Heatwave Dressing: Feeling Hot While Staying Cool

It feels like we have been waiting for ever for summer to begin. The months of only being able to eat outside at restaurants and your daily walk around the park being the biggest event on your social calendar have left most of us craving warmer weather. However, summer doesn’t come without its challenges. England’s tendency towards heatwaves plummets us into tropical conditions with little to no time to prepare our wardrobes accordingly.

If you’re anything like me, what you wear has a big impact on your mood, and the discomfort of chafing thighs and sweaty boobs does nothing for my morale. My simultaneous love for the sun and apprehensiveness to feel too exposed has given me plenty of practice in feeling relaxed in the warmer weather. These are my top tips for feeling and looking your best whilst battling with the British heat, without having to splurge on an entirely new summer wardrobe.

  1. Bandelettes

Discovering Bandelettes must be one of the best things that has happened to me this year. I feel my best in skirts and dresses in the summertime, however the immeasurable pain of chafing thighs put me off wearing them for too long. Bandelettes are small pieces of fabric that stick to your upper thighs and prevent your legs from rubbing together, available in a range of colours and styles. I prefer these over cycling shorts as they’re not an extra layer of clothing so won’t make you hotter, and they are much more discreet than a pair of shorts. They also come in a variety of skin colours and pretty lacy designs, acting more like underwear than clothing. If you struggle with chafing and want to be able to wear skirts again, you have to give these a try.

2. Linen Trousers

Just because it’s warm, doesn’t mean you have to show more skin. I’ve often struggled with the sudden transition from winter to summer dressing, especially in the UK where we experience all seasons within the space of an hour. I feel most comfortable with my legs covered, but jeans in summer is something I don’t think I’ll ever be able to get on board with. So, this summer season, linen trousers have become my faultless everyday item that I know I can rely on regardless of the climate. They keep you simultaneously cool and covered without compromising on style. What’s more, they’re the perfect transitional item to bring you in and out of the warmer weather, so you can guarantee they’ll be worn all year round.

3. Maxi Skirts and Dresses

In a similar vein to linen trousers, maxi skirts and dresses are the ultimate way to keep cool and covered whilst getting in the summer spirit. Since eliminating chafing through my trusty bandelettes, I have unleashed a new love of skirts and dresses that I once would’ve been apprehensive to wear. If you’re a shopper on a budget hoping to revamp your wardrobe, charity shops are my go-to spot for floaty, breathable skirts that won’t break the bank. If you’re someone who likes showing more skin, long skirts pair perfectly with cropped and bikini tops on sunny days.

4. Tankini Tops

If the prospect of wearing just a bikini top in public makes you a little nervous, the more modest tankini could be the perfect answer. According to my TikTok For You page, tankinis are back and better than ever. Whilst I can’t say I’ve worn one since the early 2000s, the tankini seems to be the new go-to summer top. The swimming costume fabric keeps them light and breathable whilst covering more skin than your traditional bikini. Second hand sites, such as eBay and Vinted, have an abundance of tankinis in vivid, bright prints that will add some fun to both your swimming costume and top collections, whilst also being ridiculously practical for hot days and transitions from the shore to the beach.

5. Bandanas and Scarves

Resisting the urge to chop off my long, heavy hair in the summer is something I battle with every year, but I know my future self will thank me for the self-restraint. If you also struggle with the added heat of your hair but don’t want to spend every day with some sort of ponytail or plait situation, bandanas or scarves are a perfect way to keep your hair down, out of your face, and off your neck. If you’re lacking inspiration, there are hundreds of YouTube tutorials demonstrating the versatility of this accessory. They also create a great way to add something different to your outfit if you often gravitate towards the same pieces.

6. Kübs

Last but most certainly not least: Kübs. Kübs are something I was completely unaware of until a few weeks ago, and now I’m wondering why I hadn’t thought of them before. They are an absorbent pad which are designed to be stuck underneath your boobs and absorb that immeasurably irritating under-boob sweat that remains the bane of my summer existence. The extra layer of a bra can be forfeited without fear of sweat peaking through your favourite top, keeping you dry and secure. Sweat is certainly not something anyone should be embarrassed about in summer, and is never something you should feel you have to hide, but if you are bigger chested and find the added moisture uncomfortable, these could really help you out.

Before buying anything these days, the first thing I consider is how comfortable I will feel in it, followed by the longevity of the piece. There are countless ways you can adapt your wardrobe to make yourself more comfortable in the summer heat, and it’s guaranteed your confidence will spike in the process. These six tips not only demonstrate how easy it is to make ourselves feel more comfortable in the heat, but also that we can do so sustainably and without over-consuming.

Image courtesy of Daniel Spase.

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