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Summer can be a hard season to dress for, but there are a few reliable ways to dress for sweltering heat and humidity.

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9 Fashion Tips for Styling Summer Outfits

There are plenty of ways to get your entire wardrobe ready for warm weather.

  1. Wear light-colored clothing. Choose light colors and white dresses and button-down shirts, which reflect, rather than absorb, the sun's rays.
  2. Opt for sleeveless or loose sleeves. When it comes to summer clothes, the goal is to have as much airflow as possible. You don't have to go fully strapless, but consider sleeveless camis and off-shoulder or puff-sleeve blouses. Short-sleeve button-ups are another good option.
  3. Stay away from tight clothing. Loose-fitting clothing is your best bet for staying cool in the summer. Go for cropped, wide-leg pants, loose shirts, oversize blouses, and dresses and skirts with room to breathe.
  4. Upgrade your athleisure. Technical fabrics are typically moisture-wicking, but they’re also tight, which isn’t always great for summer. If you're a fan of athleisure, swap your usual black leggings and sweatshirt for colorful bike shorts and tank tops or short-sleeve crop tops.
  5. Choose breathable fabrics. It may not matter during the rest of the year, but you’ll definitely notice the difference between breathable fabrics and fabrics that trap moisture during the summer. Synthetics usually aren’t breathable, so check clothing labels to make sure your clothes are 100 percent linen, cotton, or silk. If you want to play with texture, try eyelet and seersucker.
  6. Ditch jeans. Denim is one of the heaviest fabrics. If you wear stretch jeans or skinny jeans, you may find them too warm for your summer style. Look for lightweight cotton or linen pants instead. If you must wear denim, opt for wide-leg jeans, which still allow for some air circulation.
  7. Rely on dresses. Dresses aren’t just for special occasions. A comfy summer dress is an easy option for days when you don’t know what to wear. Summer is the perfect time to bring out your minidresses, rompers, and miniskirts, but it’s okay to go longer, too. For a boho summer look, opt for a sleeveless maxi dress or long skirt. A tie-front dress can give you a little extra air circulation.
  8. Wear leather sandals. Flip-flops are great for going to the beach, but to dress up your look, opt for strappy sandals or espadrilles, which still let your toes breathe. Leather sandals come in comfortable options that will look more stylish than the standard foam flip-flops.
  9. Minimize accessories. Lots of dangling necklaces or bangles can stick to your skin in the heat. Choose one statement accessory, like hoop earrings.

How to Dress for Work in Summer

You still need to look professional at the office during the summertime, while prioritizing clothing that keeps you cool.

  1. Stick to light colors. Workwear typically comes in dark colors like black and navy. For summer, try light colors instead: a white linen blazer, seersucker suit, or light blue button-up shirt.
  2. Dress in layers. If your office has air conditioning, layering will be a big part of your summer fashion vibe. A cotton cardigan is a great option for those days when you need to go from a hot train to a cold office.
  3. Try a one-piece garment. Separates can get very warm in the summer. Instead, try a work-appropriate one-piece, like a jumpsuit or wrap dress.
  4. Wear closed-toe shoes. Even if flip-flops are your go-to outside the office, you should still wear closed-toe shoes in the office. Try loafers or flats with moisture-wicking no-show socks.
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How to Dress for the Beach in Summer

Summer is the season for going to the beach, and there are a few things to consider when choosing what to wear.

  1. Buy your swimsuit early. Swimwear can be one of the hardest clothing items to shop for, so give yourself plenty of time to browse. Choose something comfortable that you can actually swim in.
  2. You don’t need to buy a dedicated beach cover-up. Unless you’re totally in love with your beach cover-up, you can repurpose other items of clothing to cover your swimsuit. An oversize white button-up shirt is a great beach cover-up that can double as a mini shirtdress. A lightweight dress is another great option, or pair a bikini top with a skirt.
  3. Protect your skin. Keep sunscreen and a hat in your beach tote so you're always prepared. Choose a sun hat that you actually like, so you won’t be tempted to leave it at home.
  4. Wear materials other than denim. Tight denim cutoffs might be a cute beach look, but soaking wet, sandy denim shorts are uncomfortable. Opt for something more breathable, like Bermuda shorts.

Want to Learn More About Unleashing Your Inner Fashionista?

Get a MasterClass Annual Membership and let Tan France be your very own style spirit guide. Queer Eye’s fashion guru spills everything he knows about building a capsule collection, finding a signature look, understanding proportions, and more (including why it’s important to wear underwear to bed)—all in a soothing British accent, no less.

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