If you're from an area of the world where 100-degree-plus weather is an abnormality, and you find yourself headed south in the dead heat of summer, it can be a shock to the system, and you can also burn a fair amount of brain cells trying to figure out what to pack - whether it's for fun or business. My travels this week are taking me to Phoenix and Dallas, and while I'm basking in the relative cool 95 degrees in my hometown, I'm already considering what's going to go into my suitcase.
So here are my top 5 tips for dressing for hot weather.
1. Dress for the environment you'll be in the most.
If you're traveling in the US, nearly everywhere you go will be air conditioned. Going from one extreme to the other, at times it's like you're going in and out of a walk in freezer. If you're going to spend the majority of the time in hotels, offices and conference rooms, my suggestion is to wear a sleeveless top and a shrug or short jacket, one that you can easily remove and fold over your bag. You can survive the 15 minute walk to the car.
If you're going to be outside the most, choose clothing that breathes or wicks away moisture. Breathable fabric like light cotton can be a good choice, but it can also get wet and stay wet when you're outside. If you're going to hot and humid climates, consider wearing clothing specially designed to wick moisture away and let it evaporate, like Columbia clothing.
2. Consider light skirts and sandals rather than pants.
Whether you're working or playing, skirts can look great and also provide you with a little cooler option when you're in the heat.
3. If you need to wear pants, consider loose fitting capris or pants with zip off legs.
Capri pants can provide you with a little air circulation when you're in hot environments, as can pants with zip off legs. Columbia also makes a great line in their moisture-wicking fabric.
And one good thing to consider about the first three tips - if you choose clothing that's lightweight, it can be washed in a hotel sink and hung up to dry for the next day.
4. Wear black.
While it may seem counter-intuitive to wear a color that soaks in heat, black serves the purpose of masking perspiration. When you're wearing black clothing, if you sweat, it won't be as noticeable as when you're wearing other colors.
5. Wear a hat.
While every person has their own opinion about whether they *can* pull off wearing a hat, when you're going to be out in the heat, a hat is a necessity. Not only does it protect you from sunburn, it also serves the added function of helping to wick sweat away from your head and keep it out of your eyes.
So when you're headed into the sun, just be prepared. Safe Travels.