We live through winter dreaming of hot summer days, but when the humidity comes, we hide indoors, dashing from air-conditioned car to office to mall and back again. That is no way to live.
Instead, get your summer wardrobe strategies sorted so you can enjoy every second of strolling and window-shopping, or people-watching at an outdoor café looking polished and pulled together while everyone else is desperately seeking a sprinkler to run through.
1) Just Breathe Embrace cotton, linen and silk -- natural fibers that let air circulate and keep you cool when it's hot. Avoid polyester (it's like wearing a plastic baggie) and check fabric content labels: cotton blended with Lycra is great to keep your skinny jeans from sagging in the knees, but brutal when you're trying to keep cool.
2) Max Out Style Constricting clothing has no place in your summer wardrobe. If it's got a waist-band, leave it in the closet and instead opt for a breezy, floor-sweeping maxi dress. This type of stylish number is perfect for day with flip flops and oversized sunglasses; add jeweled thongs and a bold cuff and you're ready for a seaside cocktail on the Mediterranean.
If you're not supermodel tall and skinny (who really is, other than Gisele?), choose a narrower cut in a solid colour so you're not lost in a sea of fabric, or a smaller print, so you wear the dress, not the other way around.
3) Knot it Up For breezy summer style, twist your hair up into a topknot or a casual ballerina bun. Comb setting lotion through wet hair before twisting and when you take it down at night, voilà , gentle waves. Or run a conditioning mask through hair before heading out so your bun is also a treatment.
And those little tendrils that inevitably escape? Just part of your effortlessly cool and casual look.
4) Sparkle Plenty Now's not the time to wind that bold print scarf around your neck. Save it for indoors and keep your neck clear. Instead, pop in dangly earrings and pile on an armload of bangles -- all big-impact style with minimal extra weight.
5) Downsize For evenings and weekends pare down to a small-scale cross-body bag on a slender strap. Carry your phone, cash, gloss, keys and individually wrapped Radiant feminine protection.
6) Our Strangest but Best Summer Beauty Tip Ever Want that glossy pedicure to look immaculate? Keep a pack of baby wipes on hand for stealth foot de-griming when you wear sandals or thongs on dusty urban streets. One in your desk at work (to prevent trying to wash your feet in the restroom sink) and one in the glove box of your car and you're set.
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*Contest ends July 17, 2012. Approximate retail value of prize is $300 CAD. Offer open to Canadian residents of the legal age of majority. Winners will be notified by email during the week of July 18, 2012. ChickAdvisor is the contest sponsor and has sole authority to award prizes or disqualify users for any reason. Click through for full contest rules.