summer dressing with lightweight ponchoI was curious about the origin of expression “dog days of summer,” and looked it up. Apparently it has nothing to do with dogs at all …

Instead, it turns out, the dog days refer to the dog star, Sirius, and its position in the heavens.

Hmmm, not crazy about the “catastrophe” reference, but it’s no secret that this is my least favorite time of year. Some people may love hot summer days, but I’m not one of them. Here in Southern California, we have several weeks of warm weather ahead; in fact our warmest days are often in September and October. Dressing for the heat is always challenging for me, even more so when every public indoor space seems to have a/c cranked up to arctic settings. Though I will go sleeveless in extremes, I prefer to have a little bit of shoulder/upper arm coverage.

vintage medallion bracelet, Clare V. leopard clutch

Wearing: earrings | poncho | tank (similar) | bracelet | pants | bag | shoes

I used to wear ponchos a few years back, and was recently inspired to give them another try when I visited Linda V. Wright’s cashmere shop in Paris. I left with a lovely cashmere poncho (marked down during les soldes) that I wore during the flight home. (It’s fabulous for travel, more on this soon.) But a lightweight poncho like the one I’m wearing here can be a nice warm-weather option too. The weave is light and loose, the hemp fabric breathes, and it allows for lots of air circulation.

dressing for the heat in a sheer poncho

I’m sure some of you are recoiling at the idea of wearing black pants in the heat, but I’ve found these Eileen Fisher stretch crepe pants to work well even in substantial heat and humidity. I wore them around Phuket, Thailand a couple of years ago, and was pleasantly surprised at how comfortable they were. They’re also available in lighter colors, if you just can’t do black in summer. Plus size options here.

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And speaking of “dog days,” here’s how Byron copes with the heat…

When it’s too warm to sleep IN the bed… #dogs #dogsofinstagram #dogslife #cavalier #cavaliersofinstagram

A photo posted by une femme d’un certain âge (@susan_unefemme) on

 

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