It is summertime in Philadelphia. That means it is approximately a thousand degrees out with six trillion per cent humidity. In other words: pleasant. Even when sitting in central air, just thinking about what it is like outside can make you sweat.
Do people elsewhere in the country say "central air conditioning" or does everyone just say "central air?"
One of the more important questions when it is this hot out is How long can I keep my face in the open freezer without the frozen pizza thawing? Another important question is How can one dress for the hot weather without sacrificing style?
Answer to question a: a lot longer than you think!
Answer to question B: THIS BLOG
Oh and before we dive in, listen: I have a theatre degree and fashion opinions. You probably disagree with me on the fashion opinions and that is fine! We're all friends! Unless, of course, you try to deny that Angels in America is a remarkable and important work of contemporary American drama. That would be a problem with our friendship.
Guys, if you have a business casual type of job, you're kind of screwed. Go for cotton button-down shirts that breathe. The rolled up sleeves look at the end of the day? Yowza! Do that. Also, if you intend to brave the heat during lunch hour or whatever, consider bringing a change of socks for when you get back. The socks will have spent all day in the air conditioned office (if that is the kind of thing you do for work) and when you get back, putting on nice cool socks will feel amazing. Ditto for an undershirt if that's your style.
If you guys can do whatever you want fashion-wise, a nice pair of lightweight shorts and a cotton tshirt is the winner. You might think that dark colors are best if you are super sweaty, but sometimes your sweat is really salty and it leaves a trace on your dark shirt once you cool off again. Think about something white, yellow, pink... something light.
As for casual dude footwear, I am of the opinion that most dudes can pull off NICE flip flops. Not shower shoes, but actually good-looking, well-maintained flip flops.
Let's review: Cute. Not cute.
I hate pedicures but I hear they are becoming very popular for the menfolk, so don't be shy. Some places will even give you beer or wine or something! Seriously! There is a place in Rittenhouse, on 18th, that promises booze with manicures and pedicures. Don't ask me why I haven't been there yet - I guess I just keep forgetting that I could have lovely nails and free booze all at once.
A word on linen anything: yes, it's very breezy but it dissolves into wrinkles if you even look at it the wrong way. If you sit for most of the day, don't attempt it. If you're going to be standing around being dashing all day, indulge in the linen. Just make sure you are fully covered underneath because guess what? You can see through light linen in direct sunlight! (Unless, I suppose, you are like "my balls are awesome and everyone should see them!")
Ladies, in this kind of heat we have one option: dresses. Well, dresses and skirt + top. Linen, again, is supremely wrinkle-prone and isn't a great option in my opinion. Something that doesn't cling to the body too much, doesn't show too much sweat, and doesn't trap heat is exactly what you want. Effortless and breezy - that's what we're going for in the dog days of summer. My main thing is to look adorable and not have anyone pass me on the street thinking, "She must be sweltering in that." I picked a couple of frocks from Mod Cloth as a guide.
Hello, I was put on this earth to be the perfect sundress to wear in 100 degree heat. Sure, it looks a little bit like an apron, but in a totally kitschy-fun way. I would do a delicate little necklace with this because if you try to throw gigantic earrings with it, they will compete with the ruffle and you'll look like you don't have a neck. I would pair this with ballet flats.
A quick word about shoes: shower-style flip flops shouldn't be seen other than in your college communal bathroom or at the beach. I really believe this. There are so many cute sandals out there and so many super cute ballet flats that are affordable - please don't make the mistake of looking fetching only from your ankles up.
Hello, I would like to hide your sweat stains. Bright and eye-catching prints were put on this earth to help mask underarm and underboob sweat marks. This is a little tighter to the body than you'd want in the crazy heat but ohmygod it's so cute. You could wear this in the evening when it's slightly cooler. A string of pearls might straddle the line between classic and way too twee, but I'm sure with confidence you could pull it off.
Hello, I am adorable, cotton, and flattering to all. Bright sandals and the biggest hoop earrings you can find. Done. And it looks like it never has to be ironed! Double win!
You'd think that maybe a maxi dress would be the perfect thing, but I find they trap air under there which just leads to sweaty lady parts.
Oh! One last thing: girls and boys! I am serious when I say if you know you're going to be sweating to bring a change of underwear with you (just stashed in your bag or something if you can). You know you sweat a lot around your hey-how-ya-doin, and sweating encourages yeast infections. The last thing you need in this heat is a damn yeast infection on top of everything else!
UPDATED TO ADD THIS INFORMATION FROM GIGI WHO WAS UNABLE TO COMMENT!
Linen does wrinkle easily, but it also un-wrinkles in about 5 seconds in humidity. So if you choose linen and find yourself a rumpled mess, a walk around the block will fix that in a jiffy, especially if you spray yourself lightly with water in advance. This is why people in the south of France wear linen all the time.