Ninety Degrees

All inhibitions and fashion rules are put aside when the temperatures climb above ninety, and the humidity is one hundred percent. On sweltering days, I keep my style intact by wearing a cotton or crepe mid-calf length dress with a hat and sunglasses. This formula has worked for me since I was in my late thirties. That’s when I stopped wearing shorts.

I bought the tan packable hat by Betmar from Belk last year. The earrings are from J.Jill. The sunglasses are by Dolce & Gabbana via Sunglasses Hut. My sunscreen is by Beautycounter here. So is my lip color. It is the color Scarlet here.

The sandals were from last year. They are by Ralph Lauren via Dillard’s. The nail color is “Tell Me About It Stud” from OPI here. The straw bag is old.

The white cotton dress has an A-line shape, which is perfect for women with a pear-shape.

  1. Those are exactly the tips my mom gives me about altering!! It’s amazing how a little nip and tuck here and there (in the clothes, not my body….ha ha) can make such a difference on almost every item!!

  2. Perfect! So much better than shorts on women of a certain age. Hot, humid weather is a challenge but long dresses are one great answer.

  3. I love summer dresses and plan to add a few this summer. My problem is what to wear under them but still stay cool.

  4. A very lovely and cool look! I do have one question, however. Is the fabric dense enough that it’s not see-through? I find wearing a slip to totally negate any “cool” factor of a light dress. Thanks!

  5. I have this dress in navy and no slip is needed. The fabric is not too thin. I live in a dry, hot summer climate. I agree, fashion rules need to be relaxed at 90 degrees plus and/or high humidity. I like your “signature” summer looks, Susan. They are nice yet sensible.

    1. I’m curious what part of Canada has been cool. Here in the prairies we’ve been 30+ Celsius that’s around 88 degrees Fahrenheit.

  6. Hi Susan!

    I just spoke with you!
    What a delight. Now I really do feel like we are friends!

    Come and visit Northern Michigan someday. You would love Mackinaw Island and the “Grand Hotel”.

    Suzanne Jarboe

  7. This looks cool and breezy.
    What would you suggest if needing leg coverage?( I have a skin graft just by my ankle so need to cover it up.)
    Does a tunic style with light weight trousers work instead.?
    I have tried long skirts but not sure if it makes me look even shorter at 5 feet 2 .
    It isn’t so hot generally in the UK.

    1. You might be able to wear lightweight leggings that are silky with this material. It would need to be slick so that the fabrics don’t drag on each other.

  8. Love this dress so much! Wear my grey one often and sure wish the other colors had fit. Strange how the same dress can run so differently. Summer dresses have become a real go to for me. Being 10 years older than you, I haven’t worn shorts in many years but really think dresses are cooler than any pant so I don’t miss the shorts. I do have a challenge with what to wear with dresses though because my arms are very jiggly and I would never bare them above the elbow.

    I have a question about purses – do you use an “organizer”? I really dislike changing purses often because of the hassle of switching everything from one to another so tend to carry a basic one with most of my outfits but every time I see how much they add to your outfits, I realize I should change them out. Any tips for switching would be appreciated.

    1. I do use little pouches with a zipper to organize the contents of my bag. I don’t always need the whole shebang, so I just grab the pouch or pouches I need. That makes it easy to switch bags almost daily.

  9. Love this look Susan. You look as cool as a cucumber! 🙂

    I like to wear knee length dresses in the summer and I always wear Jockey brand Skimmies underneath. They are like a pair of short, mid thigh length, lightweight, leggings. Love them!


  10. What do you wear under your dresses? I know no one wears slips anymore but I am always worried about that moment that the sun hits it at just the right angle, the dress becomes see through, and there you are with all your business right out there!

  11. My old time remedy also! Now need 1 ugly arm…and flag salute waving arm…covered…. possibly the slit style from shoulder to elbows? Such fun and games at almost 72! Yay!

  12. This Cotton A-Line is perfect for our Houston heat ,, will you be able to get more ? , they are hard to find , so many dresses are rayon …thanks

  13. A great alternative to shorts, however, I no longer wear sleeveless tops due to flappy upper arms (if you know what I mean).

  14. I wondered after reading thi spost if you would wear your tankee brra? I live in SW FL and think the heat and humidity are too present all summer long for that If I may ask, what type of bra performs similarly to the tankee in terms of “back fat”?

      1. I have a couple Tankee Short bras Susan, and you will love them just as much as the long version!

  15. The dress looks lovely and cool BUT it is see through. In the pictures, it is easy to see the shape and outline of your legs etc. I would wear it with a slip for modesty sake. Love your blog and pictures. Have followed for a long time.

  16. I have a small top and waist and larger hips/thighs so I find that styles like that are difficult for me to wear. If I buy large enough for my hips, it’s complicated to alter the top (or at least more complicated than I care to deal with!) That said…I really like this dress! I saw someone mention navy so that’s probably what I’d go with. Since my thighs are curvy, I wear a long-line liner (comes to just above my knees) under things to solve “chub-rub”. It’s no heavier than my underwear (not a shaper) and also helps things lie better over my hips. Just another idea for people in my boat!

  17. You look so nice and cool, Susan. Knowing that you enjoy Beautycounter products, you might also like Sophi Nail Polish as it is supposedly non-toxic. I’ve used it a couple of years now and love that it has absolutely no odor.

  18. Love this! You look fantastic. I hope summer arrives here soon – we’re still so cold. Thank you for all your practical tips – so lovely and so helpful.

  19. As summer approaches, it is good to have hot weather tips for keeping cool, yet still looking pulled together.

  20. To Mitzi, I live in Phoenix and when I have a skirt or dress on I wear Jockey short underwear that is light and wicks away moisture. It prevents chaffing! Skorts are another solution and many places carry them indifferent lengths


  21. This is a wonderful outfit for hot weather. I am in Chicago and we haven’t had a lick of hot weather yet but I’m looking forward to wearing things like this.

  22. Susan, this is a subject so apropos of our age. Yesterday I saw the movie “Book Club” which was delightful. Diane Keaton’s character spends time in Sedona, covered head to toe with a scarf wound around her neck. Ha! She’s famous for that and I loved it!

  23. You look lovely as usual. Love your blog. Are the earrings the Pure Jill Amazonite Drop earrings? If so , are yours aqua as that is the color shown on the J.Jill website? Thank you!

  24. Do you have anything along this line with a sleeve? I never do sleeveless. Wouldn’t want to expose the world to that!

  25. I love the new OPI edition’s line for Grease’s 40th anniversary. I am wanting to try the more beige and neutral colors. Right now I am loving neutral nails so hopefully my nail salon has “Frenchie Likes to Kiss” when I go for my mani this week.

    I have been thinking about buying the Beautycounter Sheer lipstick in the Scarlett. I prefer sheer lipstick now that I am older.

    This is another great blog post! Thank you for all the hard work you do to keep your content fresh and always interesting!

  26. I read in an old issue of Glamour (while having a pedicure ) that Beautycounter is known for organic ingredients and no animal cruelty. I hadn’t realized that, and will now be checking them out; perhaps you could mention these factors in one of your posts? Thanks; I do enjoy reading them. Judy, age 67

  27. This is SO pretty on you! I esp. like the interesting neckline of the dress! Thanks for the inspiration that summer-wear doesn’t have to be capris!

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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.