The Dog Days (Of Summer) Are (Not) Over

It's a Cape Cod summer and the livin' is easy.
It’s a Cape Cod summer and the livin’ is easy.

Be cool guys, we still have quite a few days left of summer. In between the (humid) sunny and (humid) rainy days that have been keeping me on my toes, I have become quite perplexed by the collection of clothes hanging in my closet. (ESPECIALLY now that I have a 9-to-5 again!) The past couple weeks have been easy, transitioning from shorts to skirts depending on my mood with lace-paneled tanks and sandals. Unfortunately, the same sartorial rules don’t apply in the office as they do casually walking down Newbury St. That being said, I’ve assembled a few of my favorite tips for surviving summer that always help me look and feel my best!

Be nice to your skin.

The secret to a perfect profile: Stay hydrated!
The secret to a perfect profile: Stay hydrated!

Your skincare routine counts for a lot in the summertime, especially when harsh rays are beating down on you in the car, at the beach or out at lunch. I like to wake up and splash cool water on my face and then scrub off any mask residue or oil from the night before with a gentle exfoliant. After washing, I apply a BB or CC cream with SPF (yes, I wear sunscreen on my face everyday) as a base for bronzing powder and rose colored blush. I keep my make-up minimal in the summer to reduce the dreaded “melting effect”. Nude lipgloss, mascara and a little eyeliner make me feel done-up without over-doing it and I don’t have to do that much “damage control” form sun or sweat throughout the day.

Choose “function” over “fashion”.

Couldn't have said it better myself.
Couldn’t have said it better myself. (Photo credit: Pinterest NO DIRECT SOURCE)

I’m not saying you need to sacrifice your good taste for practicality here but if you’re going to be outside at a backyard barbecue, there’s no need to be that person with the stiletto heels. Summer is a great time to be active and you’ll seem more easy-going and approachable around people you haven’t met before if you’re dressed well and comfortable. Festive events are a great excuse to “break-in” that new dress you just bought but can’t necessarily rock with your favorite open toe sandals at the office. Similarly, don’t make the mistake of doing a walking tour in new sandals. Nobody wants to be hot, sweaty, dirty and blistered after a day of playing tourist. Find a happy medium in your closet that makes you feel comfortable and fits your anticipated itinerary.

Cover up!

Even if you're spending all day on the road, prevent crow's feet and other unsightly signs of sun damage!
Even if you’re spending all day on the road, wear shades to prevent crow’s feet and other unsightly signs of sun damage!

If you plan on spending lots of time in the sun, make sure to wear S.P.F. (sunblock, protective clothing and frames/ sunglasses)! In my experience, there are only a few things that pair well with a crispy sunburn and tan lines (as much as I hate them) are better than irreversible sun damage. Sunglasses are also fun to shop for so all in all, it seems that it is in your best interest (and more fun) if you take care of your skin! Throwing on a caftan, men’s button down shirt or old concert tee is a great ways to practice safe sun and be stylish.

Drink lots of cold water.

Juice is great (just look at these friendly bottles!) but cutting it with water makes it last longer and keep you more hydrated!
Juice is great (just look at these friendly bottles!) but cutting it with water makes it last longer and keeps you more hydrated!

Staying hydrated in the summer is even more important given that your body loses a lot of water when you sweat. If I don’t see a path to constant hydration during summer days, I will add extra ice to my iced coffee, cut any beverage I’m drinking with water or skip ordering beverages that aren’t water entirely. My mother always says that drinking water helps to keep you full too and I have learned to agree with this. Whenever I’m hungry I try to have a glass of water first and snack when its all gone to make sure I quench my thirst before indulging. Water has the added benefit of being beneficial for clear skin, added energy and purification so when it comes to water, drink early, drink often!


Brunch at the Green Briar in Brighton is a great reward for burning calories all week!
Brunch at the Green Briar in Brighton is a great reward for burning calories all week!

