How to look good in hot and humid weather

Tuesday, May 31, 2011
I got a reader question from Catherine who is considering a move to sunny Florida from NYC. Her typical uniform consists of straight-leg jeans, Chucks or ballet flats, knit top, and a pashmina scarf. Half of her uniform is already unacceptable for Florida weather (the jeans and scarf) so she needs ideas on how to stay cute and cool in the Florida heat! I've only been to Florida like three times but I have been to the Philippines which is hot and humid too. Here are some things I've learned from my experience dealing with that kind of weather...
  • Keep your hair away from your face.
  • Shower (at least) 5 times a day.
  • Hats, sunglasses, and sunscreen are muy importante.
  • Wear breathable fabric like 100% cotton and no polyester or anything suffocating or materials that may stick to your skin when you sweat.
  • Avoid layers.. (especially those layering tees!!) Simple is best! Think basic essentials:  shirt, bottoms, shoes. You'll be so hot you won't care about looking good. So make sure your BASICS look good!
  • Open shoes. Sandals are a must! But please... No flip-flops. They're so gross.
  • Try to avoid dark colors (because all that stuff you learned in science class in elementary school is f'real).

the maxi dress

I'll be honest.. If I went back to the Philippines, I would NOT wear a maxi dress. But if I had to go somewhere really quick and didn't have time to think about what to wear, I would throw on a maxi dress, a belt, sandals, and a hat. The reason I say no maxi dress is because the last thing I would want is my legs to be covered and suffocating under the dress. If you do, make sure it's flowy and made of lighter fabric.



the mom shorts

I wrote a post last year about how to look good in mom shorts. They're the other alternative to skirts for Mormon girls. Just because mom shorts have a bad rep doesn't mean we can't make them look good! My advice is to keep them a little baggy and wear them low. Think boyfriend jeans but for shorts. Avoid wearing sneakers or any shoes that cut off your ankles so it doesn't look like you have stumps for legs. The more skin showing past your feet, the longer your legs will look! So go for open sandals or flats instead of sneakers. Unless, of course, you have antelope legs...then go for it.



the flowy skirt

I LOVE flowy skirts! They create a great hourglass figure and you can twirl in them. Pick light skirts without a million layers underneath.



What advice do you have for Catherine?

53 comments :

  1. Awesome tips! Malta is very hot and humid in Summer and I can say that these tips are perfect. xo

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  2. I agree on keeping the layers to a minumum and wearing cotton! And think light layers, like a slub knit cardigan. The problem with Florida and humidity is all of the air conditioned buildings you are going in and out of, and the afternoon rains. So maybe pack a big bag for the light scarf and a cardigan.

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  3. Haha - This is great!!  I'm moving to FL (from NJ) in August (ick) and these tips are super helpful!  Thanks for sharing :)

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    1. Hi Sasha,

      I seen in your comment about how you are originally from Jersey (as am I) and I was thinking about moving to FL too. So I wanted to get a bunch of opinions about the change. How do you like FL? Your response is greatly appreciated as this is a huge move!!

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  4. Great tips!! Flowy skirts, baggy shorts and sandals are my favorite items from about March till October. (That's about how long summer lasts in Florida! lol) But like Natalie said, every building you enter is air conditioned and set at about 40 degrees. At least that's what it feels like sometimes! So, bring a light cardigan for covering up when you're freezing to death at the office! lol

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  5. I love your blog.  It is so inspirational.  Great post!

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  6. RubyChantelleBaileyFindleyMay 31, 2011 at 9:37 AM

    I would say pick tops that are really fun and unique so that she still feels fashionable without layering. Anyone can be fashionable when they are able to layer :) So pick tops that are two-toned, or with multiple patterns like:

    http://www.modcloth.com/Womens/Tops/T+Shirts/-Letters-from-Abroad-Tee

    or

    http://www.modcloth.com/Womens/Tops/Short+Sleeve/-Two-Tone-Terrific-Top

    just for some ideas :) Because I am a visual person :)

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  7. I live in Sunny FL and I can say these tips are gold.  I try to keep my outfits fun with lots of accessories and I'd seriously suggest investing in a few pairs of cute sandals and colorful flats. 

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  8. Thanks for the blog! I'm going to Houston next month for a wedding and this will be my criteria for packing!

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  9. Great post. I give it two thumbs up. It's important to keep makeup layers lite too. Actually, skipping most makeup is a good idea. Everything melts in the humidity.

