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  • Writer's pictureSara Marsden-Shreeve

No Hot Mess Here

Ladies on the beach enjoying the sun
Quick Tips to Keep Cool with Style

I can't tell you how much I've felt so 'blinkin' sweaty these last few weeks...sorry to be so honest but it's true.  Blessed with great days of sunshine and with very pale skin, I'm somehow not designed for heat efficiency.

Therefore, what harm would it do to share with you, how I've overcome feeling like a soggy flannel with the help of my useful clothing styles, self-care tweaks and a few home truths.

It started after being asked to go on BBC Stoke to talk about what to wear on hot days and it got me thinking more about what I wear myself and how I could give more practical pointers to others, whom I sure feel the heat too.

Obviously, this stuff also translates to Summer holibobs too if you're jetting off to sunnier shores or happily optimistic about our approaching hotter months.

Sweat Friendly 

You probably already know this but natural fibres are the bee's knees because they are breathable fabrics and has something to do with the weave. This means looking out for all things cotton, linen and chambray as opposed to stiff denim or all things lycra or polyester, in the shops.  

Woman in Cotton Dress
Cotton Dress

There are a few man-made derivatives such as modal (made from the wood pulp of the beech tree) and Tencel or lyocell which is also classed as an eco-fibre (wood fibre cellulose) and doesn’t trap perspiration either. Also, both are often blended with cotton in the clothing industry so win, win!  

All of the afore mentioned absorb moisture allowing for a quick drying sensation...ooh lovely.

There are plenty of stockists now who love a natural fibre and I've included Komodo just for their funkiness. Others include, Celtic & Co, SeaSalt and Thought Clothing to name but a few off the top of my head.

The no no's in a sweat fest are obviously polyester, rayon and other synthetics that repel your body dew and cause it to pool in all your nooks and crannies creating those god-awful feelings of stickiness when you get up from a plastic seat or feel the under-boob perspiration starting.

Yes, these fabrics are durable but this means water resistant and odour grabbing, which is just fine for swimwear that gets bathed but not your grundies! (translation – knickers) Eeew.

Ooh and just for the record, although silk is indeed natural it stains and so pale fabrics and yellow sweat marks are not a good look unless you carry a bottle of Vanish in your handbag.

Easy Breezy

Loose is best, but light and breezy can go see through and stick, so a little structure is necessary please. I'd suggest giving linen a go.  Before you start, yes, I know it creases like a bugger so look for linen blends as they behave much better and don’t look so much like a piece of screwed up paper you got out the bin.  

Maxi dresses and simple shift dresses will get you feeling summery too and there are lots of patterns and fab colours to keep you interested and let your legs breathe.

However, if like me, your inner thighs often like to have a smooch when it's hot, try adding a little olive oil or your favourite massage/baby oil to them, to keep them from touching. Works for me and much nicer than that 'bloomin' awful rubbing sensation.

Speaking of legs, you can't beat a pair of neat city style cotton shorts, or those flippy style culottes to show a bit of leg in any circumstances. For more summer leg tips check out my blog here

Also, you may want to ditch those skinny jeans on a hot day as they will just trap the heat and the moisture and well encourage mushrooms... (only kidding) Instead try a cropped classic style jean or a swishier looser leg or even wide leg trouser.  Cotton jogger pants anyone?

Anything lined is probably not great either as your adding extra layers.


We just love an open toe sandal and flip-flop don’t we? Whether you're a toe poke fan or espadrille admirer it feels nice to air your tootsies.  

Again, synthetic fabrics on shoes make your feet slide about and smell like stilton in the sun.

Canvas is good. Feet swell when hot so hello Converse or Vans and bye, bye leather for now.  Skin Breathes through your feet so go for sandals with as little on as possible. Barely there if you will.

Alternatively, mules and sliders are everywhere at the moment too which are a bit more comfortable than strappy strangling numbers that rub and irritate when they swell. So, drink your Coconut Water (very refreshing ice cold) and go explore.

Armpit Airing

Just to touch on the Easy Breezy again I know a lot of us lady folk are not fond of the upper arm area because of its generous fleshy loveliness but it is worth noting that there are other sleeve alternatives out there at the moment that encourage airing.

Try a more generous fitting sleeve from fluted angel like sleeves to off the shoulder tops.  You can always go three quarter too or even try sleeveless tops that have eye catching adornment to the neckline so that eyes will be diverted to the blinginess and not even notice your arms.  Here's a fab quirky t'shirt with a longer more flattering sleeve than the cruel cap sleeve usually found.

You can layer lightly if you want added confidence too by say adding a kimono style cover up over a cami or a vest top or wear a maxi button up dress in the same way.

Colour Trickery

It's a common sighting in hot weather to see fellars in their office shirts with the ole tell-tale under arm sweat patch or wet spine trickle when their shirts are either light and/or bright in colour.  I'd advise to keep this in mind too and either do a quick drip test on a shirt sleeve under the tap like a litmus test and see what happens or alternatively go for a print. It literally camouflages any seepage area and I find if I lather my armpits in Mitchum Roll on I'm high and dry..woohoo.

Also, we can't forget that cool new product that provides a great alternative to anti-perspirant and comes in the form of a Dandi Patch. I've tried them and they're brill, especially if you do sweat a lot from your pits.

Dandi Patch London
Dandi Patch London

For any colour enthusiasts out there who like the science bit, light colours reflect heat whereas darker colours absorb heat so that is definitely food for thought and worth airing your whites and pastels.

Simply Does It

Beauty is indeed a state of mind and if it's hot I don’t want to be plastered in make up for it to melt into a Picasso like state on my face.  Less is definitely more and the products you do use need to be light, probably waterproof and stay put.  I took up Sophie's tips from her last blog with the addition of a waterproof mascara.  Found this especially useful when my daughter went on her first trip away (sob, sob waiving the coach away) for a week and then came back .. sob sob.(mixture of happy to see her safe and there goes the silence)

Night Owl

You can see it now, windows open (but not too much in case someone climbs in- my stupid fear) fan plugged in and on full tornado setting, lying buck naked on top of duvet whingeing and sighing about the stickiness.  Nothing you can do about it unless you put your sheets in the freezer before-hand.. Ooh wait that’s not a bad idea... or you can do this.

To be honest I find just keeping aloe vera in the fridge and slapping it on instead of my usual moisturiser a calming relief.....ahhhh

There we go, a few useful tips I hope. 

It's important to remember too that when we're hot and sweaty we are probably being grumpy too and that means we may be a little more critical of ourselves because we may notice more things about us that stick or swing.  

If you try to make the effort to cut out negative thinking and saying bad stuff to yourself it will have a significant impact on how you feel.  After all you are listening! 

You could even try swapping words you find you use a lot like Chubby to Curvy/shapely and even think about other things you say about stuff like your stretch marks or holiday hair. Stretch marks become Glitter lines and Frizz becomes Voluminous lol??

Lets enjoy the Sunshine peeps.

Sara xx

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