How is it that the women of the South, the ideal Southern belles, stay cool and look chic? Well, choosing cool items and light fabrics can make a scorching day feel like a breeze. Combine the following and heat to 108 degrees Fahrenheit:
Look for a bright or light-colored sundress. If they fit right, sundresses are comfortable and chic. Unlike pants or jeans, which feel constricting in the heat, your legs can breathe better. If you are purchasing a new dress, always make sure the fabric is quality. There is nothing worse than a dress that pills! Georgette is a great, lightweight summer fabric.
Do not pair your sundress with rubber or foam flip-flops. Your favorite flats or sandals with a half-inch heel are key to making your dress look more sophisticated, less juvenile. For a super-casual summer look, pick out a gladiator or flip-floplike sandals, embellished with beads, dressed up with metallics or patterns, or created with more substantial material, like leather or light-colored suede.
One last idea about your sundress: Think about how versatile the dress you are buying can become. If you pick a basic, bright color, you can easily create several outfits with one dress. Put on a long, lightweight cardigan and a skinny belt, booties and a fedora for a completely different look. Even a flowy T-shirt cinched with a silk scarf around your waist can look great depending on the cut and pattern of the dress.
Gingham is a lightweight woven cotton cloth, making this fabric ideal for hot weather. It is a traditional American fabric normally consisting of checks in white and bold shades. Typically, a gingham pattern is small, which makes wearing gingham less flamboyant. Sometimes, the checks are so tiny that your shirt or skirt may look like one single, bold color until observed closeup; however, a large-checked gingham print delivers a bold, graphic look. Check out Trovata’s Spring 2009 Collection for inspiration on large-scale gingham checks. And, a word on height: watch out for large-checked gingham (or any large-patterned clothing) if you are on the shorter side. Such an oversize pattern is oftentimes overwhelming on smaller frames.
Although hats are now more of a fashion statement (or shield for a bad-hair day), they will continuously serve as a protective shield from the sun’s scorching rays. A panama hat will always be traditional in the South. They are created from high-quality straw and designed in innumerable colors and styles. These beautiful Derby-style hats can get pricy though — original panama hats can cost over $1,000. Perhaps a more affordable, everyday option might be a straw hat, a fedora or a floppy hat. Look for a hat with unique details that make it stand out. A bright color, pretty ribbon, feathers, buttons, interesting pins, lace and other intricacies can be purchased on a hat, or you can get creative and attach your own favorites.