Hot Weather Dressing Tips

I planned to take a photo of my outfit each day while on vacation, but I’m afraid I failed miserably at the task. The links and ideas below reflect what I found most comfortable in high heat and humidity.

I wore the dress above for the first time when I visited Savannah. I have never gotten so many compliments as I did that day. The red dress is so comfortable and easy to care for; I also bought the blue one. Both dresses were from Talbots.

One of the best options for hot weather is a linen dress that fits long and loose. I have the dress below in three colors. I unbutton them above the knee and wear sandals, a straw hat, and bag.

A knee-length dress might be a better choice if you like a shorter length or are petite.

Shorts or short skirts with tees were not wise because the extra layers around the middle retain too much heat. I saw a few ladies wearing similar combinations, but they did not appear to be as comfortable as the ladies wearing loose-fitting dresses in light colors.

I wore the navy tee and white jeans above while driving. I had been on the road for four hours when I took the photo above at a rest stop. Since I am a morning person, I left at 5:30 am. The sandals easily kick-off while driving or slip on as needed. I rarely wore makeup while away, but I used sunscreen here and cleansed my face at least twice daily (routine here).

I took a pair of white jeans with me, but they were much too hot for other than early morning or late evening. Both the navy tee and the white eyelet shirt are old.

I wore sandals, sneakers, or water shoes each day. Cotton, linen, or canvas sneakers are the most comfortable to wear in the heat.

Hats provided shade and protection from the sun, and they kept my hair off my face. I have purchased this hat several times because I am afraid I won’t find it again. Lightweight small and large straw bags that slip over your shoulder are a must for summer.

I chose the swimsuit because of the fit and style and because I need the option to select the cup size. I found the suit here.

I plan not to stop for fast food along the way and will have breakfast options later. I packed a canvas tote bag with bananas, dates, trail mix, cherry tomatoes, steamed broccoli spears, and vitamins. I kept to my routine of having breakfast and a late lunch while skipping the evening meal. I drank lots of filtered water and an occasional glass of white wine.

My favorite restaurant in Beaufort was Herban Market and Cafe. I ate there several times because of the healthy options made in-house. The service was excellent, and they had comfortable outdoor seating with easy parking.

Some of the links I share will allow me to earn a small commission at no extra charge.

I stopped to spend a couple of hours walking through Magnolia Plantation & Gardens on my way to Beaufort. The following photos don’t begin to capture the beauty. I’m sure it was breathtaking a few weeks ago when the azaleas were in full bloom.

Peacocks freely roamed the grounds and called out to each other often.

“Founded in 1676 by the Drayton family, Magnolia Plantation has survived the centuries and witnessed the history of our nation unfold before it from the American Revolution through the Civil War and beyond. It is the oldest public tourist site in the Lowcountry, and the oldest public gardens in America, opening its doors to visitors in 1870 to view the thousands of beautiful flowers and plants in its famous gardens.” (I found this information on the Magnolia Plantation website.)

The fragrant gardenias were a delight.

I hope you have a lovely weekend.

  1. Hi Susan,

    It sounds like you had a lovely trip,to Beaufort and Savannah. I loved your dresses and would love to know where you got the long white linen shirt dress. I could not find a link that worked for that dress. I always enjoy your posts and the fact that you always look so put together. You know what looks good on you and that is what you wear.

    Have a great holiday weekend,

  2. Susan, I love the white column linen dress but there was no shopping sight attached underneath it. It was the third dress you showed. Is it available still?
    I’ve never been any farther East than Tennessee. I’d love to be able to visit the Carolinas some day. Your pictures were so inviting. Hope you had a relaxing time.

  3. Thanks! Just found a beautiful one-piece plum bathing suit at Land’s End and now I know where to stay in Savannah. Wonderful trip. Always so inspiring!

  4. Beautiful nature pictures! And you look so comfortable in your dresses. I notice you wear sandals often (as do I since moving to the south!) and wonder if you find they cause heel cracks? Never had the issue during the shorter sandal season up north but was told by a doctor that wearing sandals a lot can cause/exacerbate that issue. How do you address it?

