With summer in full swing, the temperature isn't the only thing rising outside.
Hemlines, pants-lengths, and sleeves are rolling up and comfort levels for women everywhere are taking a nosedive.
If you dread the return to bathing suit season most of all, you're not alone. Summer styles often mean exposing those "problem areas" that most women work hard to minimize throughout the year and making the choice between beating the heat and baring it all can lead to scores of women sweating it out all summer long.
Submitted Photo - - Hats can dress up a summer look while providing protection from direct sunlight. Pair a hat with age-appropriate swimwear and you’re ready to go poolside.
But New York-based image consultant Marla Tomazin says you don't have to sacrifice breezy beach days in order to keep yourself covered and comfortable.
"I have found that a lot of women think that summer style is synonymous with showing skin, and that doesn't have to be the case," said Tomazin, who has been an image consultant for 20 years after earlier experience in the fashion industry. "There are plenty of ways that you can embrace summer style without feeling exposed. In fact, there are a lot of temperature-friendly looks that can accentuate your best features, while minimizing the areas you are uncomfortable with."
If you want to stay covered without being chained to your air conditioning, read on for eight styles that will take you through the summer months and beyond.
Keep cool with a summer shrug. You don't have to go sleeveless to stay cool in the summer which is welcome news for most women who feel that their arms are a big problem area. Tomazin said wearing a sheer lace or knit bolero will give you great coverage without making you too warm. It's also great for keeping you comfortable on cool summer nights.
Cool off with white column dressing. While it's a known fact that an all-black ensemble is slimming and classic, an all-white look can have the same effect without attracting the heat.
Tomazin said that wearing a white "column" is a great way to stay cool while keeping yourself covered on warm days. For instance, pair a white T-shirt or tank top with a white bottom like a pant, short, or skirt. Or, if you want to keep your arms covered, consider pairing a sheer blouse (in lieu of a jacket) on top.
If you still want to wear a jacket, she recommended choosing a light and breathable fabric like cotton or linen and pair it with a cool tank. You'll look hot while staying cool all the way through Labor Day.
Ponder your pool-wear. Before you hit the beach this year, it's a good idea to set aside some time to ponder your pool-wear.
Tomazin said women often lose track of their current figure and age and continue to wear the bathing suits they looked great in many years ago. As each new summer season rolls around, she suggested taking stock of your suits. Make sure that you choose a bathing suit that is appropriate for your current age and body type that covers up the areas you want to de-emphasize. You will look sexier and feel more comfortable. Remember, when it comes to bathing suits, less is not always more!
Keep it classy with a cover-up. Sometimes even the sleekest of swimsuits can still be too revealing. Slipping on a cover-up for lounging poolside or attending a beach BBQ is a must. Tomazin suggested a scarf wrap to accentuate the hips and legs. Or, for a larger waist, consider a dress or long skirt that hangs loosely and falls to a flattering part of your leg.
Work with illusion. If you want to hide your hips and thighs, but don't want to sweat out the summer months in long pants, Tomazin said wearing an A-line skirt and a top that tucks in or is belted is just the trick. This will draw the eye upward and accentuate a smaller waist.
Or, if a larger waistline is your problem area, Tomazin suggested choosing a skirt or pant that is slim through the thigh and wearing a blouse or T-shirt over the top, as tucking it in will only accentuate the size of your waist. The breezy looseness of the top will provide cooling comfort while keeping you stylish and svelte.
Choose a cool skirt. Instead of short shorts this season, consider choosing a skirt to feel just as cool but a little more covered. Tomazin said to consider your options beyond shorts and pants this summer. If you are uncomfortable wearing shorts, choose crop pants or long, Bermuda-style shorts. These options will give you confidence and a cool style all season long.
Pick a hat to beat the heat. In addition to the added protection you'll get from the sun, hats are also a great fashion look with skirts, pants, and dresses. Fedoras are very much in style this season and are a fun way to update your summer look. Or you can choose a larger-brimmed or floppy hat for the beach or your next picnic or pool party.
You're a shoe-in! Nothing looks worse or is more uncomfortable than wearing sandals or shoes that are too small for your feet. Take the time to choose attractive footwear that looks good but also feels good. Choose breezy styles that will keep you cool, and consider the added benefits of a modest heel or wedge shoe to give your legs a more elongated (and slimming!) look.
"When you dress this summer, consider how an outfit makes you feel," concludes Tomazin. "If you feel comfortable, it will reflect in your attitude and how you carry yourself. And if you feel exposed or uncomfortable, then it's a good indicator that what you're wearing may not be right for you. Trust your own instincts and the intuition of your inner-stylist and you'll stay cool and confident all summer long."