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  10. jennifer @mylittleadventuresMay 31, 2011 at 9:53 AM

    lol i guess i should rethink my flip flop collection..(j/k :P i have like two pairs, but they're it's just so simple and i'm guilty of just being plain lazy sometimes).

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  11. This is great! The only item I'd add is to keep a hair tie on your person at all times. Humid SE weather = unplanned explosive frizz head. 

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  12. I live in SC (similar humidity to FL) and during the summer I've been wearing Aveeno tinted moisturizer.  It has SPF and doesn't melt away!

    Also, for Catherine, invest in sundresses.  The less clothes you can wear, the better.  White is an excellent option.  And do hold on to your pashminas.  Keep one in your purse.  When you go to a restaurant or the movies or anywhere indoors, really, you're going to freeze.

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  13. I love the flowy top and maxis even though i'm totalyl too short to pull them off lol.

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  14. Look for cheap silk items to thrift too. Like cotton it's a really breathable and helps keep you at a stable temperature.
    Also try looser floaty tops rather than form fitting things. Gives your skin more room to breath.
    Also the open toed shoes are super important. I always forget to look for new sandals until the midwest summers finally sweat me out of my ballet flats.

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  15. I have lived in Fl my whole life and I hate it here, sorry!  It's way too hot and can be a challenge.  I am not mormon so my tips below are based on that.  I wear regular shorts a lot.  I really like ones I find at Express (not jeans ones).  They have cute stylish ones and I live in tanks too.  I just find it too hot (for me) to layer any cute jackets over.  I love wedges and platforms as an alternative to sandals and flats, but when you don't want a true heel.  I wear jeans and stilettos at night.  And I have recently been loving cute dresses, but again, since I am not Mormon, I wear shorter length ones above the knees.  I found some cute cotton ones ones at Kohls and Target.  If you are Mormon that won't help though....  The challenge though is it is SO hot here- in the 90s already (has been since April) and so humid, but everywhere you go has very cold AC so I carry a cute cardigan or jean jacket with me everywhere for indoors. 

    And I still wear makeup.  I can't not.  But in the really hot months I change from my Nars liquid foundation that I love to their powder foundation.  It feels lighter and doesn't give you that melting feeling so I would recc changing formulas like that.  And I just touch up with a light translucent powder that doesn't add color or weight, and alternate with oil absorbing sheets.  For that I just use a cheap-o cover girl one I think.

    I love fall here because I feel like that is when I can really be more creative with my fashion.  Sorry for the long comment, just thought I would chime in to help from a born and raised Fl gal.

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  16. I'm sure these are good advices. Love the selection!

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  17. I think Singapore weather is much more hot & humid than florida. A few weeks ago the temperature reached 35 degrees Celsius! Since I been living practically in hot & humid weather here are my take on your suggestions - most of what you wrote is true. Flip flops and shorts are singaporeans national costume & it's ugly. Sunnies & Sunscreen is a MUST! I wear maxi dresses here when the weather more bearable cos our indoor malls are usually freezing! Additional items - I carry hand fan in my handbag (cool & stylish), I layer tank tops/sleeveless top with cardi/jacket & depending on location I either wear it or tie to my handbag, sometimes I used pashmina in replace of cardi/jacket, I wear mini/short dresses on super hot days, jeans material can be too thick so I usually swap with Capri pants, where possible wear 100% cotton material, we have "cooling powder" which when u apply in humid weather will give u cooling sensation, I carry baby wipes whenever I feel sticky, nice pedicured nails look very nice on open toed footwear, sometimes I use the UV protection umbrella on days I need extra coverage & avoid going out for long periods between 10am-5pm!!

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  18. Thanks, Elaine, & thanks everyone else! These tips are great, especially those that talk about bringing along a layer for going inside air-conditioned buildings. It will definitely be an adjustment, so now I know what to look for if we move there next month!

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  19. How can you take 5 showers in a day? I do this only when I go to the seaside. It's impossible doing so in town and while you're working! I barely have time to shower before I go out in the morning!! Summer's heat is sometimes unbereable, and looking good is almost impossible. Make-up  melts and your clothes are good only to be thrown away when you come home in the evening! My suggestion is: keep very close to you those wet wipes for babies! They are life savers, I tell you! 

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  20. When you said "mom shorts" I had this image of shorts with pleats in the front that come clear up past the navel and make your butt look huge. And then I followed the link and realized that what you called mom shorts are really just what I wear regularly. Which I don't at all consider mom shorts because of the above description. I can't bear to wear shorts that are shorter than this style because I'm getting chunky and no one wants to see thunder-thighs. :)

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  21. I live in Virginia, which gets fairly humid during the summer (but nothing like Florida) and often spend summers in South Carolina (very humid!). My tips are for makeup.