  5. Thank you for the beautiful pictures. Beaufort is a lovely town.

    Dresses are sooooo much cooler in the summer. But I find I have to accessorize carefully — especially with shoes — or I will look dowdy.

  6. It looks like you had a wonderful vacation, My husband and I recently walked around Magnolia Gardens for a few hours while on vacation in Charleston. It was amazing!

  7. Next time you cruise through Charleston let me know. Will meet you at Middleton Plantation and gardens for a stroll through the gardens and lunch!

      1. Middleton and Drayton Hall are on the same road as Magnolia. Check out Drayton Hall, a preserved house, not restored. Fascinating

  8. Thank you for sharing the warm weather dressing tips but I find the fact that you enjoy traveling alone awesome!!!! I know you have an adventure partner but I hope ladies are not missing the part about traveling alone. You are an inspiration. I like to travel alone but so many of my friends consider travel is over if they are divorced or widowed unless it is a ladies group. Sometimes alone time is the best. I hope ladies do not miss that part of your post.

  9. Thank you for sharing your vacation pictures with us. Did you wear the Shapeez ultimate in the high heat and humidity?

  10. Thank you for sharing. I really like that part of the country. Your clothing choices are very helpful and you look wonderful. Classy and cool.

  11. Wonderful Blog today. I had never heard of ‘water’ shoes (and I live in Southern California by the beach). The Link you provided gave the definition. Thanks, always good to learn something new.

  12. I haven’t commented before Susan, although I find all your posts inspirational, but this park is so beautiful it makes me feel like visiting, and I live in Northern Ireland. Thank you for being such a gracious and stylish role model for the ever young.

  13. Thank you for the photos. It is a special place. We are blessed to have so many of them. The photo of the gardenia was especially noteworthy.

  14. I visited Magnolia Plantation in March while staying at Folly Beach. A beautiful place!

  15. I find hats to be hot so I think I might carry a parasol to take a stroll. The only problem is your hands are not free. I love the red dress and sandals. I bought a pair late into the season last year and never got to wear them. I do love summer and summer clothes.

  16. Thank you so much for your information enjoyed the pictures very much. Thank you for all the shopping tips and websites.

  17. Susan,
    Love your photos, you have a good eye! I always enjoy your blog especially your travel and site seeing ones.
    Best Regards,

  18. I enjoyed all the beautiful pictures of your travels Susan. My husband and I traveled to Savannah two years ago and throughly enjoyed this historical area. Now we will have a few more areas to explore the next time we travel. During these changing seasons I also appreciate your insights on wardrobe selections. Have a wonderful weekend and thank you to you and Mr. Mickey for your military service. Our nation is indebted to all those who have served for all the freedoms we enjoy. Happy Memorial Day!

  19. What a glorious getaway! I’ve rarely traveled alone, but have found having someone to share the sights, the smells and the unique feeling of places with someone who has been there makes for reliving the memories. Your beautiful photos and format for sharing with all of us must do the same for you. You make a lovely endorsement for vacationing in the Carolinas!

  20. Hello Susan! We may have been at Magnolia Plantation at the same time! It is beautiful and the peacocks fascinating. I am an artist and hope to paint some of the pictures I took.
    Thank you for sharing your trip with us

  21. Thank you for sharing your traveling experience in South Carolina .Very interesting, marvelous pictures.
    Your are so kind to show us what you have packed for eating along the way Very wise !.

  22. What lovely pictures! Dresses certainly are the best in the heat. I am glad you have found some that you are comfortable wearing.

  23. Hi Susan, love your hot weather looks, but honestly, I do not think the dress is flattering on you. The high, draw-string waist, makes you look chunky around the middle. Only say this because I have a similar body shape, and I avoid that style. Just some gentle feedback, and I’ve never sent you a negative before–you always look fabulous. xox

  24. What beautiful pictures. Your trip was amazing, thanks for sharing. Glad your home safe and sound. Hope you have a wonderful Memorial Day holiday and thank you both for your service to our country.


    Once again, thank you for sharing more of your vacation pictures. It has brought back so many memories.

