Spending over two months in Italy for my study abroad has made me quite good at dressing for the heat. On any given day, the temperature in Florence hovers around 95 degrees. And that’s just on average—I’ve experienced highs of 106 in abominable humidity that makes you feel all kinds of nasty.
It’s hard enough just to survive in this heat, let alone stay stylish. When I was still getting used to the weather here, I turned to basic T-shirts, tanks, shorts and even workout gear to stay cool. Those who know me know that I’m not a fan of minimalism, so it was extremely hard to give up my usual colors, accessories, and textures in order not to pass out or be completely soaked in my own sweat. Over time, however, I’ve found ways to bring back the elements I love into outfits that will still keep me cool. Whether it’s through accessories or fabric types or just one really smart piece of clothing, these three pieces are proof that fashion and function can go hand-in-hand.
1—Bandanas and neck scarves. These come off as restrictive but are truly hidden gems. A bold print like the one on my Urban Outfitters UO Steer Skull Bandana ($8) makes a basic outfit instantly vibrant. You can mix up the prints as well as the way you tie them, and each combination will produce a different result. I have three others in red, black, and blue pinstripe (it might be an obsession). Plus, they’re great at catching sweat. Just make sure it’s 100 percent cotton!
2—Printed rompers. This Choie’s Blue Cut-Out Back Bohemian Romper ($15) is pretty much the whole package: it’s colorful and beautifully printed, it’s 100 percent cotton and features an open back, and and it’s just one piece of cloth to put on and take off. The print also allows you to go bra-free (which is truly the best feeling in the world on a scorching hot day).
3—A good graphic T-shirt. When styled correctly, a T-shirt will allow you to stay comfy, cool, and fashionable. I’m a huge fan and collector of street brands, so I always love incorporating streetwear into my outfits. This Stussy 8 Ball Flower Tee ($49) is 100 percent cotton (seeing the pattern yet?) and is super versatile for any style. For an edgier, tomboy look, I paired the T-shirt with crinkled drawstring shorts, striped socks (a staple for every season!), and white Vans Old Skool Canvas Trainers ($55). To soften up the look, swap out the shorts and the sneakers with an embroidered skirt and colorful lace-up espadrille sandals.
These three pieces are just a few of the essentials that help me beat the heat every day and have saved my style this summer. What are some of your beat-the-heat summer pieces? Let me know in the comments below!