Easy Breezy Summer Dressing Tips
I don’t know about you but in New England we went from winter to summer overnight. One day it was 49 degrees and drizzling and the next it was 85, sunny and humid. I hate it when that happens. There’s a whole section of my closet waiting to be worn!
Of course, wait 5 minutes and it could all change again. I keep hoping we’ll have a peek of spring sometime in the next month before we go to real true summer. But, that’s the beauty of New England…you just never know.
When the weather changes so dramatically one of two things happens:
- You’re so excited that warm weather has finally arrived that you throw caution to the wind and shed clothing with abandon.
- You were freezing one minute and now you’re hot and you stare miserably and hopelessly into your closet trying to figure out how to adapt.
So, let’s back up. While the first scenario might be more fun than the second (at least in the short term), chances are good that after a while you’ll think…Yikes…I’m feeling cooler but I’m not sure this is the best look for me. Sometimes this leads to a fun shopping session and sometimes it leads to the second scenario above!
Before you get stuck…
Let me share some tips for dressing well, comfortably, and authentically for the summer season (and for those of you who are experiencing winter right now, save this, and it will come in handy in a few more months!):
- Be prepared. While about mid-February we think spring will never come, it always does. And, often it seems to catch us by surprise. There are several reasons that being prepared makes a difference.
- You’ll have more choices. I agree that the retail shopping schedule is nutty (it’s hard to think about buying sleeveless tops when the temperature outside is hovering around freezing, but you must). If you wait until the weather warms up and you realize you need things, it could be too late. Yes, the stores are already going into sale mode and it’s barely June!
- It will save your sanity. If you have ever tried to put together a seasonal wardrobe when we’re in the middle of the season you know that yes, you might luck out and get everything you want (on sale even). But, more often what happens is that by the time you shop there is little left to buy…at least in your size (or so it seems). You find a great skirt but no top to go with it or you have a great pair of capris but all the good shoes in your size are gone. Not only will your sanity suffer but you’ll waste time inside agonizing over how to put together a wardrobe when you could be outside enjoying the warm weather.
- Is your weather fickle? In New England (and maybe other places as well) you must be prepared for the possibility of either a cool summer or a brutally hot one (like last year). By the time you know for sure what the weather will be Fall clothes are in the stores so be prepared either way or you’ll be out of luck about late July if you guessed wrong!
- Dress to Express. Remember my article on never settling for just ‘good enough?’ This is a season when I see a lot of that going around. Knowing who you are and how to reflect your personality in your wardrobe whatever the season is, is super important. It’s the missing link for many women. Yes, the summer throws in monkey wrenches like sandals, capris and lightweight (a.k.a., less forgiving) fabrics, but that means it’s even more important to stay true to yourself. Please never settle for just good enough! There is always a better choice (or else leave it on the rack). Listen to your inner guidance for cues as to what really speaks to you.
- Understand Your Needs. Are you always hot…cold? Do you walk a lot so you need super comfortable sandals? Do you have to crawl around on the floor (with children, as an IT specialist or organizing guru), or do you run board meetings and have high-powered lunches? What about leisure time, vacation, and dressy summer events? When you are in the dressing room, be sure to ask yourself, “When will I wear this?” and “How will I complete this outfit?” The last thing you want to do is get home and realize that you bought some fun things but you still have a lot of wardrobe loose ends!
- Have a Back-Up Plan. If your favorite designer has gone crazy and shows everything in chartreuse or only cap sleeved, flimsy T-shirts with cargo shorts, you want to be sure you know where to turn next. Having 2, 3 or 4 stores where you like to shop can make a frustrating shopping trip more productive and fun. You just leave and head to another store.
- A love affair with linen. One of the first questions I ask clients at this time of year is…do you love linen or hate it. No one is neutral on this! If you love it great, but you might want other alternatives for those days when linen doesn’t feel right (you’re not in the mood for the rumpled look) or you just want a change. This season has been great for that.
There are lots of pretty jackets and sweaters with a loose weave that let you stay cool but still feel covered, pulled-together, or professional (or whatever your reason is for wearing another layer).
Or, a short-sleeved jacket can be a good alternative (be careful, though, this look can get frumpy in a heartbeat).
I’m sharing this now because there is still time to create a fabulous wardrobe for the summer. Hey, it’s a beautiful season when we don’t have to be all bundled up and wearing our snow boots. You want to spend as much time as possible enjoying the experience and not dreading getting dressed every day. Take a few minutes to plan your wardrobe now and then you can relax and enjoy the rest of the season with delicious abandon!