How To Dress in Scorching Weather (Without Looking Disheveled)

According to John Patrick, Fashion designer, Organic by John Patrick.

Stick with Natural Fibers

Make sure all of your clothes are 100 percent cotton or linen, or a mix of the two. Even silk is great in hot weather as long as the item you're wearing is loose. Synthetic fibers will make you substantially hotter -- and not in a good way.

Resist the Dark Side

Create a summer wardrobe of light shades -- colors like beiges, whites, creams, and pastels. Any clothes that are darker, like a navy blazer, will just make you roast outside. Lighter shades don't just keep you cooler, but they also look more appropriate at this time of the year.

Engage in a Cover-Up

It sounds counterintuitive, but in fact you will stay cooler -- and look more put together -- if you cover yourself up. A shift dress or a light pair of pants and a top with three-quarter sleeves will look better and keep you more comfortable than a tank top and shorts because your skin will have some protection from the sun.

Tip Your Hat

Look for a finely woven straw hat, either Panamastyle or even a beachy style with a wide brim. It's not necessarily something you would wear to the office, but if you're stepping out for lunch or going to be outside, a nice straw hat can be glamorous in an old-movie-star kind of way. It's retro chic and creates a frame for your face, which makes your whole look more polished.

Slip on Heels

The ideal heel height is 7 centimeters, or about 2 3/4 inches: tall enough to be flattering but low enough to be walkable. As much as we all want to wear flip-flops, a wedge is even better because it's almost as comfortable but adds a dose of femininity. Look for a fabric version, which will feel cooler on your feet than leather.

Keep It Together

Throw on a lightweight cardigan or a short jacket with elbow-length sleeves in case you go out in the evening or the office is overly air-conditioned. It will keep the outfit looking smart without adding bulk. And go for add-ons, such as a loosely knit cotton scarf or a wooden bracelet, that don't feel hot against the skin. The last thing you want to feel is bogged down by your accessories.

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