Easy, Breezy Style Tweaks For Steamy Summer Weather

Dressing for a formal event in the summer is a breeze compared to the other three seasons. Because of the hot weather, you get to slip into whatever bare-shouldered style you like, skip the annoying "what cover-up works with this?" and "will this hemline look awkward with my overcoat?" question session, pick a few key accessories and you're good to go. It's one of the few nice things about head-in-the-oven heat.

Great work outfits, too, aren't hard to pull together when temperatures start to rise. The trick is to strategically layer: start the day in a spaghetti strap cami and skirt—or maybe a slip dress—and throw on a cardigan/blazer/pullover when you hit the air-conditioned office. Keep a few pairs of lace-up sandal heels at your desk to swap with commuter flats and you'll be golden through the end of August.

Surprisingly enough, the toughest times to look good during steamy July and August days are the casual moments—browsing vintage cameos at the flea market, iced lattes with a friend, gossip rag binges at the park—when you want to stand out but in an effortless, nonchalant way. Those are the kind of occasions when it's most tempting to take the cut-off/T-shirt combo or black tank dress route that so many girls take. Both are solid choices, for sure, but neither is especially exciting. If this is rut you're all too familiar with, try one of the five ways below to mix up your casual style when it's over 90s degrees outside. None of them require more effort than a small tweak here or a minor swap there, but the impact of each is major. (For proof, try counting how many compliments you get from girls wearing cutoffs or black tank dresses. It's going to be a lot.)

1. Swap your jean shorts for silk ones.

Even with just a T-shirt and sneakers, a pair will make your outfit seem infinitely more special than denim would. Silky shorts feel like you're wearing pajamas, too, so you can enjoy the look all weekend without sacrificing lounge-around comfort.