Subliminal Style
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Catching Rae

The Body as an Accessory

The heat wave continues here in LA, forcing the issue of summer dressing NOW. And honestly, sometimes the toughest thing about summer dressing isn't staying cool - it's staying true to your style. 

S/S Lookbooks can be all about using the bare body as an accessory, and this year's cutout shoulders, cropped sweater shirts, and a-line minis are no exception. But what happens when the guidelines for figure flattery, age appropriateness, or personal taste - or all of the above - leave you more comfortable covered up?

Breathable Fabric

Showing  Chloe linen trousers  from

Showing Chloe linen trousers from

My own go-to answer to this question is to be fanatical about breathable fabrics. You would be surprised how much more surface area you can tolerate being covered when said covering lets air in and sweat out! Look for:

  • Linen (knit and woven)
  • Cotton
  • Rayon
  • Viscose
  • Acetate
  • Nylon
  • Perforated, Eyelet, or Mesh fabrics

Loose Fit

From  Eileen Fisher , a trusted source for natural fabrics & relaxed fits.

From Eileen Fisher, a trusted source for natural fabrics & relaxed fits.

Another great strategy that fits in with recent fashions is to choose garments in a looser fit. This allows greater air flow and also allows you to wear longer hemlines while still allowing a cooling breeze to blow through. This year, we can look forward to:

  • cropped wide legs/culottes
  • loose button-front shirts and tunic tops
  • 3/4 sleeves
  • lightweight volume on volume
  • Bohemian 70s maxi dresses

Sport Crossovers

Kuhl Konra Air  at Zappos

Kuhl Konra Air at Zappos

One of the wonderful things about living in our current time period is all the crazy fabric technology we have to choose from. This means it's often super easy to find styles that are literally engineered to keep your body protected (i.e. covered) and comfortable in the face of extreme physical exertion. Camping, hiking gear are good places to start looking for cooling coverage:

  • Kuhl
  • Patagonia
  • Columbia
  • Eddie Bauer
  • Merrell
  • "Coolmax" fabric

Showing What You Can

Mose of us aren't looking to bare it all, but we aren't all that fanatical about covering it all, either. Think about how much you are ok to show - ankles? knees? elbows? collarbone? - and come from a mental space of celebration. Sometimes it makes all the difference to get excited over showing an ankle vs. getting anxious over hiding a knee. Outfits always turn out better when chosen with joy!

And nothing says summertime like a vibe of relaxation and cheer, anyway. :)