Ah, June in South Florida. One moment it’s toasty and sunny and then — poof! — it’s raining cats and dogs (and the occasional iguana). And cue the obligatory oppressive humidity. Talk about bipolar weather!
Yes, with Mother Nature’s climate experiencing massive mood swings, well, we’ve found ourselves pondering, “What should I wear?” more often than usual. In fact, said latter quagmire begs the following sartorial question: When dressing for South Florida’s tempestuous weather, what should one keep in mind?
“Dress in layers so that you can always strip down when necessary. And spoken from a frizzy hair lady, a big light scarf to wrap your hair in so the rain doesn’t make it crazy is a must,” Designer Mara Hoffman says. Best known for her graphic swimwear, dresses and coverups, Hoffman has warm-weather wear on lockdown and is all-too familiar with dressing damsels dwelling in the tropics. Pay attention to cuts, cloth and color.
“Loosen up! Anything super tight is going to cling, causing you to sweat and create friction — which will make you feel the heat even more. To avoid those unsightly sweat marks, try to maximize the flow of air through your clothing, allowing heat and moist air to escape. Look for styles that flow away from the body,” Alloy Apparel Creative Director Jorge Ramon advises. Think boho-inspired dresses or maxi skirts which will protect you from the sun’s damaging rays but also help your body stay cool.
In terms of fabric choice, avoid sweat-inducing materials. “Keep clear of synthetic fabrics that can trap in heat and don’t breathe. Common culprits like acrylic, acetate, polyester and nylon can’t sit with you,” Ramon says. According to him, most synthetic fabrics are water-repellent, causing sweat to collect. And don’t even think about wool or leather…unless you live in the Arctic Tundra.
Natural fabrics, however, are your fair-weather (pardon the pun) friends. “Cotton is your go-to fabric; it will breath and won’t trap in body heat like synthetic fabrics can. Linen is a classic summer staple and extremely versatile. Rayon is made from natural raw materials that breath, so it’s cool to wear. Jersey is a fantastic lightweight, stretchy material that can help you keep your cool as it gets hotter,” Ramon advises. Denim’s on-trend lighter alternative, chambray, also works.
Looser fits and lightweight fabrics aside, wear lighter colors, too. According to Ramon, this means stowing away dark hued items absorb heat and make you feel hotter.
And that, loyal readers, is how you stick it to sticky weather.