I want to be able to breathe and eat, and still look good.
You hear a lot of "what did you put in your hair?" and "I love your shoes!" around the NaturallyCurly offices. Personally, I am always finding inspiration in what my colleagues are wearing to the office and on their Instagram, so we're starting a new series to share what we're loving with the rest of our community - beyond our hair! #OOTD
This week in Austin we've had highs of 106 degrees, and you don't want to know what the temperature inside my car is. It can be tempting to wave the white flag and resort to flip flops and t-shirts for the rest of the summer, but I strongly believe it is possible to be comfortable and still look good, even in these conditions. The two are not mutually exclusive.
When I get dressed my first priority is comfort. I hate feeling bound by my clothes! I want to be able to breathe and eat, and still look good.
This is why I love loose rompers, flowy tops, wrap dresses, culottes, linen dresses, and silk trousers. I have pretty much listed out for you the contents of my closet, and while I do think they happen look good, I want to stress that these clothes are so comfortable that I don’t even take them off immediately when I get home. That is a very big deal. If you're looking to stay comfortable in extreme heat this summer, this is how.
I have an extreme aversion to tight waistbands, they are my WORST enemy. I want to be able to eat lunch without having to undo my top button in the afternoon. This is one of the reasons I love rompers so much, there is no stress placed on my tummy. This is especially important when dressing for work, as many of us are sitting all day long. Those tight skinny jeans that feel fine when you're standing up can turn into a tourniquet when sitting down. This romper from Beehive Boutique here in Austin is loose and flowy in the arms and legs, and the midsection doesn't have an elastic band or constrictions around the waist, making it a winner. I don’t really do deep necklines so I layered a tank under this, but it probably would look cute without for a night out.
Shoes are an area where I simply won't sacrifice my comfort. I'm done with stiletto heels, there's no room in my life for them. Mules are the perfect solution because they have a big chunky heel and wide straps that make me feel supported. They slide right on and off - no straps or buckles to mess with or cause blisters. There are plenty of mule options with low, 1 to 2 inch heels. I was a little worried about the comfort of these shoes because they're rubber (like the gellies of the 90s) but they have proven to be surprisingly comfortable. I've been wearing them a lot this summer.
Wide leg pants
Bedouins wear loose and flowy clothes in the desert heat because they allow the air to travel up between the clothes and the skin. If you've ever worn jeans on a summer day, then you know what it feels like when you don't have room for the air to flow. Luckily, wide leg palazzo pants and culottes are trending right now! This romper also has wide sleeves, as an added bonus. There's nothing worse than tight fabric bunching up in your armpits - that area of our bodies is hot enough as it is.
We've been talking a lot about SPF here in the office, but do you know what's even better than SPF? Covering up with a physical barrier. I'm wearing pants and my shoulders are completely covered in this outfit. For even more sun protection a wide brimmed hat can protect both your face and your hair from UV rays. The older I get the more seriously I take my sun protection, so it's something I now take into consideration when I'm getting dressed.
Personalize with accessories
I happen to love minimal, loose fitting silhouettes, but I understand they're not for everyone. If you have a more maximalist design sensibility, accessories are the perfect way to splash your personality. Colorful lenses, tassel earrings, hats and bags - these are all areas I like to play. While the clothing may be free of embellishments, this outfit's far from boring.