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Summer is in full swing and while the sun brings a beautiful glow, it can also bring an intense heat that makes dressing for the day a bit of a challenge. As a personal brand strategist and wardrobe stylist, I've spent over 27 years helping professional women navigate the delicate balance between style and comfort. So let’s talk about how to stay cool and confident this summer with the right fabric choices.

The Power of Natural Fabrics

When it comes to summer, natural fabrics are your best friend. They breathe better and wick away moisture, keeping you cool and dry even on the hottest days. Here are some top contenders:

Look for fabrics like cotton and silk to beat the summer heat
Cotton and Silk


Cotton is a summer staple for a reason. It's lightweight, breathable and incredibly versatile. Whether it's a crisp white button down for the office or a casual sundress for a weekend brunch, cotton is always a good idea. Look for 100% cotton to ensure maximum breathability.


Linen is synonymous with summer. Its loose weave allows for maximum airflow, making it one of the coolest fabrics to wear in hot weather. Embrace the natural, slightly wrinkled look of linen—it adds to its charm and laid back elegance. Try a linen blazer for a professional look that won’t leave you overheating.


Silk might seem like an unlikely choice for summer, but it’s actually fantastic for keeping you cool. It’s lightweight and has a natural sheen that elevates any outfit. Opt for silk tops or dresses in light colors to reflect the sun’s rays and keep you feeling fresh.

Modern Marvels: Performance Fabrics

Technology has blessed us with innovative fabrics designed specifically to combat heat and moisture. These fabrics are often blended with natural fibers to enhance their cooling properties.

Tencel fabric is great in the summer heat.
Black Trousers


Bamboo fabric is not only eco-friendly but also incredibly soft and breathable. It has natural moisture-wicking and antibacterial properties, making it perfect for those extra-hot days. Bamboo tees and tanks are excellent for layering under blazers or wearing on their own.

Tencel (Lyocell)

Tencel is a sustainable fabric made from wood pulp. It’s smooth, breathable and has excellent moisture-wicking abilities. It also drapes beautifully, making it a stylish choice for both casual and professional settings. Look for Tencel blouses, pants and dresses to keep cool and polished.

Moisture-Wicking Blends

Many modern activewear brands incorporate moisture-wicking fabrics that are perfect for more than just the gym. These blends often include polyester, spandex and other synthetics that are designed to keep you dry. Look for moisture-wicking office wear for a sleek, comfortable look that transitions seamlessly from the boardroom to an evening out.

Light Colors and Loose Fits

Beyond fabric choice, consider the color and fit of your clothing. Light colors reflect sunlight, while dark colors absorb it. Stick to whites, pastels and light neutrals to stay cool. Loose-fitting clothing allows air to circulate more freely around your body, reducing the likelihood of overheating. Think flowy dresses, wide-leg pants and oversized blouses.

White cotton flowy dress will keep you cool all summer long.
White Flowy Cotton Dress

Accessories Matter

Your accessories can also help you stay cool. A wide-brimmed hat provides shade and adds a touch of glamour. Sunglasses not only protect your eyes but also reduce squinting, which can make you feel hotter. Lightweight scarves in natural fabrics can protect your neck from the sun without adding bulk.

Hydrate and Care for Your Skin

No matter how well you dress, staying hydrated is key to beating the heat. Carry a water bottle with you and drink regularly. Also, remember to apply a good sunscreen to protect your skin from harmful UV rays.

water bottle for hydration in the summer heat
Stay hydrated

Summer is a time to enjoy the outdoors, embrace vibrant styles and feel your best. With the right fabric choices, you can stay cool, comfortable and confident all season long. Whether you're stepping into a high-stakes meeting or enjoying a leisurely weekend, the perfect outfit is just a few fabric choices away.

Embrace the heat with grace and style, and let your inner glow shine through.


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