When a heat wave hits in the summertime, all you want to do is stay inside and camp out under an air conditioner. But for those who have obligations in the outside world, shedding your clothes seems like the only way to keep cool. Of course, most of us don’t live in a nudist colony and may be arrested for stripping down, so we try to wear as little clothing as possible.

If you aren’t forced to wear a uniform for your job, dressing for work is the toughest thing in uncomfortably warm weather. If your job is in an office environment, you likely have to remain somewhat modest and professional looking. This usually involves way too much clothing for hot weather, but is perfect for overly air-conditioned buildings. A good middle ground for these temperature extremes is to dress in lightweight clothing and accessories, no matter where you’re going.

Clothing for girls

The materials to focus on are cotton, linen or silk, which are made from natural fibers that make you sweat less. Pants should be loose and airy, like boyfriend jeans or harem pants. Anything tight, like skinny jeans, will cause thigh chaffing, and that’s simply not attractive.

Dresses should also be flowy, but if you prefer something more body conscious, a dress with a shirred waist will give you shape and relief from stagnant air.

Whether it’s a t-shirt, a tank top or a button down, your top should be loose so if you do sweat, no one will see. A silk blouse is great for corporate environments, and if it’s sleeveless, always bring a sweater or a scarf. Also, light colors don’t absorb the sun as much, so white will be your best friend in the heat.


If you’re always on your feet, it’s best to leave the heels at home in a heat wave. Strappy sandals or flats will be the most rewarding for your body. Espadrilles are the ultimate summery shoe and are just the right hybrid between a sandal and a flat. Flip-flops are never an option unless you are going to the beach.

Jewelry should stay at a minimum. While arm candy is the latest trend, wearing fewer bracelets will make your wrists feel freer. Wear your hair back either in a bun or a braid and decorate your neck with a thin necklace and big studs — these pieces of jewelry will create the least amount of tension on your skin.

Clothing for guys

Materials are the same for both guys and girls. Investing in linen suit pants may be a good idea. If your job isn’t too strict about dress code, take advantage of wearing shorts and pair them with a light weight short sleeve or long sleeve button down shirt. Save polos and shorts for a golf outing, but if you must wear a polo, wear one with dark chinos, not khakis.


For corporate environments you’re probably required to wear nice shoes, which means wearing socks, which means never wear white ankle socks. Get a few nice pairs of lightweight cotton or silk blend ankle socks and have your mom do your laundry. In other types of environments, boat shoes or espadrilles can be appropriate. They make them for men and they come in lots of different colors and patterns so you don’t have to be too into style to pull them off.