Staying Cool in the Summer Heat

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palm print sweater

I can't think of anything better to wear to stay cool in the summer heat than linen and mesh.  However, such fabrics can look sloppy, and are also known for being transparent. This look I wore for an outdoor socially distant event.  It was a hot evening in July and I was comfortable the whole evening thanks to the choices in fabrics.  Especially after the past few months we've had, I am no longer sacrificing comfort in the name of what others may find to be fashionable.  It does require careful shopping and having a well-stocked intimates drawer, but it is possible to stay cool in the summer heat and look pulled together. 

how to dress in the summer when fat

Sweater: Palm Print Open Weave Sweater c/o Chico's (size 2) | Pants: Linen Tie-Front Crops c/o Chico's (size 2) | Bracelet: Wide Blue and Green Wood Cuff Bracelet c/o Chico's | Earrings: c/o Chico's (sold out; similar) | Shoes: Bella Vita (old and no longer available, similar concept) | Lipcolor: Aragon from NARS | Sunglasses: Ray-Ban

petite over 40 fashion blogger


Friday, July 3rd my sister invited me, my daughter, and our mom to her backyard for a viewing of Hamilton since it was now available for watching on Disney+.  The four of us had splurged on tickets to see Hamilton live at the Kennedy Center at the end of June.  With all that is going on, the performance was canceled and our money refunded. This felt like the next-best option.  My sister has a small and charming backyard with a gate to easily enter without entering her home.  She set up her TV on the table on her deck and created three separate seating areas for her, our mom, and then me with my daughter.  We started watching at 7pm and enjoyed it while the sun set.  We each brought our own drinks and snacks.  You can see a photo of the setup on Instagram.

what underwear under white linen pants

A couple of weeks ago, I shared some looks from Chico's that incorporated pieces from their linen collection.  I shared how I have been a fan of Chico's linen, how it resists wrinkles, stays cool, washes up well.  One of the comments on that post asked how the back view of the pants looked after wearing them a few hours.  These are the same white linen tie-waist cropped pants from the previous blog post.  While I washed the pants after that first wear, I didn't wash them after wearing them to my sister's so I could show you how they stretch out over time.  I feel the pants evenly stretch out, which is typical with linen, without getting saggy in the rear or front. 

white linen pants cropped

You can see from the photos that the white linen is transparent… against white.  You can see the zipper placket, even the label inside.  But you can't see my undergarments.  It's because I chose a seamless pair that is very close to my skintone to prevent contrast.  The underwear is these to be specific, my favorites to wear under lightweight and light-colored fabrics!

chicos linen review

The pants are a weird length on my 5'3″ self and they don't come in petite.  With tailors not an option right now and my sewing skills lacking, I decided to roll the cuff to give a beachy effect.  Remember doing this with your jeans back in the late '80s/early '90s?  Same concept.  I folded over the hem to narrow it, and then rolled them up to keep it in place. I've been known to use one of those tiny safety pins that clip on clothing hang tags in such hems; fold over, pin it on what at that point is the outside of the pants to keep it in place, and then when you roll up the safety pin is hidden.

size 14 petite fashion blogger

The sweater is mesh, and it's the kind of sweater I usually don't even consider buying because I never know what to wear underneath.  A camisole defeats the purpose of buying it for ventilation.  But I loved the look of the sweater so I took a chance.  Underneath all I have is the Fantasie bra I reviewed in this post.  Since it lacks lace and bows and details and is so close to my skintone it just disappears under the top.  Even my daughter sitting right next to me asked what in the world I had under the sweater, it really didn't show.  If you feel uncomfortable, consider wearing a bralette that looks less like traditional lingerie and more like a cropped tank but don't feel that you need to cover up all your skin because it really doesn't show and you deserve to be comfortable this summer.

how to style cropped linen pants

The shoes are from Bella Vita and are old… a few years.  I can't find them anywhere and it's hard to offer an equivalent.  I don't love the look of these shoes, but I love these shoes and will cry when they kick the bucket.  I have wide feet and short toes which means stylish sandals are near impossible. So many wide-width sandals with multiple straps to corral my pinky toes look so darn… frumpy.  These are so nothing they work with everything.  I've worn them to Diner en Blanc in 2017 with a chiffon maxi dress and 2018 with a crepe one-shouldered jumpsuit.  I've worn them to a cocktail party on the beach because I knew they'd be easy to slip off and wouldn't get sand caught in nooks and crannies.  I've worn them with shorts and wide-legged pants and maxi dresses and jeans.  I'm a big proponent of owning a pair of flat or almost-flat metallic sandals as they go with most everything from April to October. 

what to wear under a pointelle sweater

The jewelry is from Chico's, they always slay with their accessories.  The wood bangle is so cool, they have a lot of different wood bangles this season.  The earrings are sold out but they have plenty of other cool options.  I like how lightweight these are, like wearing nothing.  These are a similar concept.  The lipcolor is Aragon from NARS. And the sunglasses are my Ray-Bans which I have had for a decade.

All pieces from Chico's were gifted by the brand, but I was not required to write this blog post in exchange and was not paid to write this post.

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A woman with curly hair wearing a plaid blazer holds a green fur coat over her shoulder on a city street.

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  1. Love how you styled these Chico’s pieces. I want to purchase the white linen pants, tried the size 2 but they wouldn’t fasten around my thick waist. I tried the 2.5 & they were a little too big & the pants seemed too oversized. I have small hips/legs, Apple shaped. Any suggestions? I love them in Navy..the paper bag waist band & tie belt are great details! Also there are two types of linen pants, the crops are the ones you’re wearing in the photo correct?

    1. These are the tie-waist crops. I am so sorry this happened, I did go with them snug because they did stretch out, but if they can’t fasten that won’t work. I wonder if it was just a poorly sized pair. I did find my navy pair a bit heavier and slimmer fitting than the white.

  2. Love your outfit. You look great in that colorful top. I had never really hears of mesh for clothing items, but that top looks really cool and comfortable. Thanks for all you do!

  3. I like the sweater. I would probably wear a tank under it. I wash the tank with every wearing and the sweater less often.

    I think that sounds like a fun and safe party! We were in Dewey over the 4th and walked past several houses that had big screen TVs or sheets hung out to make a festive celebration. It was close to a full moon, and made the evening special.
    You want to check the forecast before setting that kind of thing up, but it’s different and easy to do whilst avoiding CVOID.

  4. Nice to see you style Chico’s in such a young, fresh way. I have a friend (now in her 60’s like me) that has refused to look at Chico’s saying it is for Old Gals. I’ve shopped there for 20 years and always got tons of compliments on the travel clothes and the ACCESSORIES!

  5. Great looking outfit. You make the sweater look so much better than the model.

    & I never heard of mesh before. They have a sweater in it on final discount that I like, so I’m going to give it a try.

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