From knitwear to “wet look”, what to wear in sweaty weather
Sweat, at first glance, is the enemy of good style – it smells, clings and discolors, sending delicate pieces to cleaners and essential clothes to the damp bottom of the laundry basket.
On this increasingly hot and inhospitable planet, dressing for extreme heat won’t be so much a trend as a necessity, says Rachel Seville Tashjian, director of fashion information at Harper’s Bazaar and former GQ fashion critic.
“The challenge and fun of loving clothes is figuring out how to make something pragmatic look fantastic,” says Tashjian.
Looking stylish in the heat can be difficult but not impossible, as long as you’re willing to get creative. Here are a few tips.
Vanessa Hong wears a black mesh dress with a black bra and panties underneath at Copenhagen Fashion Week this year. Credit: Christian Vierig/Getty Images
Washington Wizards player Kyle Kuzma is embracing the mesh trend with a holey jersey. Credit: Christian Vierig/Getty Images
Think loose and light
Paloma Elsesser combines a sheer sequined top with a light and airy long skirt with cutouts. Credit: Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images
A guest at Copenhagen Fashion Week wears a puffy and airy Cecilie Bahnsen dress with matching accessories, including a mesh Prada hat. Credit: Edouard Berthelot/Getty Images
“I think fun activewear will stay on the rise so we can enjoy sweaty days while looking fun,” says Taymour.
She started layering active spandex and polyester tops under lightweight outerwear. She also pairs crop tops with the looser cargo pants from her main collection — a look she says helps her avoid sticking to subway seats in the summer and disguises the top’s athletic purpose.
A model from the Collina Strada Spring-Summer 2022 Ready-to-Wear show dons a shimmering, lightweight jumpsuit. Credit: Victor Virgil/Gamma-Rapho/Getty Images
Dare to bare
The most common trend Cirillo says he’s seen this summer, however, is sheer: “Sheer skirts, sheer tops, and sheer jumpsuits.”
Tommy Dorfman wears Valentino’s signature pink, including a sheer top with a bra underneath, at the fashion house’s latest Haute Couture show. Credit: Jacopo Raule/Getty Images
Yumi Nu wears a Louisa Ballou sheer dress to an event in May. Credit: Alexandre Tamargo/Getty Images
Tashjian says that when it comes to translucent clothing, “sometimes I wear a bathing suit or light briefs underneath and sometimes I don’t.”
“I think we’re at a point where the weather is so extreme that you have to dress for your comfort and enjoyment,” Tashjian says. “If someone has a problem with what you wear when it’s 104 degrees, that’s absolutely their problem!”
Accept the sweat
Sweating is a guarantee if you spend a lot of time outdoors. The key to making sweat a fashion statement is to think of it not as an obstacle, but as an accessory. Do you remember the phrase “Women don’t sweat; they shine”? Think of it as a physiological highlighter.
A bold look that demands confidence, this guest wears a matching oversized ensemble by Namilia. Experts told CNN sweating is unavoidable, so wearers might as well embrace it. Credit: Edouard Berthelot/Getty Images
“I’ve seen enough Italian movies to know that looking sweaty is actually extremely sexy,” says Tashjian. “I don’t mind. But I don’t want to sweat more than necessary, so I’m happy to wear sleeveless dresses or baggy shorts or other things that I don’t usually wear in the less extreme months.”
Sometimes the price of a great look is a trickle of sweat running down your sideburns and what looks like a little reservoir in the lower back of your top. But it’s a price Jones says he’s willing to pay.
“My philosophy is to look good doing it,” he says, accepting that he runs the risk of having “the occasional wet pit.”
“I personally don’t try to hide my sweat, I just accept it.”
Top image caption: A guest wears a yellow sheer top and gray miniskirt outside Rick Owens during Paris Fashion Week in June.