By Kristin Hull
Dear Mommy Stylist,
We recently moved to Dubai. I am loving the warm weather, but I am desperate for some new ideas for clothes. Relocating from France, I have been wearing jeans and tops with scarves for the last few years since I’ve stopped working and had my three kids (six, four and two years old).
For me, it is too hot to wear jeans, having to wait for the kids outside in the sun after school. Currently I am wearing shorts and a few summer dresses. Could you please provide me with stylish alternatives, I want to look stylish, but not as if I tried too hard.
I am of average height and build (with a ‘mummy tummy’) and 41 years old.
Thank you, Marlize
Since temperatures in Dubai can be sky high in the summer and still fairly warm in the winter (60s and 70s) your outfits obviously need to be light and comfortable. There is a risk with dressing for warm weather that many women err on the wrong side of – looking trashy instead of classy. And this is understandable. Trying to keep cool often means wearing less clothing which, unfortunately, can very easily go wrong. For example, many women don’t like their upper arms or their thighs but what are they to do when it is 95 degrees outside? Well, I think we’ve come up with some great options. We have included some photos below and also created a Pinterest board called “Casual Summer Outfits” which will give you even more ideas.
In addition, we do have a few tips for stylish warm weather dressing:
1. If you want to wear a certain top but it makes you feel a bit too “naked” try a sleeveless vest with it (see photos below left and center) or throw a lightweight sweater over your shoulders (see photo below right).
2. Don’t like your thighs? Fortunately, just about every length of skirt is in style right now so stock up on everything from a knee-length mini to a floor-length maxi. As long as the materials are made of lightweight fabric you won’t have to worry about getting too hot (see below).
3. Hat, hats, hats. Not only will a cute hat protect you from the sun, you won’t have to worry about your hair. And they can turn a pair of shorts and a tee into an enviable outfit. Sure, your forehead might sweat a bit but your forehead is going to sweat regardless. However, if you’re wearing a hat no one will be the wiser.
4. Since you will be wearing less clothing in the heat, buy pieces that have unique details on them like zippers, ruffles, interesting shoulders/sleeves, piping, pleats, etc. They’ll be able to carry an outfit all on their own.
5. Add some style with accessories like belts, necklaces, rings, earrings, shoes, etc. Accessorizing can make all the difference in the world and most women don’t do it so they all look the same in their jeans and t-shirts. It’s so easy to add a necklace or bracelet and suddenly you’ll be standing out from the crowd (without looking like you’re trying to hard).
Here are a few trends that can definitely help with dressing for the heat
Lightweight sweatpants: Check out this pair from Asos. I have a some and love them! They work equally well with flats or heels (see photo below).
Shirtdresses: They’re soooo easy to wear and so cute! A shirtdress is a good example of an article of clothing that looks stylish all on its own. And they can be as conservative or as funky as you’d like simply based on your accessories. Here’s a slimming, vertical stripe version from Old Navy.
Denim: I know you said it is too hot for jeans but denim can be found in a variety of thicknesses so look for pieces that are made of a lightweight fabric. Try this style. And here’s a cute sleeveless denim vest.
Sheer/lace/crochet/mesh: Ok, we get it. The see-through look is here. And it can be unquestionably classy with a simple tank underneath. Even though the top in the photo below is long-sleeved, the material will keep you as cool as if you were just wearing the tank, only now you’ll have a lot more style.
Final note: Many of the photos you’ll see on our Casual Summer Outfits Pinterest page will need to be adjusted for a mom, and/or for the heat – flats instead of heels, vests instead of jackets, etc. Don’t rule anything out until you’ve made adjustments for your lifestyle.