1. Cotton is your new best friend.
Normally, synthetics and I are good buddies. While I would love to stock my wardrobe with cashmere and silk, I live on a grad school stipend and simply cannot overlook the wallet-friendliness of polyester and her plasticine cousins. But when summer hits, my usual habits take a turn for the natural; sleeves and length add enough heat without melting in plastic clothing, thankyouverymuch. I tend to discount F21, Urban Outfitters and the like right off the bat and comb through the racks of H&M for their Conscious Collection, Banana Republic and other slightly higher-end stores for summer staples. When in doubt, a quick perusal of the label will let you know the fabric content. Your sweat glands will thank you (as will the earth).
Summer weight cardigans are lifesavers. Most shells contain a good amount of synthetic fabric for a close fit under an overlayer, and to my eye, look a bit too obvious as modesty covers. Investing in a few summer cardigans (or linen blazers) in light, breathable fabrics is a sure bet. Neutrals are fun, but pops of color work especially well for summer.
|Colorblocking, Take One|
3. Reconsider Your Layering Strategy
In general, I much prefer the look of a cardigan to that of a shell for modestifying purposes, but sometimes even a simple cotton cardigan is simply too stifling. How then to make strapless or sleeveless looks appropriate? Enter the lightweight button-down, an alltumbledown summer staple. See below for examples. I particularly like them tied under the bust for extra coverage that won't shift as a cardigan often does.
|A Night at the Opera|
How are you keeping cool this summer? Any tricks to share?