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Practical Yet Stylish Arizona Outfits in Summer

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Arizona outfits in the summer have been extremely different than our Colorado outfits. You could call it really hot weather style, because it’s well, really hot.
Luckily it’s a dry heat which means it’s more like a sauna as opposed to a steam room. Yet having the right clothing can help make you more comfortable which is what we will explore.

Arizona outfits in summer
1-The basics of what to wear
2-Charlotte in capri pants
3-Lesley in a skort
4-Jodie in a dress
5-Related temperature posts

Quote of the day: “Joy is the kind of happiness that does not depend on what happens.” David Steindl-Rast

I like to think that the weather shouldn’t affect our happiness. Sure, we need to be practical when it comes to our Arizona outfits, but that doesn’t mean we can’t look fabulous.
You might be surprised to see jackets with these photos, but that’s because of one of the basics I will discuss.

Real hot weather style with Arizona outfits in summer

Basics of Arizona Outfits in Summer

Obviously, the temperatures get high in Arizona. Most of the summer (which we define as May-September) will be either in the ’90s or 100’s.
Since we do live in the desert, there is a 30-degree difference between the morning and late afternoon, but that means in the height of summer, the cool down doesn’t feel that cool.

But here’s the low down of what to keep in mind:
1-Flowy skirts and dresses. These are much cooler because there is no material in close proximity to your legs. And if a breeze comes up, it’s like natural air-conditioning.
2-Material selection can make a difference. I’ve always read that the natural materials are cooler in the summers, but I didn’t believe it until we experienced the really hot weather.

Insider tip: While natural materials like cotton and linen are breathable, there is also the weight of the material to consider. There are some cotton pieces that are heavy and aren’t going to work for your Arizona outfits.

3-Layers. You may think this would be the time you don’t have to worry about layering, but you have to be prepared for going inside. The stores and restaurants have the air-conditioning on high, so if you don’t have some kind of topper, you may freeze.
4-Embrace your body. Most days, any of your Arizona outfits are going to be showing skin on your arms or legs if not both.

Insider tip: If you are going to be in the sun, you want to rethink the idea of taking off clothes to stay cool. It’s actually cooler to be covered up so the sun doesn’t hit your skin. Examples of this idea are linked in the related posts at the end of this article.

Capri Pants: Ethyl c/o~~ Jacket: Croft & Barrow- Kohls~~ Top: Charter Club-Macys ~~ Shoes: Faded Glory-Horizon thrift~~ Bracelet: ~~ Earrings: Charming Charlies ~~ Purse: no label

Charlotte in Capri Pants

So when I asked everyone for their go-to Arizona outfits, Charlotte decided to style her capri pants. Now every article about what not to wear includes capri pants. But I truly believe it’s not one piece of clothing that makes or breaks an outfit. Instead, it’s how you style that piece.

And I can safely say that my mom added some spark and sass to her capri pants outfit.

Insider tip: One trick about finding capri pants that look good on you is to stop worrying about the label. Try them on and evaluate the silhouette and length. BUT don’t get hoodwinked into thinking that only one silhouette or length is good for you. You’d be surprised at how many different options can look great.

Related posts wearing capri pants
Capris with a crop top
Adding style to capris

Charlotte’s Extras in her Arizona Outfit

One way to add sass and spark to any outfit is to include accessories. The advantage of these extras is they can give you that extra that is special. Some people might argue that extra is “too much”, but as I like to point out, personal style is exactly that: P.E.R.S.O.N.A.L.
I like extras because I think it makes your outfit more unique and more personalized.

Even if you are more of the basic mindset, a little bling here and there can make any look feel more put together.

Charlotte brought in the peach/orange color of her capri pants with her bracelet, ring, and shoes. And the cherry on top is the green earrings.
You might have been tempted to wear peach-colored earrings (I know my mom had them picked out at first), but sometimes too much matchy is overpowering.

Proportions with the Top

My mom was excited to find this floral, linen top at Macy’s which she ended up getting for a steal. It checked all of the boxes for material, length of sleeves as well as a variety of colors that will go with many of the pants in her closet.

