Can you be wearing long sleeves in summer and still look cute? I think there are many ways to be modest and yet not appear frumpy.
You might be wondering why the week has been all about showcasing summer looks showing very little skin? More about that in Lesley’s upcoming post.
Quote of the day: “She was like one of those animals whose defense mechanism is to blend into the landscape and become invisible. It was her way of dealing with rejection: say nothing and disappear.” Kristin Hannan in The Four Winds
This quote is from a book I’m reading for my Forever Fierce online book club (feel free to join the group here), and it struck me that many women not only act this way but dress this way. The concept of becoming invisible as we age can be attributed to many factors.
Some days I think the fact that we gravitate to covering up when our bodies change is one of those factors. Yet, I wanted to showcase that just because you’re wearing more, doesn’t mean you can’t look cute.
Wearing long sleeves in summer or covering up our body may seem counterintuitive to the hotter weather. Yet you’d be surprised at the facts I found about this subject and shared in Cathie’s outfit post.
And then for women who hate their legs, Charlotte shared her outfit and I gave a pep talk about the subject. There was a reason we dressed this way, and I hope you check it out.
When I am challenged with a fashion style I am not sure about, my first response is to go big or go home. I think playing it safe can lead to a bit of frump.
Ways to Look Cute While Wearing Long Sleeves in Summer
Even if you want or need to cover your arms in the summer, let’s explore ways to still be stylish:
1-Wear color. Forget sticking to only neutrals. While neutrals are good for many things, they can tend to work towards invisibility.
2-Mix your prints. Print mixing is one way to make the outfit more interesting from a visual standpoint.
3-Expose skin elsewhere. If your arms are covered, think about wearing a shorter skirt or shorts. If that’s not going to happen, then consider a top with cutouts.
Insider tip: Evaluate what parts of your body you love, and be willing to show it off!! (And if you say you don’t love any parts, then read my article Perfectly Imperfect).
4-Change the focal point. Since we are visual animals you want to create some focal point for the eyes. Therefore, to camouflage the fact you are covering your arms, you can pile on the jewelry or add in a statement pair of shoes.
5-Incorporate modern elements. Even if you want to be wearing long sleeves in summer, you can find newer styles that look contemporary. Think embroidery, ruffles, or statement sleeves.
Related post: Ways to layer sleeveless items in summer
Print Mixing Tricks with Polka Dots
Print mixing was something I feared and would never try in my youth. But I think if you embrace it and try it seriously a couple of times, you will realize how it’s a fun challenge.
Insider tip: Think about your reasoning that 2 prints seem hard to style together?? Yet we combine two solids with no thought. However, your solid piece of clothing is a large expanse of one color that in itself can be “too much” depending on your perspective.
The basics for print mixing are easy.
1-Stick with the same color combinations or hues. For my example, I went with the reds and warm colors.
2-Combine a large-scale print with a small-scale print. My polka dots are very small and can even look like a solid from far away. Whereas the skirt is a large print.
Now, these are not rules for print mixing, because you can find fabulous examples that are the opposite of these ideas. Yet this is what I would suggest as print mixing 101.
Extras With This Summer Look
At first, I thought I would keep all of my accessories neutral since the outfit was so colorful. However, I thought these yellow flower earrings complimented the skirt so perfectly.
As for the straw purse? I consider it essential for the summer months. It gives off the summer vibe and is neutral enough to go with everything.
Insider tip: If you consider a straw purse as seasonal and thus don’t want to spend a load on it, consider secondhand stores. Either that or buy one at the end of the season when they are on sale.
Wearing Long Sleeves In Summer
There are a couple of tips for wearing long sleeves in summer.
1-Think thin materials. You don’t want to overheat so make sure you pick long sleeve tops that are thinner materials.
2-What fiber is the top? This is where you hear all of the advantages of natural fibers. However, take heed because there are cotton tops that are thicker and wouldn’t be comfortable.
3-Go for a looser fit. This might be the time you want to embrace a looser fit. There’s a balance between too big and looser for comfort though.
Insider tip: Adding a belt can give a looser top some shape. However, if a belt is too hot you can also create a shape with a clear elastic band and earring on the inside of the clothing item. I created a short YouTube video of this trick here (I used 2 earrings to make it more obvious).
4-Bell sleeves. Certain types of sleeves are more comfortable in the heat. Loose and airy are the keys.
Insider tip: If your bell sleeves are too large for function, you can always have them taken in at the seam. Or have them shortened. I had that done for my orange top years back.
What color shoes would you wear with this outfit?? I think there are many options and not a right or wrong answer.
I could have easily worn neutral shoes including white, tan, nude, or cognac. Instead, I decided to match one of the colors in the skirt with my red ballet flats (and yes, I’m wearing my ultra-low Sheec socks).
Print Maxi Skirt for Summer
The maxi skirts are a wonderful summer option because they don’t stick to your legs and make you feel hotter.
I recently won a giveaway and ordered a maxi dress. However, the dress wasn’t going to work for me, so I became a DIYer. Suffice it to say it is now a two-piece set (see the top here).
Insider tip: You could incorporate wearing long sleeves over a maxi dress too. Just as we’ve shown by wearing tops/sweaters over a regular length dress. Remember a dress can be V.E.R.Y versatile.
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