    You will probably need to use a differnet foundation and coverup than what you are currently using. Heavy is just not going to cut it. Light tinted primers like the ones from Smashbox are great (green is great for people with redder complexions) + a light tinted foundation to even out complexion. The primer will not only help you even out your skin tone but will help your foundation stick. When necessary pat in a bit of concealer to broken out areas but do not try and coat the area -- better to accept a little showing through.  You'll be tempted on days when you're breaking out to pile it on but believe me, it will only look worse when it all melts off your face.

    Set it all with a big kabuki brush and powder. You should carry around you pwder and brush along with some oil absorbing toilets to keep your skin looking and feeling) fresh all day. I like bronzer -- but not with shimmer. The shimmer is particular horrible in sunny states (like everything under SC), you'll look like a diso ball. Right now I'm in love like Sephora's sundisk it is huge and is not orange.

    Now here is the funny part, sweat is good for your complexion! All the sweating you'll be doing is actually cleaning your pores by pushing the impurities out of your skin. So if you are good about keeping your face dry and good about washing your face at night you'll find you won't need as much makeup because your skin will be naturally better.

    I am a makeup junky, and am not shy of bright colors. You can still wear eyeshadow but invest in a good base and set it with your powder. You should also stick to powder not creme based shadows. Have a light hand, for more opaque applications patiently layer on the color. If you cake it all on at once it will all come sliding off at once!

    For lips try to use tinted balms, stains, or more matte lipstick formulas. Apply gloss or chapstick as needed. Lipsticks that are too slick will run. Want that sharper lip line? Try reverse lip liner (or concealer stick + lip brush).

    Waterproof, waterproof, waterproof. Sunblock, sunblock, sunblock.

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  22. I feel the same way. I'm not a fan of "regular" shorts, but don't consider bermuda styled shorts to be "mom" shorts.

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  23. Celeste AlphabetsoupMay 31, 2011 at 12:58 PM

    Alright, i grew up in Dallas TX...

    and hun, me and humidity are arch enemies...so i'll let you in on some of my biggest weapons:a) MAKEUP.  the less makeup the better, seriously if you put on a liquid foundation...it'll melt off anyways. loose powder only! b) SHINY FACE. you face WILL get shiny. I used to do this, when you get to this page scroll all the way to the bottom and you'll see what i'm talkin about trickc) KICK BUTT DEODORANT.  you WILL sweat like a pig, its inevitable. BUT go to walmart, target, etc. and pick up CERTAIN DRI...you'll never have those afternoon armpit tacos! Sometimes it stings a bit the first few times, but promise me it IS worth it. The only kind of tacos boys like are the edible kind.d) UPDO IT. seriously start working those updos, it's gonna be hot. you can find a LOT of CUTE updos on pinterest.com   ...just search for them. I have a few I collected on mine....Updo ideas good luck girly! <3 AlphabetSoup Style

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  24. Some of my favorite advice so far! Keep it up! :)

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  25. Mr. Taylor and his LadyMay 31, 2011 at 1:43 PM

    i want everything on this! so many perfect clothes out there! now if only my wallet could keep up!
    Xo

    http://ericplustanya.blogspot.com

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  26. Great ideas! :) I am all for good looking mom shorts! :)

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  27. I definitely agree with your tips. In Ohio it gets really hot, and humid. The hardest part is not looking super boring in a shirt, capri's, and sandals. I don't really wear shorts, I don't even own a pair, so capri's are my best friend during the summer.

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  28. Great tips! I live in the Manila, Philippines which is soo hot. But there are cold places like Baguio and Tagaytay. Anyway, I love your tips.

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  29. great tutorial! i loved all the pieces n ideas :)

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  30. I definitely agree on pulling hair back, nothing is worse than hair sticking to your face and your neck.

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  31. Maxis are my go to look too. They're so darn easy!

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  32. As part of your occasional silliness, I thought you were going to start your advice with, "assuming you're not lucky enough to be Elaine..." =)

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  33. I love those cheap little cotton dresses that come with the built in bra cups. I pair them with a messy bun, metallic sandals and aviators. Easy and definitely breezy!

      Lidi @ Eclectic Flair

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  34. hope you're kidding about showering 5 times a day! it's too much even for normal skin, let alone for dry or sensitive one.

