Summer Options

If you live in the hot, humid southern part of the USA, you may have written to ask me for ideas on what to wear in summer. I get lots of questions about that. The best option is to wear light colors in fabrics that breathe. Favorites are cotton, linen, rayon, or chambray.

Dresses allow for the least amount of fabric to touch your body and thus better airflow. I’m not a fan of dresses since my legs are short from the knees to the ankles, and the calves are thick, which means a knee-length dress with flats is a very frumpy look for me. Now you know why I rarely wear a dress. When you learn which pieces work for you, invest in your favorite colors and fabrics, and stay true to your style. That’s one of the secrets of always looking your best without wasting money on impulse buys that never see the light of day.

I’ve shown you pictures of me wearing a Portofino Shirt many times over the years. The first time I tried one on was a ‘Goldilocks Moment’ for me. I knew I had found my perfect summer shirt. The fabric is very supple and lightweight, and the neckline is flattering for my face shape. I may French Tuck the size large as in the previous post, or I may wear the size medium out and partially unbuttoned as a jacket over a camisole as in these photos.

I never tuck my shirts in all the way around because I have a very flat behind. I also have a relatively flat tummy now, so I can partially tuck in the front of a shirt when it is too long, preventing the tent effect. Getting the proportions right is also essential. When we learn what looks best on us, it makes getting dressed effortless and much less expensive. That is why I never deviate from my style when I make purchases.

My look in today’s post was for a very casual family day. We went out to lunch and then ended the day sitting by the pool. This look was comfortable and appropriate for the whole day.

I’ve shared links below to similar pieces when my items are no longer available. Referral and affiliate links in my posts may generate a small commission to me at no cost to you.

ShirtCamiPantsSandals – (gifted) BagEarringsSunglasses – (gifted) Bracelet (Use the code SAS10 For $10 off any Beauty In Stone item.)

  1. Very good advice and thanks for sharing why you wear and don’t wear certain items.
    I realize I may be buying for a body either I don’t have or one that has changed and it is time for a critical look.

  2. The top is such a lovely shade of blue! …I’ve learned that I feel better and more put-together in certain styles. Too much experimenting or impulse buying leads to dissatisfication and returns.

  3. Susan: I have hesitated buying the Portofino shirt, which looks wonderful on you, because under product information it says it is made of polyester, rather than the other more breathable fabrics you have mentioned. Is there something special about these shirts that make them “breathable” and OK for summer heat?

    1. They are more lightweight than cotton. The fabric is almost sheer, so they work well for me in summer. Polyester can be very uncomfortable in hot weather, but these are not.

  4. Susan, do you wear the French tuck only with zip or button front jeans? How about pull on pants? Allegra

  5. Enjoy all your insights and advise. Impulse buys are a problem for me. Need to stick to what flatters and fits.

  6. Have really enjoyed your blog with all the useful information. Regarding the Portofino shirt, is that in Slim or regular. I wanted to try regular but they don’t carry those in the stores I’ve been to. They only carried the Slim.

  7. I bought two of the Portofino shirts last year on your recommendation. I just love them. I have a royal blue one that I French tuck into white cropped jeans and a pale lilac one that I can wear with anything. I like that they can be worn dressed up with a skirt or over a summer dress and dressed down with jeans. They are cool in summer and then I can slip a cardigan over them in fall or winter. I love the fashion suggestions you make!

  8. Susan,
    You’ve helped this fashion plate (big wink) re-evaluate her closet. Thank you so much for that.
    You talk in today’s post about the blouse being good for your face shape. This is a pretty regular comment in several post. I’m large busted like you so how do you decide on face or neckline? I’ve always been told a slight v-neck. But this face comment has me stumped. Do I go by my face shape and/or bust or try too make both happy:)

    1. I always look for a neckline that is flattering to my face. The bodice details should be simple and plain so as not to add more volume to the bust visually. If you wear short sleeves, make sure the sleeves do not land at the widest part of the bust. That line will make the bust look even larger.

  9. Susan, how to you get your Portofino blouse sleeves to stay up! Mine always look so sloppy!
    Any advice is appreciated!
    Thank you,
    Judy Thompson

  10. Hi Susan, the color Portifino that you are wearing is not available. I have only one in white, and like the neckline also. Did you get it in a store, and if so, what is the color. You look great in blues, also my best color.

  11. Susan,I’m uncomfortable having my photo taken and hopeless at posing.Im off to India next month and would like your advice for when I pose with my 2 sisters.
    Please help.

    1. Turn to the side a little and place the front foot a bit forward. Rest your hand on the top of the front thigh. Stand up straight and smile. Practice in front of a mirror until you remember it, and it feels natural. Enjoy the memories with your sisters.

  12. Dreading summer in australia. So bad last year. My old arms are well on display and i dont care when its mid season.
    Love your blog.

  13. I love the comment about staying true to your style and avoid impulse buys which are never worn. I am going through a purging stage now and it is quite difficult. You have truly helped me realize classic fashion never goes out of style! Thank you!

  14. Stands and applauds. . .

    Lovely posts about flattering clothes for hot and humid climates — clothes that don’t reveal too much. At our age, that’s always a wrong decision.

  15. I am 64 and I really enjoy reading your posts. I live in Ft. Lauderdale and am totally into casual wear due to heat! I love dresses that I can throw on easily. I also wear a lot of jeans and shorts down here.Keep up the good work! I am sure that many others following you enjoy your advice and posts!!

  16. You mentioned that your tummy is flat now. How did you do that.? I’ve been struggling to get mine flat forever and I’m petite, weighing 120 lb and only 5’2.!!!! HELP!!!

    1. I walk fast three miles (fourteen minutes per mile) every morning that weather allows. I am mindful of my posture. It’s so easy to slouch if we aren’t careful. Avoid bread, cheese, grains, and sugar since they can cause bloating. I also eat only two healthy meals early during the day. Dinner meals are rare.

  17. I also have short legs and find that a midi to maxi length is flattering on me. I do wear shorter dresses around the house on very hot days as we almost never turn on the AC.

    On the other hand, I don’t find dresses that much cooler. Yes there’s more airflow but when it’s really hot and I’m outdoors, the perspiration on my legs is much worse in a dress. Wearing jeans prevents that happening, if you know what I mean.

    Like you, I love a lightweight top. My favorites are linen button front shirts. I got two from Everlane this year and have worn them a lot. Also found a few at TJ Maxx for very good prices. I’ve lost a lot of weight the last couple of years so I have had fun buying some new pieces. Your blog has been a great help in understanding what looks good on my body type and having a wardrobe of pieces that work well together.

  18. Dear Susan
    I know it’s doesn’t get cold where you live compared to Ontario, Canada in winter but will you post any winter advice for us? I love your blog 🙂

    Blessings to you and Mr. Mickie

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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.