Does anyone even know what’s happened here? We’ve had non-stop sunny, hot weather in our corner of North Yorkshire (as have most of the rest of the UK too) for 2 weeks now, which NEVER happens! I think the last time I remember the temperatures being in the mid-20s and above for such a sustained period was, maybe, a decade ago?!
Summer is my favourite season. While I love the blossoms of spring and the colours of autumn, it’s summer that I’ve always loved the best. I’ve always dreamed of living somewhere where the sun shines and you don’t need to wear 3 layers of clothing three quarters of the year.
But I’m also a stereotypical Brit – the sun’s come out and now we’re complaining! I’m absolutely loving the sunny weather, but not being able to get out in it all the time is annoying, as is the fact that our houses are built for cold temperatures. The heat rash on my upper arms is also not particularly enjoyable!
So I’ve gathered a few tips on staying cool in a heatwave for those of us that aren’t used to weather like this:
Natural fabrics all the way
You’ve probably heard it time and time again, but cotton and linen are excellent fabrics for your clothes when it’s hot out. Man made fabrics like polyester trap moisture against your skin so you end up sticky and uncomfortable.
Personally, I’m a huge fan of anything bamboo. It’s soft, breathable, moisture-wicking and even blocks out a huge percentage of UV rays, meaning your skin is protected too. One of my favourite places to shop for bamboo clothing was recommended to me by my friend Charley – BAM. They have a fantastic guide with more info on why bamboo is awesome here.
Loose, lightweight clothing
As well as picking out natural fabrics, hunt for clothes that are loose and lightweight. If they cling to your body, you’ll end up getting uncomfortable quickly. Think floaty skirts (unless there’s too much of a breeze!), gauzy tops and swirly dresses. I’m loving the one pictured above from Reiss at the moment – sleeveless, a loose-fitting silhouette and a pretty print. What more could you want in a summer dress?
We all know that dark colours absorb the heat and light colours reflect it, keeping you cooler, but do we listen to that advice? It’s one thing I’m trying to take more seriously right now, wearing cream or light grey tops and dresses. The only problem is that it’s not ideal for people like me who are…let’s just say, a little bit clumsy. I definitely didn’t have to come home from work the other day and immediately put my new dress in the wash because I’d spilled food down it…wasn’t me.
Hat or tie up your hair
If you’re anything like me, your hair will feel like a scarf in this heat. My hair is thicker than most people’s, but isn’t even really that long right now. But getting it off my neck and shoulders can make a huge amount of difference. Personally I dislike tying up my hair – I like it being around my face and it also gives me a headache because it’s so heavy – but I’ve been experimenting with French plaits and half-up, half-down styles recently.
The other option is to get a good hat to prevent your brain from boiling*. If you’re out in the sunshine, it’ll keep the brightness out of your eyes and the sun rays off your face, preventing burning but also overheating. Plus you can get some amazing hats – see above!
*Disclaimer: I feel I should explain that your brain most likely won’t boil, but this was a joke from our tutors when I toured Greece in 35C+ with no shade to shelter in and hats were so necessary.
So it might sound like a bit of a random one, but foam or padded bras in the heat just add another unnecessary layer that will make you hotter – and who wants that?! Fortunately bralettes are a massive trend at the moment meaning you can pick them up in almost any high street store. They look gorgeous peeking out from under summery dresses, and will keep you cooler than a more structured undergarment.