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  35. thanks for all the shopping ideas! that was pretty fun I must say :)

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  36. don't be afraid to wear swimsuits cover ups with a simple tee shirt underneath. i've found them to be awesomely long and breathable, so it's a WIN WIN!

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  37. I am from Texas and currently live in Louisiana and it is also quite hot and humid here.  I have to say that cardigans are a huge staple for me. While it may be 100 degrees outside, many places keep the indoors around 65.  I still generally wear jeans (even when it is hot) with and a tank top and put a cardigan on indoors.  Capri pants are also great.  

    Tip: be careful if you have black leather seats in your car and wear shorts!  Ouch!  Oh, and your steering wheel can get really hot too.I'm in the opposite situation and moving up to New York next month from living in the south my whole life and have no idea what I will need!  

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  38. OMG I live in Fl and live by Certain Dri.  Love that stuff.  Reg deoderant just does not cut it in this heat...

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  39. What a coincidence! I'm from the Philippines and living in Florida. I'd just like to add a few more tips. Try to keep the colors of your outfit light, dark colors tend to feel hotter. Also, don't get rid of those jeans unless you're planning to live way down south of Florida. I live 2 hours north of Orlando, and the temperature can sometimes drop to a little below 30F in the winter (the some time November to March). My first year here, I had a few classmates from up north who thought they could handle the winter here with just a sweater. Boy, were they wrong. In the summer (May-September), though it is awfully hot and humid. Anyway, good luck!

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  40. I have to admit, I just feel so horribly blaaah when I wear a regular tee. Like I should be taking out the trash or down on my knees scrubbing the floor or something. It's actually ridiculously hot here today and I've got a maxi on... but it's so flouncy and free that it manages to create its own kind of breeze and keeps me cool, which is ace.

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  41. I'm a native Floridian and yeah, it's hot, but it's bearable.  To be completely honest, unless you're planning on spending a ton of time outdoors during the summer, you can still wear jeans.  I wear jeans about 90% of the summer.  Everywhere here in air conditioned and cool.  If you're planning on spending the day outside, go with some cute shorts or a flowy skirt and a light top that doesn't require additional layers.  Maxi dresses are totally doable here as long as they aren't made out of something heavy-I have one from mark. that I could seriously live in.  Hats are great too-they kept the sun out of your eyes and the frizzy hair that some of us get due to the humidity tamed,  Sandals are a must here and sorry Elaine, but everyone in Florida has at LEAST one pair of flip flops-especially if you're going to the beach.  And showering more than one a day is totally not necessary-unless you have gotten really grungy that day and want to freshen up before you head to bed.

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  42. and I obviously didn't get it :D

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  43. I can't begin to tell you just how ecstatic I was when I read your comment on flip-flops! I also think they're gross, and the new girl at work seems to believe they're acceptable office footwear. In any case, great post :D 

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  44. I live in AZ where it is super hot. I avoid jeans all summer and live in shorts and skirts. I do layer because I have a hard time finding shirts with sleeves. I have several light weight short sleeve cardigans which were great over tanks. I hate layering tees because they are too tight and way to hot.

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  45. Although darker colors do absorb more heat, they tend to hide sweat better. Avoid any fabrics that change color dramatically (heather gray is a good example) when they get wet. Everyone sweats a little in temperatures like that (I live in Houston) but hiding it is always better :)

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  46. I live in NC and it's so hot here.  I moved down here from the North and totally had to readjust!  One thing that has been a lifesaver for me is always wearing two tank tops.  It's crucial for any girls who sweat the way I do!  Then, I'm not always sweating through all my clothes.  Gross?  Yes.  But true.  Loose fitting skirts and sandals keep me cool-ish, too.

    Oh, and pull your hair up wet, too! It keeps your head oh-so-cool.

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  47. So in love with the maxi. It's pretty much my summer staple. Love love love! And, I'm so happy you're obsessed with taking showers, too!!! Makes me feel a little less of a freak knowing I'm not the ONLY one!!!

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  48. I love this beach look...lovely!! as always!
    http://exquisitusfashion.blogspot.com/

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  49. Ahh love this post because I'm moving from NYC to FL as well!! Now I have all I need to make the jump :-)

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  50. I live in AZ where it is super hot. I avoid jeans all summer and live in shorts and skirts. I do layer because I have a hard time finding shirts with sleeves. I have several light weight short sleeve cardigans which were great over tanks. I hate layering tees because they are too tight and way to hot.

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