Dressing for the Dog Days

It’s hot, Fledglings. I mean, it is burn-your-ass-on-your-seatbelt hot, or at least it is here in west Texas. I’m already weeping for our electric bill with all these 100-degree days.

My skin is also weeping.

So what’s a girl to do, when it’s hot enough to melt the very trees in the yards, but we still have to be in public sometimes and nudity is frowned upon in those kinds of places?

Maximum airflow, people. Take a page from the books of Earthlings who live their whole lives in, say, Saudi Arabia, or India. It gets waaaaay hotter there, and yet the people who live there largely manage to leave the house in clothing. How, you ask? Think about the clothing in those regions. One word describes it: FLOWY. You don’t want tight, structured clothing right now – you’ll cook inside your skinny jeans! No, this weather is made for some wardrobe staples that are light and airy and that are just made to get you through these dog days without melting into a puddle in your office parking lot.

  1. Maxi skirts. You might think that shorts or a short skirt would be more breezy, but a couple of factors interfere with comfort here: 1) Too-short clothing might run you afoul of HR, who is unlikely to appreciate how sweaty you are. 2) If you sit in an office chair all day, the last thing you want is your sweaty thighs getting stuck to said chair. Not breezy. Even if maxis aren’t your jam, light cotton or cotton-blend skirts that fit loosely are going to be your friend when it’s scorching out. Go for knee-length or longer, to prevent stickage or unfortunate run-ins with HR, and make sure that if your skirt is really thin, you’ve got on solid-colored undies. Trust me here.
  2. Tank tops. Wait, didn’t I just talk about not showing a ton of skin at work? Yes, but bear with me, the next suggestion has that covered – literally. Loose-fitting tank tops can be paired with any number of bottoms, from the aforementioned maxi skirts, to your short-shorts for non-work hours. They’re versatile, and as long as they’re not clingy, they’ll keep you cool. I like Lane Bryant’s tanks when I can afford them, because they’re actually long enough to cover my waistband, something other tank tops seem fail at repeatedly. Their lace trim cami is my favorite.
  3. Scarves and shawls. Told you I’d get you around that tank-top thing! You don’t want a scarf that will add warmth here, obviously. You want something as thin and gauzy as possible, but a light wrap will cover your shoulders to fend off sunburns outside and the dreaded Office Chill inside, so they’re really invaluable. Opt for thin cottons, lacy fabrics, or maybe even repurpose a sarong from your last beach trip as a summery wrap to keep your arms covered at the office. You might also find kimono cardigans or lightweight button-up shirts that will do the job. Get that airflow going!
  4. T-shirt dresses. You know those mornings where you slept for crap, and you just know you’re going to be late? These are the PERFECT days to throw on a t-shirt dress and some flat sandals and go to work. No matching, no worrying about mixing the wrong patterns – it’s one piece, it’s light and airy, and it’ll give you that casual Parisienne off-duty-model look that we should all be going for, because being over-styled takes way too much time. T-shirt dress too short? Pair it with capri-length leggings for the office, and ditch them on the weekend.

Got it? Good. Now go out there and keep cool, my Fledglings! We’re all in this together. Well, except for the Australians. Those guys get winter now.


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