How to Look Good When It's Boiling Hot Outside

In this edition of Help Me Dress Myself, we’re looking at how to dress for work on those sizzling summer days.

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Are you one of those guys who wants to look stylish but finds it doesn’t come all that naturally? We feel you. Don’t fret: With some advice from LA-based stylist Rayne Parvis, we’re all going to learn how to dress a little better. In this edition, we’re looking at how to dress well when it’s hot as Hades outside, but wearing shorts and a tank top isn’t an option.

Step #1: Wear Light Colors

“Always choose light colors (light blue, light grey and white) over dark colors on hot days, because dark colors absorb sunlight while light colors reflect sunlight,” Parvis explains. “Light colors also don’t show sweat stains like dark colors do.” This is a huge plus if you’re one of those guys who just can’t stop sweating when it’s muggy outside.

Step #2: Stick to Cotton

“Avoid silk, twill, wool and anything made out of synthetic materials [polyester and spandex],” Parvis suggests. “Wearing synthetic materials is sort of like wearing a plastic bag.” Which, as you can imagine, will become an uncomfortably sticky mess on a blazing hot day. Instead, Parvis recommends cotton, which is especially breathable.

Step #3: Give Your Jeans a Break

Speaking of cotton: “If you have to wear pants, trade in your jeans for chinos—most of which are made out of 100 percent cotton,” Parvis explains. Better yet, if you’re allowed a slightly casual look, Parvis says chinos can be paired with canvas sneakers and rolled up for extra ventilation (and extra steez).

Step #4: Sport Breathable Hats

Hats are vital when dodging the sun (and the heat), but certain hats will do you more harm than good, according to Parvis. “We lose a lot of heat through our head, but if we’re wearing a hat that isn’t breathable because it’s made of synthetic materials, sweat is just going to start rolling down our face.” Parvis suggests a Panama hat made from straw for optimal breathability.

Step #5: Avoid Lined Suits

If you absolutely must wear a suit or a sports coat, Parvis says it’s vital that you pick one that’s unlined. “Even if the outside of your suit is made of a breathable cotton, you’re going to sweat like crazy if the inner lining is polyester,” she explains. Think back to her plastic bag analogy and you’ll understand just how bad of a time you’ll have wearing a lined suit on a hot day.

Now that you know how to dress well when it’s hot as balls outside, show your coworkers how to make it through the day sweat-and-heat-stroke-free (and how to look good while doing it).

If you have any questions about getting the look you want—fits, cuts, colors or anything else fashion-related—leave it in the comments and we’ll have a stylist answer it in an upcoming post.