Now the other secret with styling capri pants is all about proportion. If the outfit looks “off” when you pair a top and capri pants together, you might consider the proportion of each.

Insider tip: Don’t obsess over proportion because just like every other fashion rule, breaking the rules can create the best look! But if something feels wrong about the outfit, it’s something to consider.

If you get my emails, then you saw the photo of my mom that she originally sent me. It’s not that the proportions were incredibly off with that photo, but it had that air of being thrown together (maybe even sloppy??). I always like an outfit that has intention and some thought behind it.
That’s why I had my mom tie a knot with the ends of the blouse. It’s not a perfect 1/3 to 2/3 proportion with the capri pants, but I think it looks more modern.

Insider tip: If you worry that this kind of trick with your blouse will “expose” a lump or bump, I understand. But I also know 2 things.
1-Sometimes when we “cover” those things we actually look bigger.
2-Lumps and bumps are not bad. We wouldn’t be women without them.

Lightweight jacket for Arizona outfits

White Denim Jacket

Following point #3 in the basics of Arizona outfits in the summer, Charlotte brought along her white denim jacket.

A white denim jacket can be JUST as versatile as your denim one. And it’s not only for spring and summer. We have showcased them for the fall season too.

Insider tip: If you struggle with stains on your white pieces, then I suggest either the stain-resistant items (like this white jacket from Chicos) or buying this book for the stain chapter.

I love the idea of throwing a jacket over your shoulders this way. Sure, it’s not practical if you’re moving around and cleaning the house, but for sitting in a restaurant or walking around a museum, it works.

Skorts: Peck & Peck ~~ Jacket: Harve Benard~~ Shoes: Life Stride~~ Bracelet: ~~ Purse: Target

Lesley in a Skort

Lesley gave me her thoughts on how her go-to summer outfits have changed after moving from Denver to Phoenix. In her words:
When I moved to Arizona, I found that my Colorado ‘uniform’  wouldn’t work on a daily basis for many reasons.  Jeans and tees just get too hot and heavy.  I didn’t own a skort when I moved here but taking a page from my daughter, Richlyn’s stylebook, I bought a couple from my favorite store (RIP Stein Mart).  Skorts combine the comfort and ease of a short, with the upstyle of a skirt and can be appropriate in many places jeans or shorts just don’t work.  I can pair my skorts with tees, blouses that float and flutter,  kimonos, light sweaters, and even blazers or jean jackets. 
I found a new uniform.  My Arizona outfits.”

Whether you’re a fan of skorts or not, let me just say that they are making a huge comeback in the fashion scene. I’ve been seeing them all over TikTok even as part of a dress. There is an abundance of different styles too that could work for us older women.
What I’ve noticed is
1-Longer styles. Remember, take the height of the model into account. Just because it looks short on her, it may not be so short on you.
2-Ruffles. Having ruffles or pleats make them less tight and constricting. I’ve even seen ones where the ruffles are only on the backside which is fabulous.
3-Materials. Having spandex as part of the skorts makes them so much easier to bend and move around in.

Accessories in Really Hot Weather

You might think that the hotter days would make us forgo accessories. Well, we certainly think differently about scarves around our necks when it’s 100 degrees outside, haha. But a couple of accessories are easy to wear, even in the heat.

Bigger earrings are always a good choice. Especially if you wear your hair back so they show up. Lesley wears these earrings a lot, and many times you don’t even notice them because they blend in with her hair. Yet with her hair back in a barrette, you can appreciate the blue and silver earrings so much more.

She’s also wearing a colorful bracelet and carrying an orange purse. A lightweight, loose bracelet isn’t too hot for most days. And choosing a bright-colored purse gives the outfit some spunk.

Insider tip: Remember, your shoes and purse do NOT have to match each other. In fact, it’s quite modern to pull in a totally unrelated color with your purse.

More Proportion Thoughts

Let’s talk about Lesley’s proportion with her skort outfit. If you are someone who prefers to let your top hang straight down to cover the tummy, then a skirt or skort above the knees creates that wonderful 1/3 to 2/3 proportion.