Okay, I know what you’re thinking, “Why would I want to work out in the heat?!” and I hear you but did you know that working out first thing in the morning helps to kickstart your metabolism? Sounds like the perfect excuse to go for a walk/ jog/ run before the humidity for the day sets in. Even if you can’t muster up the passion to run through your neighborhood, swap the subway for a bike or rollerblades or even walk to work if possible. The key to getting exercise is burning calories so if you find way to do this outside of your regular routine, you’re well on your way to building a personalized workout regimen!

Make jersey work for you.

Blogger Lauren is maxed out in jersey! (Learn how to here.)
Blogger Lauren is maxed out in jersey! (Learn how to here.)

For the fashionistas that think t-shirts are for the lazy and lackluster city girls, allow me to disagree. I am all about wearing comfortable breathable clothes in the summer, especially when frolicking around in a bikini is not socially acceptable. Some of my favorite pieces are 100% cotton and could probably be found in my brother’s closet. If you haven’t already, head over to TargetKohl’s or wherever you find yourself snagging some great deals and pick up an LBD (little black dress), an LWD (little white dress), pajamas (great for “date” wear) or a pencil skirt in a jersey material. This fabric is comfy and breathes, helping you get some air while looking chic.

Say no to flip flops (at least in the workplace).

Stylish alternatives to flip flops. (Read more about them here.)
Stylish alternatives to flip flops. (Read more about them here.)

Unless you’re the kind of girl who maintains a stellar pedicure, open toe shoes can be tricky. If you’re a regular city girl, tripping over cobblestones and brick pathways can be downright dangerous in flip flops that offer no support or protection. I know its summer but try to resist the urge to wear the ever-simple flip flops unless you’re packing for a weekend getaway to the beach. I’m not saying all open-toe shoes and strappy sandals are off limits but consult with your workplace manual for appropriate work attire or take notes from your co-workers. If they don’t seem like the flip-flop-type, perhaps its best to stick to another type of flat sandal at the office.

Skirts are your friend.

Navy blue + laser cuts + pleats = always chic. (But it here.)
Navy blue + laser cuts + pleats = always chic. (Buy it here.)

In my humble opinion, skirts are a great way to dress light and get away with the cool effect a pair of shorts can have without sacrificing your dignity and length. Pencil skirts are particularly helpful in the summer as you can find them in many light fabrics and balance tops with thin straps or tunic-like proportions. As my favorite fashion guru, Nina Garcia, says, “A pencil skirt immediately conjures up images of femmes fatales-the best film noir has to offer.” If the hemline falls just below or above the knee, you’re flattering your figure by wearing sky-high heels or a sporting a high-waisted version to elongate the line of your body, you’re doing it right.

Stay polished.

Which hue are you?
Which hue are you? (Photo credit: Pinterest (NO DIRECT SOURCE)

I have always been a big believer that you can tell a lot about a person whether or not they maintain well manicured hands. Int he summer, I find that the same is also true for women who are able to maintain well pedicured feet. Regardless of whether or not you add color, you’d be surprised at how many people notice your hands during initial greetings and hand shakes. I suppose that in the summer you could and should say that its always important to put your best food and hand forward…

Know your limit.

My J.P. Lick's coffee milkshake limit: Infinity. I could suck these down all day!
My J.P. Lick’s coffee milkshake limit: Infinity. I could suck these down all day!

Nobody wants to be that person who spent too much time in the sun or drank too much at the bar. Summer is all about having fun and you can’t necessarily do that when you have the urge to re-apply aloe every twenty minutes or don’t remember the best parts of the night. In the summer I pay careful attention to weather reports and reapply sunblock when advised. I also adhere strictly to a balanced consumption of water and snacks during the summer months so that when I do have the chance to order a Mai Tai, mojito or Dark and Stormy, that I’m not doing so on an empty stomach.

Do you have any summer-specific tips or tricks? Leave them in the comments below!

xo, Vanessa


Published by

Vanessa M. Gatlin

-Blogger, dancer, fashionista -Self proclaimed "political junkie" with a strong interest in international affairs -2011 graduate of Emmanuel College in Boston

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