    I thought of how much you might enjoy Brookgreen Gardens if you have never been there. Nights of a Thousand Candles may appeal to you. It’s a lovely place to visit whenever you choose. One of our local parks has the Moving Wall, a replica of the wall in Washington, D.C., for a few days with ceremonies. My cousin’s name is on that wall, and I have missed him dearly for a very long time. We are a military family representing the Army, Marines, Navy, and Air Force for generations. Memorial Day is certainly a holiday for family gatherings but also a day to give gratitude to the men and women who have given the supreme sacrifice with their lives. My father, who served in the Pacific in WWII was a man who believed in God, family, and country. He set a high standard for those to come after him within our family. Veteran’s Day honors the living who once served. Armed Forces Day honors those who are currently serving. Memorial Day honors those who died in service to our Nation.

  26. Thank you for reminding me how much I love wearing dresses in the summer! I have gotten away from them the last couple of years but will wear one today! I have to ask – are mosquitoes a problem in the lovely gardens you visit? Here in Central Texas, they are always on our minds. Insect repellent is one of those necessary items always in my bag, car and by each outside door! I’m curious about how you’d deal with this!

  27. Susan your vacation looks like a beautiful place to get away from it all. As always your clothes look stylish and cool.
    Some of my favorite vacations have been by myself so it’s good to know you enjoyed the solo time too. Finding the place to eat that suits your taste is a bonus too!

  28. Susan I enjoy your post and adventures. My Happy Place is the Pigeon Forge/Gatlinburg area. I travel alone and that area is where I feel safe traveling alone. There are plenty of sites that I would like to visit, but safety is in the back of my mind. This post encourages me to step out. Glad to know there are other single women who love to travel alone, and enjoy the adventure. We all have friends, but we do not necessarily enjoy the same adventures. Thank you for your post. I have purchased some of the clothing you have worn.

  29. Wish I looked better in dresses. I think you are right about short and tops, can be very warm.

  30. Thank you for sharing. I have always wanted to visit that part of my country but never have been able to. I live in Calif near the ocean and the weather is never really hot. You looked lovely in your dress but then you always do. Joy

  31. Hello from Mauritius. Thank you so much Susan for all these lovely pictures. I hope you had a lovely holiday.

  32. I an so glad you shared your pics of Magnolia Plantation. I was there in mid March , too early for many of the flowers but thought it still tranquil and pretty. Now to see it in bloom makes my trip there more beautiful. Thank you.

  33. Thank you for sharing these pictures of your vacation & the good tips for dressing cool. I think dresses fill the bill also on those hot humid days. I also like to simplify my makeup when on vacation but I do think a flattering lipstick goes a long way. I like to use one with an spf for protection. I just think without lipstick bringing a little color to the face, an older person looks very beige & bland. It only takes seconds to apply & the payoff well worth the trouble. So much more flattering than lip balm.

  34. I’m glad you enjoyed your trip to Beaufort SC. We fell in love with the area years ago when part of our family moved there. But the summers are so hot and humid!!
    I enjoy following your adventures.

  35. What beautiful pictures! We were in Charleston last mont—such a great part of the country.

    Susan, I have followed you for many years, and it’s interesting to see how your style has evolved. You used to forswear dresses saying you didn’t have attractive legs, but you do and now here you are enjoying all these lovely dresses. And not a scarf in sight for the past several postings. Are you giving them up, or just for the summer?, it’s nice to see that we are never stuck in one style—we can always try something new. Wearing dresses is definitely working for you!

    1. Loose-fitting dresses are certainly more comfortable when the temperatures reach the nineties, but I still won’t wear knee-length dresses. Scarves keep me warm or add some color or pattern to my mostly solid combinations. I rarely wear them in the summer other than a scarf over my shoulders when I am inside, and the a/c is cranked up.

  36. Lands End has the best swimsuits for mature women. It is the only place I buy my suits because they always fit.

  37. Thank you for covering hot and humid dressing. In Florida, it is like that every day and long pants, while they are more flattering, are just too hot.

    Side note – for some reason your newsletter was discontinued to my e-mail address (not by me). I have tried to re-subscribe, but wanted to tell you in case others have the same issue.

    1. I’m sorry you are having problems with the newsletter delivery. Your email address is confirmed as a subscriber. I hope that you will have no further issues.

  38. Susan, I love the linen dresses and would love to order but concerned anout size . Wouod you mind telling me whst size you wore in those! The Tennessee summers can be humid as you know as I live also in Tennessee but South of you.Thank you.


