A Facebook friend, Kay, threw down the gauntlet after I posted a pic of the dashboard of my car which was reporting 106 degrees in Sonoma last week. She said, “Brenda, how about your next article be Dressing for Merciless Heat & Humidity? I didn’t interpret that as an offhand suggestion. I heard desperation so I got right on it!
I took on the challenge and immediately started writing a post in my head. Solutions came streaming in like cold water coming off a glacier. Here are some of those first thoughts:
- Get a handicap sticker for your car so you can park super close to Whole Foods, CVS Pharmacy or Nordstrom to avoid walking on hot pavement.
- Grab one of those cold packs you keep in the freezer for when you whack your thigh accidentally on the corner of the dining room glass top table chasing after the cat but, instead of applying it to your thigh, stick it inside the band of your white tummy tuck jeans before you head out for the day.
- Go to the Cineplex in mid-afternoon and enjoy a movie but bring a sweater, a stocking cap and wool socks in case the blower is shooting air conditioning right down over your head.
- Think cold thoughts.
- Consider making this the year you show your arms anyway.
- Wear a long dress.
- Whatever you do, do not start a steamy romance in July.
Where to start with my heat shield fashion solutions
Ideas that come into my head in the early stages of writing don’t always make it to the final draft. Although all of those tips are pretty darn good on second look except, of course, I don’t want you stealing somebody’s handicap sticker. That wouldn’t be nice.
Let’s start with wearing a long dress.
I can’t convince everybody to do this but I think the simplest solution to staying relatively comfortable in heat is to wear a long dress.
A LONG DRESS!, you exclaim. I hear you, Babe, I hear you! It might sound counterintuitive but I’m sticking to this tip hard like coral in a reef near a beach, where we all should be right now. Sorry, heat sometimes brings on fantasies.
(No steamy romance in July! Keep telling yourself that!)
Now we’re not all in lifestyle settings where we can wear a maxi dress so I will definitely share more ideas throughout the month. But stick with me here.
Two cool advantages of wearing a long dress
- When a dress skims your body, barely touching anything, your body feels free. Containment in the form of clinging fabrics feels claustrophobic and makes you want to start ripping off clothes.
- When you walk in a long dress you create air flow that can cool you from bottom to top because nothing is there to stop the flow. Waistbands or tight jeans are huggers and heat collectors. Clothes that cling are not cooling.
I demonstrate this point in this J.Jill soft indigo maxi dress in Tencel. I LOVE the feel of it. I love wearing a maxi dress that’s not clinging anywhere. This one just drops from the shoulders and that’s it. It’s not opaque but it’s not sheer at all, either. So no need for wearing a slip or anything else underneath. The fabric makes me feel secure. I’m not in something wispy. I’m in something sure-footed.
Now of course, I’ll always have a jacket nearby because of that air conditioning factor. I love wearing this lightish blue denim jacket with the soft indigo of the dress. Blue on blue. My ivory Lanvin bracelet is light in color and loose. I added the Sol Sisters double necklace for some summer panache. And my jean jacket has pins given to me by my daughters and my mother. That makes me feel warm on the inside where you don’t sweat.
On a footnote, the kids were up to Sonoma to celebrate the birthday of me and my twin brother Brent since I was away on our actual birthday. Erin’s beau, Mike, was showing us his friend’s place in Mexico and I was saying, Let’s go! Book it!! As I walked everyone out to their car, I pressed it again with Caitlin who was going to be seeing Mike’s friend the next day. She said, “Okay Mom. And the good thing is, you’re dressed for Mexico. Not the jean jacket but the dress.”
Now that says a lot because this girl has spent oodles of time in faraway hot places, including parts of Mexico. So if she thinks my maxi dress is good for the heat, you’d all be smart to believe her!
Don’t worry, we’ll keep this conversation going. I do have lots more to share.
In the meantime, tell me what your solutions are for the heat!