13 Sweat-free Ways To Look Cute When It’s Hot

Want to look cute when it's hot? Who doesn't?! Click through for some summer style tips and warm weather fashion advice that you haven't heard a million times!

You’d think since I live in Minnesota (land of the six-month winter) I’d be poorly versed in sweat-soaked tank tops and underboob sweat.
But you’d be wrong.
Since Minnesota is so far inland, our summers are nearly as rough as our winters – 90% humidity, 100 degree days, opaque curtains of mosquitoes. This, coupled with a year and a half spent in tropical Taiwan, has taught me how to navigate three months of sweat and sun. And to supplement my knowledge? I asked the lovely people of Twitter and my Facebook lady friends.

Here are 13 ways you can look cute when it’s hot!

1. OMG, dresses

Are dresses the answer to every question? Probably. They make you look fancy and pulled together when they’re really just an elevated onesie. You’ll feel even more comfortable if you buy dresses in natural fabrics (I love this cotton one) or find a cut that’s simultaneously cute and a little roomie (like this one (for $16!))

2. Wear natural fabrics

Let’s talk about 100% cotton and, yes, linen. Also, let’s take an official stance that wrinkled clothing is chic. Natural fabrics breathe a million times better than rayon or poly blends and they also help us look like those casually beautiful women who drink tea while sitting on weathered Adirondack chairs. It’s also worth noting that we’ll all enjoy summer more if we extend the natural fabric policy to our underwear. Isn’t this linen skirt cute?

3. Reconsider your bra situation

If you’re super well-endowed you should probably stick with your trusty underwire, but if you’re smaller than a D-cup, I’d make the argument that you could probably switch to a sporty-ish bra, cute bikini tops, or tops with built-in support.
During the summer, I almost exclusively wear these – they’re a million times more comfortable than underwires, you can toss them in the wash, they work with any racer back tank tops, and they’re lined and have separate cups so you don’t get the Dreaded Uniboob. Bikini tops look cute peeking out from your tank tops and are made to be washed a million times.
Also: keep your bras in the freezer! Heavenly.

4. Wear your hair up (of course) 

You’ve read this advice a million times because it’s good! I like to do a three bun faux-hawk-y thing, but there are piles of cute, easy hairstyles for the summer. I also love this braid/bun thing and this ‘boho chic’ thing.

5. Buy some summer-specific accessories

Here’s what I don’t leave the house without: a hat (I wear this one all the time), a cute water bottle, and I recently bought a super cheap collapsible sandalwood fan. I was worried I’d look a bit Blanche Dubois, fanning myself dramatically in the park but tons of people have asked me where I got it. I’m on a one-woman mission to convert Minneapolis hipsters into fan-carriers.
I’ve also seen people carrying those non-environmentally-but-probably-really-amazing aerosol cans of Evian. I’m putting off trying them because I’m afraid they’ll be life-changing and then I’ll be the sort of person who sprays herself with Evian AND fans herself with a tiny wooden fan in public. Ugh/awesome.

6. Give up accessories and makeup that’s not heat-friendly

Big cuff bracelets and liquid eyeliner are part of my everyday uniform, but in the summer those bracelets sweatily stick to my forearm and my eyeliner flakes off. So I made the executive decision to put them away for the summer. I’m also giving up on scarves, pointy toed ballet flats and skinny jeans. Nope.

7. Use products that melt in an appealing manner

Everything is going to melt off within an hour or two, so you might as well use stuff that’s going to look good as it melts – cream eye shadow, tinted moisturizer, tinted chapstick. A friend from Arizona gives up perfume for the summer and just uses scented lotion or sunscreen. This 30 spf sunscreen apparently smells like ‘citrus mimosa’!
Also: keeping your cosmetics and skin care products in the fridge feels great and (I’m guessing) prolongs their life.

8. For the ambitious: dye your eyebrows and/or eyelashes

Since I’m blonde and capable of getting a tan, every summer my eyebrows bleach out to the same color as my face. Awwwwwesome. While that’s not something everyone would care about I’m vain and I like visible eyebrows so I dye mine with Just For Men beard gel (yes, really).
I don’t do it regularly, but in the past I’ve had my eyelashes dyed which makes me feel like an old Hollywood glamazon, waking up and looking all bright-eyed and made up.

9. Deal with the chafing

As far as I can tell, the only benefit to having a thigh gap is that you will never have to endure summer chafing. For the other 99% of us, let’s talk about this anti-chafing gel, these sexy thigh chafe-stopping bandelettes, or good ‘ol baby powder.
Personally, I’m more likely to opt for the gel because I’m loathe to wear another layer in 90 degree weather but I know many women who swear by those shorts!

