help us all feel better with ideas and humour. It’s great.
    I live in Malawi can be difficult to get cloths. We do have excellant tailors which is a bonus.

  • Reply
    November 6, 2018 at 10:25 am

    Yes, rayon is man made, but it is NOT synthetic! If anyone was wondering….☺️

    • Reply
      November 6, 2018 at 4:18 pm

      Thanks, Katalin!

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