Hot Temperatures Don’t Have to Leave You a Hot Mess

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Photo credit: Addison Butler

I don’t hate a lot of things. In fact, as I stumble through my first years of “adult” life I have become convinced that I don’t even dislike much at all. It’s a strange phenomenon when you start to think about it, and definitely not a natural one at that. If a stranger/bully/the Antichrist himself walked up to me, deemed my (probably) astounding outfit dreadful, insulted my perfectly coiffed hair and threw a pie in my face, the sharpest feeling I would walk away with would be that of indifference. I wouldn’t curse his name or set fire to a photo of his I found on Facebook because, well, who has time for that kind of negativity? It’s better to calmly walk away, key lime dripping from my chin, than involve myself in the infinite black hole of someone else’s fury.

With that in mind I want to make something absolutely clear:

I.

HATE.

Summer.

Not only do I find the heat to be incredibly unappealing (temperatures above 75 degrees have a way of melting away any sense of excitement I have) and the lack of structure agonizing (waking up at noon, while nice, can get real old real quick), but it is also a teeming cesspool of bad fashion, complete with shoddy cutoffs, tank tops and more bare skin than anyone should see in a lifetime.

Don’t get me wrong, I firmly support the freedom to express yourself and remain in control of your own body. It just makes my heart sink to see people abusing that freedom by dolling up in clothes better suited as dishrags than any substantial vessel for style.

I acknowledge that statement may be a bit frank, but the atrocious paradox that summer heat presents to my closet has put me through a lot. Because of the conflict between my necessity to feel sane and my reliance on sartorial freedom for happiness, I have a weathered soul. Because of this, however, I have gained the glimmering strength and resolved wisdom for expertly owning summer style. I’m like the Dalai Lama of fashion (or something).

But in all seriousness, your summer closet doesn’t need to reek of blandness and bad taste. I understand comfort is paramount, especially in the summer months, but not every good decision in the style department is a bad decision in the beating-the-heat-department (or whatever you kids are calling it these days). There are ways to dress well without breaking a(n unnecessary) sweat.

Start off by pinpointing the article of clothing with the heftiest “cool down” factor. This can be a pair of shorts, a short sleeve shirt or, god forbid, a tank top. Your next step, once you have that laid out, is to grab a more elevated article of clothing for the other half of the body. If you’re wearing a (hopefully solid and linen) tank, pair it with a set of dressier pants! Want to show off the miles and miles of impeccable legs your parents so thoughtfully gave you? Balance your short shorts out with a loose, lightweight button-up.

My final tip is this: accessorize, accessorize, ACCESSORIZE. Throw on that heirloom gold-chain necklace your grandma passed down to you, wrap a slick bandana around your neck, or experiment with bracelet layering. Whatever it is, just make sure it isn’t too heavy or too much. The right array of accessories can pull any mediocre outfit from the depths of a fashion wasteland.

Summer is no excuse for trashy dressing, and you can quote me on that. There are a million ways to freshen up and elevate comfortable clothing — you just have to be creative.

a.butler@chronicle.utah.edu

@ChronyArts

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