How to Dress Smartly In The Summer

Need some inspiration for how to dress smartly in hot summer weather? Then look no further.

We’re always so excited for the hot summer months after spending what feels like years holed up in oversized fluffy jumpers and scarves. And yet, when the sun finally shows it’s face, we often feel unprepared for the heat!

Here’s how to deal with the summer weather in style.

The best and worst fabrics for hot weather

Good fabrics for hot weather 


The best fabrics for hot weather are cotton and linen. Cotton is soft, which makes it comfortable, but its also lightweight and breathable. Thanks to its sweat-absorbing qualities, cotton is a great option for helping heat escape from your body when the outside temperature is rising.


Linen is also a very light and loosely woven material.  Not only does it absorb moisture well, linen is quick-drying, which makes it another great choice for keeping cool in the hot summer sun.


If you’re out of cotton or linen clothes, rayon is also a good option. It’s usually pretty cheap too, so that’s a bonus! Rayon was originally invented as a cheaper alternative to silk, a typically expensive yet smooth and cooling fabric. Its thin fibres make it much more breathable than many fabrics and it won’t stick to your body in the heat, which isn’t what you want when you’re trying to cool down.

Fabrics to avoid in hot weather


If you want to avoid getting too hot and sticky, you should avoid any clothes made from polyester, which can be tricky given that it’s one of the most common manmade fabrics.  It’s famously water-repellant, making it a popular choice for rain jackets and other items of outdoor clothing. It might keep you dry in the rain, but it certainly won’t absorb your sweat.


Similarly, nylon is also a no-go when it comes to summer outfits. Nylon is completely synthetic and its harsh, unnatural fibres don’t allow for breathability or much movement in everyday clothing.  However, Nylon isn’t entirely out of the question in summer- it’s the best choice for swimwear! While low absorbency and water resistance aren’t ideal for your daily outfits, they are excellent qualities for your bikini or swimsuit.

The best styles for hot weather

Light, airy and shady 


Beat the heat by opting for lightweight and breathable fabrics. Cotton or linen dresses are great for this, as they allow a bit more air to circulate around your legs, keeping you cool. 


Avoid any clothes that are super tight-fitting. Skinny jeans or all-in-ones aren’t really great as there’s no space for your body to breathe. 

Cover up

Wear your shades and your sun hats. Not only will these keep the sun off of your face, head and neck to keep you cool, they’re also vital accessories to protect you from harmful UV rays! Maxi dress are a great shout when it comes to covering up in style. 

Light colours

Dark colours absorb heat more than light colours, so we’d recommend sticking to white, light greys or tans in the summer. Pastels are another great option, and they’re very on trend! 

Dressing for Different Occasions in Summer


Dressing for work in the summer isn’t always easy, especially when there’s a formal dress code to contend with. In these cases, mid-length dresses or skirts paired with a light, floaty blouse are idea, and natural fabrics are always best. When it comes to shoes, we’d recommend flat, breathable styles.

Block colours are also great if you want to channel the sunny weather and still look professional. Of course, you can always brighten up your corporate outfit with accessories.

Office air conditioning can be another problem when it comes to dressing for summer, but you can always put a lightweight cardigan in your bag in case you get cold.


Summer weddings are the perfect opportunity to experiment with a bit of colour and flair- florals and pastels are always a great shout. Pair open-toe heels with your outfit to give your feet some breathing room at the same time as looking chic.

Big hats are a traditional addition to your wedding guest attire, so go large and wear a real head turner. This means you look the part and you get extra shade from the sun! 

Picnics or park walks 

For daytime events like picnics or meeting with friends in an outdoor space, opt for sandals and casual, loose-fitting clothes. You especially want loose-fitting outfits if you know you’ll be walking around a lot outdoors. As a general rule, if you’re prone to getting overheated, looser is best.

Look for dresses that have an A-line cut, potentially with a loose fit on your arms and chest if you want that extra coverage. Wrap dresses and slip dresses are another good option, as you can adjust the tightness around your waist to give you a little extra cooling space. 

Evening drinks or dinner (or both!) 

You can go for darker colours in the evening as you won’t have to worry about your clothes absorbing the sun’s heat. Of course, you’ll want to save the black tie and cocktail dresses for a glitzy evening event, but this does make things a little easier if you do want to get glammed up. Open-backed dresses and blouses in natural fabrics are ideal for glamourous evening events in the summer as they give you that all-important breathing space- useful if you want to make a good impression on your summer dinner date! 

How to dress for day to night

Since the days are longer in summer, many events start during the day and continue on into the night. Knowing how to dress for these events can be a little tricky. Merge your day and night outfits by keeping a lightweight, extra layer handy. So for instance, if you know you want to wear your backless dress to your post-work party, have an ultra-light cotton cardigan on during the day. You can whip that off at your evening event to revive your outfit.

Likewise, if you’re worried that you’ll get a little chilly when the sun goes down, you can cover your shoulders with a lightweight Pashmina to keep the cold away. 

With this in mind, there’s still time to transform your summer outfits into smart yet ultra cool and comfortable garments. Did someone say it’s time to go shopping?