What To Wear When It’s Too Hot For Clothes

This article was last updated on April 16, 2022

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Sometimes, it’s just too hot to wear clothes. But, that doesn’t mean there isn’t work to be done. Dates to be had. Weekends to enjoy. And, fortunately/unfortunately weddings to attend. So, instead of stripping to your skivvies (we’re not sure the boss would approve), try stocking up on clothes that are more forgiving of this heat wave. You know, the ones that are either full of holes or barely touch your body. Ahead, our top 20 suggestions for pieces that will help you beat the summer weather at its own game.



Pretty pastels plus an open back equals a flirty outfit you can wear on a day or night date. It shows some skin, keeps you cool, but is still feminine and understated.

90s Lullaby Olivia Backless Dress, $22.90, available at 90s Lullaby.


All hail the halter! We’re loving this throwback silhouette, especially for summer dates. This one’s backless, bright, athletic, yet still super flattering.

DSquared2 Short Dress, $339, available at yoox.com.


A shift dress is the ultimate stay-cool frock. This patterned one lends a delicate edge to a boxy shape. Pair with heels, and you’re ready for those evening cocktails.

ASOS Warehouse Floral T-Shirt Dress, $91.46, available at ASOS.


This skirt deserves a mic drop. Not only is it the perfect length, but the side pleats will ensure you catch that welcomed breeze whilst walking to your next summer date.

Topshop Asymmetric Pleat Wrap Skirt, $76, available at Topshop.


“Going out” tops might as well be a thing of the past. This Marc By Marc Jacobs iteration, though, is structured and layer-able, making it a perfect piece for day or night, since it’s eyelet but in a dark color.

Marc Jacobs Yuki Sleeveless Layered Eyelet Top, $278, available at Cusp.


Wedding The to-the-floor, wrapped-around offerings over at Reformation are the ideal, thin-and-easy options that can go from a summer soiree to a fancy affair with the simple swap of accessories.

Reformation Isabel Dress, $288, available at Reformation.


Consider culottes for a cocktail party. Paired with a crop top, the wide-leg cut allows you to feel that breeze on the dance floor.

Lennon Courtney Culottes, $174, available at Wolf & Badger.


Pleated skirts are the ultimate style for staying cool. When you walk (or twirl) they catch the air and give you that much needed ahhh moment.

Christopher Kane Mint & Cream Plasma Lace Pleated Skirt, $1268, available at SSENSE.


Slip dresses are not PJs you can wear out of the house. They’re ’20s-inspired dresses that will keep you cool all wedding season long. We especially love this one for the lace and perforated detailing.

Threadsence Laguna Verde Lace Dress, $52, available at Threadsence.



There’s no need to feel stylistically stifled on a hot summer weekend. Instead, look for breathable fabrics like cotton in easy shift-dress shapes.

Equipment Lucida Dress, $218, available at Equipment.


The weekend is the perfect time to whip out that T-shirt dress to throw on and go to the beach — or anywhere. You’ll be surprised at how much you feel like you’re — wait for it — not wearing real clothes.

Monrow Cali Print T-Shirt Dress, $97, available at Shopbop.


Jean cutoffs and ass-hugging shorts have their days. But, for a more polished look go for a boxy cut. Having the fabric hang off your skin will leave you feeling cooler than that tighter pair you currently wear so much.

Tibi Nelio Blocks Culottes, $142.50, available at Les Nouvelles.


“Eyelet everything” is a fine summer motto, especially if you choose white pieces that will help reflect the sun and welcome air.

Nili Lotan for J.Crew Eyelet Boho Dress, $250, available at J.Crew.


Peasant tops are back just in time for summer, and we couldn’t love them more. Easy to pull off, easy to wear, and, in this case, ventilated, they’re the ideal blouse for a Saturday stroll.

Wilfred Beaudry Blouse, $95, available at Aritzia.



The AC’s on. It’s off. It’s on. It’s off — and as a result you’re sweltering. Go for a mesh pullover instead of a traditional cardigan to avoid accidental overheating.

Rebecca Taylor Perforated Pullover, $295, available at Rebecca Taylor.


A basic shift dress is, quite simply, a summer essential.

Mango Stretch Crepe Dress, $59.99, available at Mango.


Again, with the pleats, people! This work-appropriate staple also lets you make it to the office without feeling like you need a second shower.

Uniqlo Women Chiffon Pleated Skirt, $19.89, available at Uniqlo.


Upgrade your basic T-shirt dress for a work-appropriate frock that’s both cool and cooling.

Mother of Pearl Hula Shift Dress, $409, available at BySymphony.


Pencil skirts, although tight, can be super lightweight when found in the right fabric. This silhouette is perfect for the office, but still won’t leave you sweating.

LOFT Curvy Fit Cotton Eyelet Pencil Skirt, $69.50, available at LOFT.

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