How to look polished in the heat - une femme d'un certain âge

How to look polished in the heat

Summer heat can leave us feeling and looking a bit wilted. Here are some tips to help you look fresh and polished, even when it’s hot hot hot. 🌞

How to look polished in the heat: Susan B. wears a green no-iron linen shirt, off-white slim utility pants, leather sandals.

earrings | shirt (similar) | bag | ring (similar) | pants | sandals (similar)

We’ve been fortunate in that our little corner of Southern California has enjoyed a pretty mild summer so far. But our typically warmest months are still ahead of us. And a recent outdoor family event in a much (much!) warmer micro-climate got me thinking about ways to look polished and put-together while staying comfortable in the heat.

Tips to dial up your warm weather style

Just hanging out at home is one thing, but if you have casual social or community events on your calendar, here are a few ideas to help you look put-together without sacrificing comfort.

Opt for crisp, breathable fabrics + structure

✅ Fabrics like linen and cotton poplin will be lightweight and allow for air flow, but won’t look droopy. If creasing or wrinkles are an issue for you, look for no-iron fabrics.

✅ “Structure” doesn’t have to mean a fitted garment. Details like collars, set in sleeves on shirts or creases on the front of trousers provide structure even on more relaxed fits. Rolling up sleeves to expose wrists can also add structure to an outfit.

Chico's no-iron linen striped shirt light blue.

Chico’s always has some nice no-iron linen shirts. This light blue striped number will work for many of you Summers.

Foxcroft no-iron cotton blend navy shirt, plus size.

Navy always looks crisp paired with white pants or jeans. This no-iron cotton-blend shirt (Misses / Plus) is available in several other colors too.

Boden linen shirt floral print.

Here’s a linen shirt in a floral print that’s a bit bolder and not too sweet. This one’s available in Misses, Petite & Tall sizes (2-20/22). I think this bright color scheme will work for some of you Winters.

J.Crew linen-cupro dress, warm pink

Here’s a rare linen-blend dress that’s NOT billowy & ruffled! It’s also available in black, but I think this warm pink would look terrific on Springs. It’s available in Misses 00-18 as well as Petite and Tall sizes. (This color is final sale, just FYI.)

Theory Treeca pants in good linen, navy.

These sleek linen pull-on trousers are a bit more spendy, but have excellent reviews. This is the navy, but several other colors are available (and many are on sale). Sizes 00-18.

Go easy on makeup & accessories

✅ Skip the heavy makeup, especially if you’re in an area with high humidity. If your skin tends to get oily, opt for a light powder foundation, or just concealer where needed. If your skin is drier, try a tinted moisturizer. Add your favorite bright lipstick & go.

✅ Piling on a lot of jewelry can feel and look heavy with lighter summer clothing. I find earrings and rings are often the most comfortable pieces to wear when it’s really hot.

✅ Leave the rubber sandals and pool slides at home, and opt for a pair of structured sandals in leather or faux leather. If you prefer to stick to closed-toe shoes, here are some styles that will be comfortable in the heat.

More summer styles to help you look polished in the heat…

Stay in touch.

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  1. Sharon
    July 20, 2022 / 4:45 am

    Love the shade of green you are wearing. My Mom used to call that Kelly green. No clue why.
    Thanks for all you do.

    • Susan Blakey
      July 20, 2022 / 3:03 pm

      Thanks, Sharon! I think “Kelly” may be associated with Ireland and colors of the landscape.

  2. Meg
    July 20, 2022 / 5:16 am

    Having just spent a week at a Florida theme park in July with “feels like’ temps well above 100, your suggestions are spot on. I would further add dresses are the best air conditioned garment – and cotton gauze fabric is airy and also camouflages wrinkles! I agree that leather sandals are a must, rubber ones will simply be too non-breathable. I brought fisherman styles to help cover the top of my feet and avoid painful sunburns.

    • Susan Blakey
      July 20, 2022 / 3:01 pm

      Thanks, Meg. I agree that fisherman sandals can be a wonderful option when you want more coverage.

  3. Maggie
    July 20, 2022 / 6:38 am

    Your hair looks amazing as I knew it would!

    • Susan Blakey
      July 20, 2022 / 3:00 pm

      Hi Maggie, thanks!

  4. No Fear of Fashion
    July 20, 2022 / 7:16 am

    That was a good post, giving solid advice. Your green shirt looks very good on these ankle grazing trousers.

    • Susan Blakey
      July 20, 2022 / 3:00 pm

      Thanks, Greetje! This warm green is one of my very favorite colors.

  5. Judy
    July 20, 2022 / 7:24 am

    Loving the hair!

    • Susan Blakey
      July 20, 2022 / 2:59 pm

      Thanks, Judy!

  6. Jan Whichard
    July 20, 2022 / 8:26 am

    I made the hard decision not to include much linen in my wardrobe. Too wrinkle prone; too high maintenance! Always looks great in photos after pressing but it’s mostly downhill from there. Here is another quirk of mine…I don’t care for shirt tail finishing. I like straight hems. On me it’s more flattering. But I love the color. It is hard to look easy breezy in these “dog days of summer” but you sure pull it off!

  7. Pat
    July 20, 2022 / 12:02 pm

    I would add maxi dresses for heat. You look fabulous, but the dress allows for air flow. I have 3 solid and 3 print maxi dresses that I can pair with a denim jacket or light sweater for indoor air-conditioned spaces while being cool outside.

  8. Eileen
    July 21, 2022 / 6:11 am

    Since moving to a hot climate, I’ve been wearing cotton shirt dresses hemmed to just below the knee. One and done. Everyone is commenting how cool and breezy I appear. I add espadrilles. I got the idea from a pic of Carolina Herrera. It suits my pear shape perfectly. Thanks for adding color season info, I’m a “summer” and I believe a version of gamine.

  9. Ginger Whelan
    July 21, 2022 / 1:39 pm

    This is off-topic, but a while back you recommended a few clothing retailers in Paris. Have you done something similar for London?

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