    1. I ordered the size medium. If you find that the dresses gap a little at the bust, you can do as I did and stitch up the section between buttons one and two. It is easy to pull the dress over your head with the V neckline. I also wore the blue one as a bathing suit coverup and unbuttoned several buttons at the hemline.

  39. beautiful scenic view
    thanks for the lovely pictures
    I like the white outfit jeans and eyelet top and hat
    you look great
    personally cannot wear dresses, because I have MS I have to find comfortable nice shoes for me
    I wear pants, capris with a nice top or tunic

  40. Thank you so much for this post, Susan! This is the one I was looking forward to as a follow up on your vacation style, and I’m just getting to read it.

    I’m so happy you made it to Magnolia Plantation! Your photos of the flora, fauna, and architecture truly capture the spirit of it’s beauty. We often take our weekend walks there to enjoy the gardens. It’s my second favorite plantation next to Middleton Place, and I never tire of either.

    I wholeheartedly agree about lightweight sundresses for summer, and a straw bag, hat, sandals, and sunnies are the perfect way to pull together any daytime look. We’re heading on a 2.5 week tour of several states throughout the Midwest to see my husband’s family and attend a wedding beginning in late July. On our non-driving days, natural fiber midi length sundresses, sunnies, and straw accessories will be my daytime ‘uniform’. It’s comfortable and appropriate everywhere. I have to pack a few cotton shrugs as well because I tend to get cold in restaurants or shops, and I plan to stop at every antique shop!

    Your driving outfit looks super comfortable while also being that step above casual that you achieve so wonderfully with your dress-down styles. I must confess to being much more casual while driving. My uniform for driving days (and there are many when we travel across the Midwest) is a solid color short sleeve tunic— not super long but definitely modesty length—over black capri leggings and black slip on sandals. My husband keeps the car really cold in the summer so I wear a long and cozy cardigan while driving as well. I also carry a sheer, longer black with floral pattern duster in my travel bag. They don’t wrinkle, so upon arrival at our hotel in the evening I put on the sheer floral duster and look pulled together enough for check-in and dinner out. The artist in me has a boho side that loves kimono dusters:-))

    I appreciate that you included your travel snacks in this post!! I’m terrible about snacking on teddy grahams and pretzels while traveling, which is awful, I know. You’ve inspired me to do better with our upcoming trip, and I will bring plenty of healthy fruits and veggies instead of my usual carb filled favorites.

    I’d like to ask your advice on summer wedding guest attire. The evening weddings I’ve attended have been formal dress and held in the fall/winter, and spring/summer weddings have been daytime/outdoors and dressy casual. This wedding is in August, indoors at 5 pm, followed by cocktails at 6 pm, formal dinner and dance at 7 pm, and after party at midnight. Dress code for ladies is cocktail dress. I have a sleeveless, knee length black ‘lace-over-nude’ a-line dress that has been my go-to cocktail dress. Do you think it would be appropriate for a summer wedding? Also, my sweet mom always told me that nude panty hose are an absolute must for weddings, even in summer. Is this still the case?

    Thank you again for the inspiration (both fashion and healthy lifestyle) you give with each and every post. I send wishes for a joyful day!

  41. I”m so happy you came to my hometown (Charleston). It’s lovely year-round and Magnolia is a great place to visit. The boat ride there is super informative too.

  42. OMG thank you for all the photos..I have been up North for over 30 yrs..I miss my Southern home…your pictures always make me smile..I was looking for the spot where you talk about your diet or food intake…everytime I hit food it takes me back to home page…any help thank you again

  43. I absolutely love your blog and have adopted a lot of your styles into my wordrobe. I have ordered several of you beautiful scarves, as I am a scarf loving gal.
    I, too, love wearing loose summer dresses but I feel uncomfortable without a slip. And they are so hot! My daughter says no one wears slips anymore.
    How do you handle this dilemma? Thank you, Diana Potts from Mocksville, NC

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I share tips and inspiration for using what you already have in contemporary ways. Defining words include effortless, classic, refined, discreet, and elegant. My style is chic, minimal, and timeless with a bit of edge.