If you prefer a longer skirt, that’s when it’s good to “do” something with your top like try the half-tuck or create a knot with it. It’s also why it’s a great idea to have a variety of lengths of tops in your closet.

Insider tip: Remember you are the boss of your clothes. There are many tricks to get them to fit correctly or work with the outfit of choice.

Yellow shirt as jacket in Arizona outfits

“Jacket” Creativity

As discussed in point #3 in the basics section, having a layer is very important when going into museums, restaurants, or shops. But that doesn’t mean you need a heavy jacket or even a jacket per se.
This is the best time to make those button-up blouses be versatile and function as a topper.

That’s what Lesley did with this yellow blouse. It’s just a tad longer than the floral tee and works fabulously with the proportions of the outfit.

Related post: Charlotte did this same trick with a work blouse

Insider tip: Do you have a button-up blouse that is a tad small and gapes open when you button it?? You don’t have to purge it. Just use it as a layering item instead. Heck, you can even remove the buttons to make it seem more jacket-like.

Dress: Apparel Love ~~ Jacket: Halogen-thrifted~~ Shoes: Walking Cradles “Phoebe”~~ Scarf: VNV~~ Bracelet: used to be my Aunt Nancy’s~~ Earrings: Frannie & Elinor ~~ Purse: no label

Arizona Outfits: Jodie in a Dress

In my younger days, you wouldn’t find me in a dress. They were too girly for my tastes, and I wanted to be taken seriously. Luckily those days are over, and I have learned that for my Arizona outfits, dresses can be the next best thing to being naked.
Yes, I said that aloud, haha. These A-line dresses may not show off my curves or be the definition of flattering, but when it’s really hot outside, you can bet your bottom dollar that they are comfy.

Just because the dress is comfy doesn’t mean it can’t be cute. The tiered dresses and skirts are all the rage right now, so by wearing one, you’ll look like you’re in the “style know-how”!!

How I Accessorized My Arizona Outfit

Because the heat is a big factor when accessorizing, I only wore earrings, a ring, and a bracelet. Yet, I still had a scarf with me that I wrapped around my purse handle.

Insider tip: Even if you have a jacket with you for the air-conditioning, it’s also beneficial to have a scarf too. Sometimes you need the scarf around your neck. And the scarf is not hard or heavy to carry this way.

Since we were walking around a museum for the day, I grabbed a pair of Walking Cradles which are my go-to shoes for comfy. These are the “Phoebe” from Walking Cradles that are almost a Birk style but with a stylish twist.

Things to Consider with a Dress

A shorter dress like this does have a disadvantage in that if it’s windy, you could be flashing people. That’s why it’s not a bad idea to have a pair of biking shorts in your wardrobe. The thing is that negates the airflow factor. But it can also cut down on any chub rub.

Insider tip: Other options are anti-chafe balm which is available on Amazon or anti-chafe stickers.

Wearing a jacket as part of Arizona outfits

Blazers for Casual

Blazers don’t have to be just for work. That means when you retire, you shouldn’t purge all of your office clothes. Once you stop thinking of them as “workwear”, they can integrate into your casual days easily.
This blazer is one I thrifted within the last couple of years. I like how it can tone down an outfit or give some shape.

Insider tip: A jacket is a perfect vehicle for your brooches and pins. Noticed I added one on the lapel to make it less officey.

The best thing about blazers is they can be lightweight and just as appropriate for the summer. For instance, this one is cotton and has only 3/4 length sleeves.

Insider tip: Don’t forget that you can always have the sleeves shortened if that will make you wear the piece more.

Here’s the breakdown of what we would wear for other temperature days in Arizona.
80-degree weather
70-degree weather
60-degree weather

If you will be outside during the height of the heat and sun, then take heed and cover your limbs. If you don’t believe me, then check out the landscapers and workers that are out during the day.
We’ve shown this kind of covered outfit:
1-Covering your legs
2-Modest summer wear
3-Long sleeves in the summer

Arizona outfits for advanced style

Photo credit: Rob Filogomo

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