Millie’s Guide to Dealing With Summer

So, we’re mid-heatwave here in Eastern Canada, and my sympathies to Winnipeg! (Apparently it was almost 50 with humidity yesterday, which is just ludicrous, and makes me glad I didn’t take that summer job there years ago.) Couple that with the fact that I am reliant on public transit (which is not air conditioned here, and so is basically rolling greenhouses filled with sweaty people), and I’ve got a lot of bits and tricks to deal with summer heat. I’ve tried all of these, and they work for me to varying degrees, but, of course, your mileage may vary.

The Standard advice:

  • Wear natural fibres. It’s unfathomable to me why anyone would wear polyester in the summer, but it’s one of those things that has to be on the list. I am a big fan of linen, and it stands up well to heat. Cotton is good too.
  • Wear light, floaty clothes. Self explanatory.
  • Stay hydrated. Everything feels worse when you’re thirsty.
  • Leave the cardigan at home. See Katie’s post about this.
  • Commuting shoes are great. Switching your shoes at the office/school/etc gives your feet a chance to air out briefly and not be stuck in sweaty shoes all day.
  • Relatedly, insoles are your friend.

The Slightly Bizarre But Still Sensible:

  • Put your jewelry on at your destination, or leave it off entirely. I always carry my necklace/bracelet/etc in my school bag until I get to school – it’s surprising how much this helps.
  • Chill your jewelry just before you head out. If you must wear it, make it cold first. Cold water or the freezer both work, depending on the material.[EDITED TO ADD: Be careful about the freezer, since some set stones may pop loose as their settings contract. Opals should never go in the freezer. I’ve only done this with glass and plain metal chains, and not for long amounts of time.]
  • Don’t underestimate the comfort of a clean pair of underwear. Seriously.
  • Slip a strip of cotton under the underwire of your bra. This helps absorb the dreaded underboob sweat, and I find it helps prevent it a bit too. My skin is much more agreeable to having cotton next to it than synthetic bra material.
  • Go braless, if possible. It makes a world of difference, and no-one is judging you. I have a few sundresses that are fitted in enough through the top that they give me support, but have a floaty skirt that’s not constricting.
  • Use a fan. Sarah when to Spain once, marveled at how the women there would regularly whip fans out of their purse and fan themselves, and kindly brought me back a fan. I figure if it’s good enough for Spanish ladies, it’s good enough for me, even if I’m the only one here who uses one and I’m not nearly elegant enough to pull it off.

The Mystifyingly Effective:

  • Shower in the evenings. I have no idea why this works, but it’s incredible how much more easily my body deals with heat and sweat (i.e., it doesn’t sweat nearly so much or as quickly) when I shower in the evenings as opposed to first thing in the morning. Maybe it’s something about all the humidity built up by the shower? I don’t know, but it works astoundingly well throughout the day (which is the really bizarre bit – it’s not just in the mornings I notice a difference), and plus it lets me sleep in more. Win/win!

Did I miss anything? How do you deal with dressing for summer heat and/or public transit?

Editor’s Note: This post originally appeared on Interrobangs Anonymous.  “Millie’s Guide to Dealing With Summer”

By Millie

Millie is a perpetual grad student, an internationally recognized curmudgeon, and an occasional hugger of trees. She also makes a mean batch of couscous.

One reply on “Millie’s Guide to Dealing With Summer”

For me, it’s the fact that I don’t have wet hair around my face and neck on the commute into work that makes showering at night so much more refreshing. I don’t have air conditioning, so I refuse to use a blow dryer in this heat. (Ottawa)

I’m trying to pick up a fan for the tours I give. I’ve also started using a light-coloured umbrella as a parasol on the early evening tours when the sun’s still out.

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