I'm not a fan of hot weatherI know, summer's short, should enjoy every minute of it... But I just don't like hot weather. My personal 'comfort zone' is something like 10°C/50°F - 22°C/71.6°F, and anything above 25°C/77°F makes me feel as if my brain is melting... And, as I burn easily, I really need to protect my skin from the sun, too. But, if it's hot, I don't like clothes. Correction: if it's hot enough, I don't give a damn about what I'm wearing, that's how uncomfortable I get. And at 30°C/86°F, as when these pictures were taken... the ice bucket challenge suddenly seems like a brilliant idea.
Dressing for hot weather is always a compromise. I don't want to sacrifice style, but comfort always comes first. That doesn't necessarily make it any easier. This is how my reasoning goes:
I want to wear as little as possible, just one piece. Absolutely no layers. And I want to keep my skin covered. Nothing tight. Correction: nothing that even touches my skin: I want something loose that doesn't make me feel sweaty and sticky. I hate shapeless sack dresses...
So, a summer heat wave is a sartorial nightmare (not to mention how irritable and uncomfortable it makes me), and a travel wardrobe for a hot climate can be quite a challenge. But I do have a few tricks up my sleeve, and this is how I put them into use during my recent trip to Barcelona.
SUN PROTECTIONI hate sunscreen, it smells revolting and makes me feel sticky... And I admit that I don't wear it all the time. Yes, that's right: this pale-skinned girl sometimes goes bare-faced... under a sun umbrella (to be featured in part 2). And I like long sleeves to cover my arms, too.
Enter this lovely silk cocoon cape. The fabric is thick enough to actually provide some protection (who wears those ridiculous transparent chiffon capes, anyway???). I suppose a kaftan would do the trick, too, but they always make me look more like Edina Monsoon (the chubby, frizzy-haired one in Absolutely Fabulous) than Elizabeth Taylor, so I'll pass... Of course, the cape is real silk. And of course it's washable.
KEEP IT SIMPLEBoho, hippie, flowerchild: tons of jewellery piled up, thick belts and fringes... Err, no thanks.
As much as I like this look on other people, it just doesn't work for me. Yes, it's the Edina Monsoon effect again (hippie style looks better on someone slimmer and taller than me), but I also prefer my clothes a bit more streamlined. And since my unruly hair sort of provides that carefree hippie-chick element anyway (whether I want it or not), I prefer to keep the outfit looking a bit more polished. As curly hair tends to get totally out of control in hot weather, the outfit is the only part of my look that I seem to have any control over...
And chunky jewellery... it looks so nice, but it's really uncomfortable when it's hot... Now, I do love a nice statement necklace, but for me summer is the time to embrace minimalism.
And belts... When I'm already sweaty and uncomfortable, the last thing I want is something tight around my waist making me even more sweaty and uncomfortable.
The more I think about it, maybe I should just sit the hot weather out, in a refrigerator... But as that is not an option, what I'm wearing here is a reasonable compromise...
cocoon cape: Jigsaw / trousers: Marks and Spencer (old) / green t-shirt: Ann Taylor (old) / embroidered vest: Custo Barcelona (old) / shoes: Clarks / sunglasses: Tom Ford (old) /
necklace and bangle: Kenneth Jay Lane / bags: Michael Kors
What do you wear when it's hot?
PS: the crossbody mini bag is a good way to keep your valuables safe; Barcelona is the pickpockets' paradise...
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