Casual Summer Travel Wardrobe, part 1

cocoon cape

I’m not  a fan of hot weather

I know, summer’s short, should enjoy every minute of it… But I just don’t like hot weather. My personal ‘comfort zone’ is something like10°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.

cocoon cape


I 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.

cocoon cape


Boho, 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.

cocoon cape

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…

I’m wearing:

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…

Linking up with: 

High Latitude StyleSydney Fashion HunterThe Pleated PoppyStyle ElixirGet Your Pretty OnHappiness at Mid-LifeA Labour of LifeDoused in PinkCurly Crafty MomFashion Should Be FunRachel the Hat


  1. Shauna C
    11 June 2015 / 2:54 pm

    You look great! I love the color of that top on you too

    • Tiina L
      13 June 2015 / 8:33 am

      Thanks, Shauna!

  2. Doused In Pink
    11 June 2015 / 3:57 pm

    What a fantastic cape! Love both of these travel outfits!JillDoused In Pink

    • Tiina L
      13 June 2015 / 8:34 am

      Thanks, Jill! More travel outfits next week…

  3. Natalia Lialina
    11 June 2015 / 4:55 pm

    Your cocoon cape is a beauty! I hear you. I'm not a fan of heat either, and Summer is always the least inspiring season in terms of style for me. I was just thinking about it yesterday on the beach – and decided to make a difference this year. I'll be writing about it in my blog, of course. 🙂 But in two words – dresses and skirts. Mostly maxi, but not only. We are lucky though to live in a climate that does not get too hot. I used to live in climates where it gets 100 F (38 C) and higher in Summer (even where I lived in Siberia). Hot and sticky, for months and months. I wore light sundresses, linen, cotton a lot, chiffon as well. I will see what I come up with this year, but I've decided it will be fun.

    • Tiina L
      13 June 2015 / 8:38 am

      Thanks, Natalia! Oh yes, summer dressing is a challenge… especially if a heat wave occurs in early summer (you know what I mean: in Finland the almost around the clock sunlight turns the flat into a sauna, there's no escape from the hot weather…) Now I spend a lot of time in Britain in summer, and the weather can be very unpredictable…

  4. josep-maria badia
    11 June 2015 / 5:52 pm

    I love this piece you wear like coat, I really do not know how to define it. I love the design so original, and stamping.

    • Tiina L
      13 June 2015 / 8:38 am

      Thanks! It's called a cocoon cape, it's sort of a cross between a kimono and a cape, I guess…

  5. Carrie
    11 June 2015 / 7:17 pm

    That cape looks great on you and its a great color, looks like it would go with a lot of different tops underneath!

    • Tiina L
      13 June 2015 / 8:39 am

      Thanks, Carrie! I'm trying to find new ways to wear it because I really like it, it's quite a dramatic piece.

  6. Petite Silver Vixen
    12 June 2015 / 4:15 pm

    I was nodding vigourously in agreement throughout your post, as I'm exactly the same! I melt in heat too and I can't bear the smell and feel of suncream either. I've also had too many clothes get stained and ruined from suncream. And I'm a no to the boo hoo look. Looks utterly ridiculous on me!I think your solution of the silk cape is great and wonderful that it's washable. I'm all for washable! In the past I've toyed with the idea of using a parasol but a) difficult to take on planes, if flying to destinations and b) it's another item to have to carry around with you. I just drape light pashminas around my shoulders and that seems to work. This season though, I've bought a couple of light kimonos so am hoping they, like your cape, give me another alternative.The cape is a stunning print.

    • Tiina L
      13 June 2015 / 8:43 am

      I know, suncreen ruins nice clothes… I always want to wash it off immediately after putting it on, it's disgusting. I have a folding parasol, so it's easier to carry and pack in a suitcase. I will feature it in a post next week and will include the info on where to get it.

    • Petite Silver Vixen
      13 June 2015 / 8:17 pm

      Thanks, that'd be great if you would. I love the idea of a folding parasol.

  7. Suzanne Carillo
    12 June 2015 / 10:10 pm

    I too dislike it when it is too hot outside. Plus I get sunstroke very easily. I'm never without a hat or sunscreen. I love the cape idea.bisousSuzanne

    • Tiina L
      13 June 2015 / 8:44 am

      Oh yes, sunstrokes… been there. A hat would be nice, but my hair is too big (seriously, the hat sort of sits on top my hair, it looks weird).

  8. Lena B, Actually
    13 June 2015 / 1:12 am

    I live in cute sundresses in the summer! Thanks for linking up for Passion4Fashion 🙂

    • Tiina L
      13 June 2015 / 8:45 am

      Thanks, Lena! Yes, sundresses are great, I love them, too.

  9. Nicole Mölders
    13 June 2015 / 4:22 am

    Thanks 4 linking up to Top of the World Style. This jacket is very interesting and stylish

    • Tiina L
      13 June 2015 / 8:45 am

      Thanks, Nicole!

  10. Dawn Lucy
    14 June 2015 / 2:30 pm

    I prefer my weather cooler too. Nothing over 80! Loving the purple graphic tee and the cape/kimono looks like a great summer option.Thanks for being a part of Fun Fashion Friday!OXOXDawn Lucy

    • Tiina L
      18 June 2015 / 7:33 am


  11. Alice Warren
    14 June 2015 / 7:26 pm

    I am not a fan of the heat either though I live in such a sunny warm weather place. I typically live in maxi dresses and big floppy hats in the summer. Love your fun wrap!Thank you for joining TBT Fashion link up and hope to see you next week.

    • Tiina L
      18 June 2015 / 7:34 am

      Thanks! Oh hats, I wish I could make them work for me…

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