Lighten Up! Styling Tips to Beat the Heat


“Mind over matter, dears,” admonished our Headmistress. Mrs. Olive was slightly past her prime but practiced the same dogged dedication to turning out poised young ladies as the fictional Miss Jean Brodie. As my classics class were lead around the ruins of Pompeii in the roaring Roman heat that rendered us as limp as the lettuce in our cheese picnic rolls – I was neither glowingly ladylike nor merely perspiring – I was sweaty, sulky and feeling downright screwy.

Years later, nothing much has changed. I’m the classic English gal wilting – decidedly unlike a rose – beneath the Californian sun. The idea of focusing my mind enough to manipulate the physical is beyond me on a good day, when the temperature rises above 80 degrees – “I’m sorry”¦erm”¦ What did you say”¦?” When it gets hot and heavy outside, my own self-help mantra rests in more solid science – I simply lighten my gravitational load.

As the heat beats down I don’t tend to change my basic style – it’s taken years for me to figure out the silhouettes, colors and necklines that flatter me – but keeping my cool as much as possible is all about lightening up. Simple tricks such as adjusting fabric weaves, weights and tones can make all the difference. Here are some quick and easy styling tips for staying buoyant and fresh – without the need for telekinetics.


Try A Gauzy Top
Put away ribs and knits: to keep cool go for loose fitting 100 percent organic cotton voile. Lina Rennell smock top from the “Triangle Gardens” collection. Made using green fabrics and sewn by hand in California.


Add Sheer and Whimsical Extras

A scarf can accessorize the simplest of summer tanks and tees. For the lightest weight choose a scarf made from plain weave silk chiffon. An unfussy look affords you a little whimsy; the tassels inject a dose of levity to any summertime outfit. Mociun silk and tassel scarves. In 100 percent silk and 100 percent bamboo.


Glide Like A Swan

This season’s color serene white is just right as a gracefully tailored shirtwaister (also available in berry). The throwback lines wax nostalgic for simpler, carefree times. Play with bold accessories if the look feels too saccharine. Jackson, Johnston & Roe portrait dress. In Italian woven 65 percent cotton and 31 percent silk. Light as a feather details include French seams and hidden pockets. Made in Brooklyn using natural, sustainable and recycled fabrics and trim.


Stop Shouldering the Load

Downsize your stuff and carry less, keeping your load lighter and close to your body to avoid extraneous exertion. Hip bags slung loosely below the waist seem cool again and leave hands free to enjoy a well-deserved sorbet treat. Ashley Watson swift hip sack made by hand in Vancouver from reclaimed leather.

All items available from beklina.

Image: La FruU

Rowena Ritchie

Rowena is EcoSalon’s West Coast Fashion Editor and currently resides in San Francisco, CA.