10. Eat all the cold things

Gazpacho! Cold quinoa salads! Mango lassi popsicles! Beet lemonade! They’re all easy, healthy, and you can prepare them ahead of time so you can eat them right out of the container, standing in front of the fridge, bathing in that glorious cold. Hypothetically.

11. Wash your feet with cool water before you go to bed

This seems extraordinarily strange, but I swear it works. If you’ve been padding around the city all day in sandals, your feet are probably surprisingly gross and putting cool water on your extremities is a great way to bring down your core temperature. I give mine a wash with a scrub brush and some zingy tea tree body wash.

12. Cool your pressure points

Did you know you can cool your whole body down by cooling your wrists, the back of your neck, or the small of your back? Sure, you probably don’t want to pad around the office holding a cold, well towel to the small of your back, but if you’re out and about, you should totally try these awesome/weird ice cube bracelets and necklaces! I bet these would be particularly great for long days hiking or at an amusement park.

13. Remember how cold you were this winter

Does this actually make you feel cooler? No. Is it fun to do anyway? Yup.

Warm climate friends! Share your advice in the comments!

P.S. If you’re in the southern hemisphere, this is for you: 11 Tricks To Looking + Feeling Fairly Awesome Even Though It’s Freezing

photo by David Lezcano// cc

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  1. Julia

    Re: Chafing–just wanted to pass along my new discovery : Bandelettes! They are elasticized bands (with sticky rubber on the inside so they don’t slide around) that you wear on the tops of your thighs. They come in a ton of colors to match skin tone and your clothes, and either in super cute lace or plain styling. And they are amazing. They aren’t super warm to wear and they stay on all day (versus chafing gel or baby powder which wears off).


    • Sarah Von Bargen

      I’ve seen those on the internet but have never tried them – so good to know they work!

  2. Amanda | Chasing My Sunshine

    I am way better at dressing for summer than dressing for winter, so I’ve definitely saved the post you linked to! I have to second the skirts and dresses tip. I wear them almost exclusively. But in addition to your summer staples, I always throw a pack of Power Shower wipes in my bag! Lifesavers at canceling out that sheen of sweat. Ha!

    • Sarah Von Bargen

      Ooooh! I’ve never heard of Power Shower wipes! And yes – that winter post is full of soooo many helpful tips – LIKE DOUBLE LAYER TIGHTS. (What?! Amazing.)

  3. Caitlyn @ Candid Cerebrations

    These tips are great! I actually run my wrists under cold water all the time when I get too warm. My tip might seem counter-intuitive but eating spicy foods and drinking hot drinks keeps you cooler. I promise science backs this up, just google it. And like Amanda I carry around facial wipes too. And for BO a little hand sanitizer to neutralize the stink and then reapply deodorant that’s also in my bag.

    • Sarah Von Bargen

      I know that in tropical countries people SWEAR by eating spicy foods to cool down – or even eating food that’s hot in temperature!

  4. Daisy @ Simplicity Relished

    Hahah I love this! My favorite is “use products that melt in an appealing manner.” YES.

  5. Merrie K.

    Love these tips! I definitely wear more stains and glosses in the summer…it is NOT the time for foundation…LOL I’m also a fan of the bralette, although since I”m in the “D” range, they don’t look as flattering on me as regular bras.

    • Sarah Von Bargen

      I convince myself that no one will notice 😉

  6. Lesley S

    Jockey Skimmies are SO GREAT! I almost exclusively wear dresses through the summer and these have made my life so much more comfortable. They’re not shape wear, so you can actually breathe while wearing them. I’m a plus size 2X and the XL fit me great. Plus they’re nice for bike riding, sitting on the ground, and being in windy weather with swirly skirts. Even though it’s another layer, they actually make me feel cooler because of the sweat prevention. This is a great list! I live in E TN (near Dolly!) and am from FL, so I can vouch for all of these keep cool tips! Dr. Brommer peppermint soap and Noxzema are two of my fave summer products. Anything tingly!

  7. Rachel Marie

    I absolutely love taking cold showers before I sleep. Although I’ve been taking 2-3 showers a day, so….

    P.S. I live in So-Cal so though showers is a good solution, they end up being like 5 minute showers!

  8. JennyOH

    All great tips! I grew up in New England but now live in south Georgia so dealing with heat and humidity is practically a year round thing, and I definitely do a lot of these. I carry a mini dry shampoo spray and Supergoop’s makeup setting spray in my bag all summer. Even with Supergoop my makeup (I go light in the summer with just BB cream and mascara) doesn’t stay all day if I’m outside, but it is really refreshing to spritz it on every so often, and it has SPF50.

    • Sarah Von Bargen

      Oh! I’ve never heard of that – thanks for the head’s up!

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