Even the best laid plans for a stylish summer can be fully thwarted if you choose the wrong garment as the temperature creeps up to the 80's, 90's and above. I remember when I moved to New Orleans... I always equate the feeling of the morning heat, a heat where your sunnies fog up just for stepping outside, to something like the warmth one gets after a tequila shot or two. If there's something New Orleans fashionistas know about it's how to dress for the heat.
So as we put this checklist together it was important to consider dressing for the southern tropics on one hand and desert heat too. We also were thinking about the concrete jungles and how quickly the city streets can warm up.
I enlisted Susanna, one of babes on the Oui We team, who hails from Alabama, spent a few years in the desert climate of California and made her way to New Orleans most recently. She's created a pretty killer shopping cheat sheet. And even better, you can download the entire shopping list below! Here's a little preview of what you'll find on the download.
We created the downloadable version, so you can click, print and take this baby straight to your favorite boutiques and vintage shops to make sure you don't miss a thing when shopping for your summer wardrobe update. Or, print it out and put it up on your summer moodboard, It'll get you outfit inspired in 10 steps (and 1 little bonus).
Without further adieu, here's the cheat sheet in full.
What to Wear This Summer To Stay Chic in the Heat
Soft, breezy shorts
While denim shorts are amazing, sometimes shorts that are a little lighter, not restricting, that let air in while also having fun patterns are a perfect way to quickly look super cute for summer, and also not feel gross and sweaty. (Also doesn’t take up any room on those summer trips.)
Loose fitting tops
Crops tops look darling during the summertime, but picking out a looser style that doesn’t cling to your skin will allow air to flow more freely and not have you feeling sticky. The less fabric that touches your skin, the better. (This loose style can go for all shirts in general, not just crop tops).
Underneath all those loose fitting clothing, spaghetti strap dresses, and sheer fabrics- bralettes are perfect. Not only can you get beautiful, lace ones that are meant to be shown, but they also don’t have any padding and thick fabric to create that awful boob sweat.
Sheer Cardigans & Kimonos
These babies quickly add more to a basic summer outfit, and also they're good to have on hand if the nights get a little cooler, or you’re indoors. Lace and see through, it's the ultimate in boho style. These look gorgeous with short shorts and tank tops.
Tops with cold shoulder cutouts, or backless, well, anything, allows air flow. Or try it on the bottom: summer is the time for ripped up denim shorts too.
This isn't your grandma's version: sometimes it’s just too hot to wear jeans, so linen is a surprisingly chic summery addition that also helps keep you cool. Linen/cotton blend won’t wrinkle either, double score.
The fastest summer style you can put on and look completely stylish. Maxi skirts with crop tops are a perfect outfit too.
Lighter summer scarves tied into your hair can not only keep away sweat, but also give you a beautiful boho look. Large ones can be untied and draped over your shoulders to protect you from the sun, or keep you warm indoors. They can also be tied onto your purse as a decoration and ready for use when needed.
Even if it’s so hot you don’t feel like doing anything but wearing a tank top and shorts, sometimes all you need is an attention grabbing piece of jewelry to make your outfit stand out.
Strappy Sandals/Slip ons
Sandals go with summer, there’s really no other shoe that’s as iconic for the weather, and it’s because it works so well and with all different styles. Slip on shoes are another brilliant alternative as they’re easy and comfortable. Buy the tiny no show socks and this will help keep your summer feet from making them smell (eeewwww, it's never good to show up to a picnic, kick the shoes off and wellllll). There are different kinds of lace slip ons now too that are even more breathable.
These are ace for anyone, but especially since it’s summer dress season, these can be a perfect way to get the cooling feel of a dress, but helps prevent your thighs rubbing together for anyone that deals with that icky annoyance when wearing a dress.
Steer clear of gray on really hot days. This color, along with bright pastels, shows all those not so fab sweat marks.
To keep cool, wear: cotton, chambray, and linen. Stay away from: polyester, spandex, and nylon. Rayon and silk are in the middle. Best to wear when it’s not blazing hot.
Cheat Sheet by Susanna.
Susanna Williams is a creative writer in a variety of media. Spending years in the independent film industry in Los Angeles, she worked in screenwriting before becoming a distributor of festival winning films.
When she's not working with her start up production company in New Orleans, she writes fiction and raises orphaned baby wildlife. 🐒🐻🐱
She's a huge travel enthusiast with a love for art, fashion, and beauty. (p.s. she wore baby blue velvet booties to her ouiwegirl.com interview. so between that and the baby animal love, clearly, she wins at life.)
graphic design by Lani Maheu