4 Outfit Essentials for Super-Hot Days

It’s way too steamy to wear anything tight. Or sleeved. Or complicated.

It’s a little tough to feel inspired by fashion when it’s so sweltering that all you can think about is throwing on whatever is least suffocating and trying not to melt. It doesn’t help that scorching heat means most of your wardrobe just isn’t going to cut it. Goodbye, cute chambray button-up. Adios, adorable printed skinny jeans. So what do you wear when it’s approximately a zillion degrees outside? Here are four hot-weather wardrobe MVPs that’ll help you maintain a level of chic when you feel anything but.

1) A sundress. Obvious, perhaps, but this is hands-down the easiest choice for one-step style on blisteringly hot days. Think loose and breezy, cut into a tank or sleeveless silhouette and constructed from a natural, breathable fabric such as silk, cotton, or linen. We like this J.Crew option, which combines a summery cotton-linen blend with a blown-up polka dot for a modern vibe. Or try Joie’s weightless silk tank number in soft, light hues.

2) An airy, loose top. Go for something a little boxy to gain a bit of movement, and again choose lightweight, natural fabrics and pale shades. This ivory top from Madewell makes a tee silhouette feel like a tank by incorporating a fluttery cap sleeve and a sheer lace shoulder inset for a look that’s cool yet perfectly polished. Try it teamed with playful patterned shorts, a flouncy circle skirt or . . .

3) Well-worn boyfriend jeans. So maybe you’ve already overplayed all your sundresses. Or perhaps you just want (or need) to wear pants. Clingy, Spandex-laden skinny jeans, though, are decidedly not an option. Next best choice when it’s mega hot? Our vote goes to the trusty boyfriend jean, which meets the loose-and-lightweight criteria while giving your look a dash of effortless, nonchalant style. Bonus: Pick a slouchy pair that features a little shredding and a few tears, like these ones from J Brand; the distressing adds to the undone feel.

4) Super-simple flat leather sandals. The only tolerable shoe for summer swelter involves no heel, a limited number of straps, and a soft leather that easily molds to your poor, tired tootsies. Rachel Zoe’s nude leather style works in a little touch of glam metallic gold but keeps the design streamlined.