Stephanie Hallett
August 04, 2017 11:11 am
Universal Pictures

Retail stores may be telling us that it’s almost time for back-to-school, but weather reports clearly indicate that it’s still peak summer — which means it’s blazing hot outside. If you have a wedding, baby shower, or other party to attend before fall arrives and temperatures cool down, you may be struggling to figure out how to dress for your fancy summer event. No worries — that’s what we’re here for.

If your pals have decided to have their event outdoors, you’ll want to choose an ensemble that keeps you cool and comfortable, especially considering you’re likely to sweat and swell in the heat.

Ahead, find our advice for dressing your best at a sweltering summer event.

Look for garments made of cotton.


Get this dress here for $46.50.

Cotton is naturally light and breathable, which will allow sweat to evaporate off your body and keep you feeling cool. Synthetic fabrics, such as polyester, will hold sweat against your body, prevent air flow, and cause your temperature to rise.

Give linen or bamboo a try.

Free People

Get this linen jumpsuit here for $148.

Linen is another naturally derived, breathable fabric that will allow air flow to reach your skin and keep you cool.

Les Lunes

Get this bamboo dress here for $99.

Bamboo, likewise, has natural cooling and sweat-wicking properties, and feels positively sensuous against the skin.

Wear light colors.

Need Supply Co.

Get these pants here for $64.

Whatever fabric you choose, keep your color palette light; dark hues, like navy blue and black, will attract the sun’s hot rays.

Work those cutouts.


Get this dress here for $72.

The cutout trend is still going strong, so use it to your advantage at a fancy event this season. You might not want to go full-on Vegas dress, but a couple of strategic cutouts to help improve air flow will keep you feeling comfortable and chic.

Choose a looser fit.


Get this dress here for $64.

As we mentioned earlier, high summer temperatures will cause most bodies to swell, at least a little bit. So wearing garments that are loose and flowy will be much more comfortable than being bound up in a bandage dress.

Wear sleeves.


Get this dress here for $49.

Trust us when we say that wearing light-colored long sleeves or loose, maxi skirts can be much more comfortable than wearing a tiny strapless dress. Wearing light-colored sleeves, wide-leg pants, or a skirt will keep the sun’s rays from coming into direct contact with your skin (and limiting sun exposure is always a good idea). Plus, longer-length tops and bottoms can help to wick away sweat from the skin.

Be smart with layers.

Forever 21

Get this jacket here for $29.90.

Older-style wedding guest dresses sometimes come with a matching shawl, wrap, or pashmina, but we think you can add a light jacket to your look for a more updated take on summer layering. Consider mesh or lace in light colors to keep you cool during the day and provide extra coverage when the sun goes down.