Do you identify as a night owl or a morning person? Even if your answer is the latter, my hunch is that any warm sentiments you might harbor have likely changed this summer. My theory is that even the most cheery person is likely feeling a twinge of existential dread, especially when they check their weather app in the morning. With extended heat waves worldwide, it's only natural that grappling with the impacts of climate change before you've even had coffee is a lot to handle. Add to that the fact that you must determine the best thing to wear when it's hot outside, and you have one anxiety-including process.
In short, mornings can be rough, even for the cheeriest of personalities. But what if getting dressed for a hot day wasn't so daunting? I'm breaking down how to dress for excessive heat to make things easier for you. Ahead you'll find the 19 best hot-weather outfit ideas, plus shopping recommendations to re-create each look. No matter where you live or what your morning routine is, these outfit formulas will make getting dressed one less thing to worry about.
Nothing is easier to throw on when it's boiling outside than a pair of denim shorts. Make them feel more polished by styling them with a button-down, slingbacks, and a woven shoulder bag.
The secret to looking good when it's scorching hot outside? Rely on stylish separates to give off the illusion that you put more effort into your ensemble than you actually did. Case in point? A linen or cotton waistcoat styled with an A-line skirt and Mary Janes.
Another staple you can rely on during the summer is an oversized button-down. Its relaxed fit will keep the fabric from clinging to your skin, preventing unnecessary sweat and chaffing. But should you want to make this basic even more heat-friendly, try styling it with matching poplin shorts, sunglasses, and comfy loafers.
Temperatures and inflation are on the rise, so investing in a new matching set for summer may not be within reach. A simple way to hack the system is by pairing similarly hued items in your closet with each other to create the same feel. For example, try pairing a linen scarf top with a maxi skirt and contrasting accessories.
When it's hot outside, the last thing you want to do is spend copious amounts of time digging through your closet in search of an easy outfit—enter the formula above. A simple white button-down styled with a denim miniskirt, shoulder bag, and mules is a foolproof outfit when you don't know what to wear.
After an excruciatingly hot day, mustering enough energy to get dressed up for the evening can feel impossible. Instead of canceling your plans, pull out a dramatic dress (e.g., one with a drop waist or maxi hemline) and pair it with ankle-strap pumps. It's a formula that won't fail you, no matter where the night takes you.
Have more casual plans for the night? You don't have to get dressed up to dial up the heat. Re-create the look above. Relaxed denim and slide sandals can feel more risqué when paired with a corset top and a sleek shoulder bag.
Another way to dress up for a night out without exerting too much effort is by re-creating the ensemble above. Whether you're going on a first date or meeting your friends for drinks, a fitted bustier top styled with a slip skirt and heeled mules is an effortless way to look great for the evening.
The easiest way to make simple summer staples shine is through your accessories. For example, the look above shows how a basic black tube top and white cargo pants are elevated when styled with sculptural silver jewelry, a shoulder bag, and mules. Not only is this look easy to replicate, but it is the ideal day-to-night formula to rely on in a pinch.
One of the more challenging things about excessive heat is trying to strike a balance between functional and formal, especially for the office. Luckily, the formula above is a foolproof solution. When it's scorching hot outside, opt for a short-suit-inspired look by pairing pleated shorts with a matching blazer, contrasting T-shirt, and ballet flats.
This outfit is perfect for days when you need to go into the office, but high temps make wearing anything other than a slip dress unbearable. Slinky dresses can be made work-ready with a few simple styling hacks. First, add a second layer by throwing a T-shirt on underneath your dress or slipping a blazer on for more coverage. Second, opt for more modest footwear like ballet flats to avoid getting the side-eye from HR.
If you want to ensure you look as polished as possible for work, opt for a matching suit vest and trousers. Not only is this outfit formula effortless, but with minor tweaks (e.g., opting for lightweight materials or styling the suit with slides), it can feel summer-forward.
At the risk of sounding too repetitive, it's worth reiterating the importance of opting for lighter fabrics, as it can determine whether you'll enjoy the day or spend it aggravated by the heat. The easiest way to keep your cool (and look it too) is by taking a cue from the outfit above and pairing satin trousers with a tank top and flip-flops.
Staying cool is a universal struggle, but it's even more of a challenge for modest dressers. Rely on the outfit formula above if that's you. An oversize button-down and maxi slip skirt will help keep you cool and covered all season long.
Do you find yourself already cringing at the idea of covering any skin? I get it. When it's too hot outside, sometimes you want to wear the bare minimum. Hence the appeal of the outfit above. A tank top, hot pants, and heeled thongs are the ideal items for when you don't want to wear anything.
Not exactly comfortable with the idea of wearing hot pants? Rather than giving up hope of being comfortable in the heat, let the outfit above be your inspiration. Swap hot pants for a denim miniskirt and thong sandals for sneakers to make this a look you can feel comfortable in. Finally, add fun accessories to make this feel approachable.
More than any other season, summer is the time when you want to spend the least amount of time worrying about what to wear so that you can capitalize on the weather. What outfit formula will let you do just that? See the above. As simple as pairing a T-shirt with matching overalls and colorful accessories might seem, it's actually genius considering how effortless it can make moving around a new destination quickly.
Speaking of destinations, if you're planning a vacation but don't know what to pack, you'll want to screenshot the look above. A colorful oversize button-down shirt styled over a bandeau top with drawstring linen pants is the perfect outfit to lounge around a resort or explore new cities in.
Lastly, I'd be remiss if I didn't remind you that simplicity is key when choosing what to wear on a hot day. When all else fails, you can't go wrong with slipping into a maxi dress and adding colorful jewelry, mules, and a clutch bag. It's an outfit formula that works no matter the weather.