Il fait chaud!

In just a few days, temperatures here have jumped from the 50-60F range into the low 90’s. Someone asked me last week, “how to you stay stylish in warm weather?” My response was “it’s not easy.” I’ve never been comfortable exposing acres of skin (a little mystery, c’est meilleur, n’est-ce pas?) and dressing appropriately for work, even in this kind of heat, doesn’t favor skimpy or overly casual wear.

One mainstay of my warm weather arsenal is a simple, chic white cotton tee. My favorite is from Banana Republic, either in crew neck,

Or the new v-neck version.
Layer it under a light jacket/suit for the (air-conditioned) office, or wear on its own with tailored cotton trousers or a skirt. Add some wedge sandals, an off-white bag and a light cotton scarf to take the style factor up a notch.

How do you keep your style going when the mercury rises?

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  1. April 20, 2009 / 1:47 pm

    Unfortunately, I need to cover my arms, regardless of the temperature. I wear a lot of lightweight linen, it’s the coolest fabric. But I do spend a lot of time ironing in the summertime.

  2. April 20, 2009 / 2:25 pm

    It’s such a shock to the system, isn’t it? I have entirely given up on vnecks. I only do a scoopneck. J Jill has some, so does garnet Hill. My jackets seem to never look right with a v.

  3. April 20, 2009 / 3:03 pm

    I love this really hot weather but everyone around me is melting and miserable!
    And, I really like the flattering cut of the v-neck. It would be perfect with loose shorts during the day and a pair of white jeans in the evening.

  4. April 20, 2009 / 6:03 pm

    We get such a limited amount of that kind of heat — maybe 6 weeks total, per summer, IF we’re lucky. Plus my summer schedule is quite free, work-wise — I’m working from home, doing research, writing, etc., so I can wear comfortable loose sundresses or cotton skirts and t-shirts. What I find difficult to manage in the summer is looking polished with bare legs — mine never build a convincing tan, even with product (altho’ admittedly I’m still getting the hang of the latter, being a recent convert). I miss my tights in the summer!

  5. Chris
    April 20, 2009 / 6:17 pm

    I am not fond of hot weather (so San Francisco suits me perfectly) but we get our share of warm weather. Last summer I survived in A-line and slightly flared cotton or linen blend skirts with knit tops. I could add a cardigan or light jacket in a/c.
    The crisp white t always sounds good but I always make them look wilted and manage to spill coffee on mine!

  6. greying pixie
    April 20, 2009 / 6:35 pm

    I’m not a T shirt person at all. They do nothing for me, short sleeves tend to make my arms look like tree trunks and even if they fit across the bust well, at the back I can see where my bra holds my back in – awful! And to be honest cotton jersey is not that cool to wear in hot weather, just as jeans aren’t. I would rather wear a cotton shirt with the cuffs turned up.

    I much prefer woven linen or cotton when temperatures get hot. I have two very lightweight jackets and princess line dresses, one set in cream and one in black. I mix and match them throughout June and July for work. Thank heavens in August I don’t work.

  7. Couture Allure Vintage Fashion
    April 20, 2009 / 12:41 pm

    I love the gentle curve of that V neck. It’s so much prettier than a straight line.

  8. April 20, 2009 / 10:18 pm

    Dresses are my preference for hot weather – I hate waistbands binding me when it’s hot.

  9. April 20, 2009 / 10:51 pm

    Wow, it’s winter in NYC today. Cold, windy, pouring rain.

  10. Karen
    April 20, 2009 / 4:27 pm

    Here in L.A. with Une Femme, I struggle too, with looking good in the heat. My denim pencil skirts are like ovens. Shorts must be tailored, and to wear tees well I must work out constantly to keep my middle in check and my upper arms toned. I never wear spaghetti straps. On the hottest days, I switch to a light cotton bra with no padding when I wear a shirt or loose blouse. I’d go braless, but that would be disaster under my clothes at my age…

    It’s too hot above 90 degrees for metal jewelry or layers, so sunglasses and sandals become even more important to up the style quotient.

    Hair can go frizzy and curly, so I just let it do so.

  11. April 21, 2009 / 12:02 am

    I really like that v neck t-shirt. It gets freakishly hot and humid here and I know they are a fashion no no, but I do wear capri pants in the summer for casual wear. I also like linen, but normally look like a wrinkled mess at the end of the day. I’ve yet to find a chic solution to the months of June – September.

  12. Sher
    April 21, 2009 / 1:10 am

    I wear skirts instead of shorts. And my favorite top is actually a sweater knit tank of natural color. It hides and absorbs any perspiration.

  13. Sheila
    April 21, 2009 / 9:17 am

    Living in the north-west of England I don’t have to deal with those temparatures very often, but I do struggle with some contradictions – I love warm summer weather but find it difficult to dress stylishly in it; I love linen but hate ironing! I tend to go for dresses, which I never wear at any other time, or light linen trousers and jackets and T shirts – and do the ironing.

  14. Rubiatonta
    April 21, 2009 / 9:30 pm

    My hot weather secrets are super-light weight cotton lawn blouses (I’m lucky enough to own a couple of Liberty print blouses, which I plan to wear to tatters), plus linen trousers or a knee-length linen skirt.

    It’s true that linen wrinkles like mad, but as I learned during my first brutally hot Madrid summer, “la arruga es bella” — wrinkles are part of the package, and I think you actually look cooler if you’re slightly rumpled.

    As for taming my hair, which tends to go wild and frizzy, I like to tie a scarf round the whole shebang and forget it.

    Powdered mineral makeup is my best friend when it feels like my face is melting — if it gets a little shiny, I just lightly dust some powder over the offending area.

  15. Sal
    April 21, 2009 / 5:21 pm

    That just might be the perfect white v-neck …

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