Fashion How To: Wear Layers During the Summer

The art of layering isn’t just a skill for the winter months!

Layers?! I bet you’re reading this going, “Is she nuts?! It’s way too hot to layer your clothing.” But on the contrary my friends; they’re just as needed in the summer, trust me.

Think of it this way – yes it may be scorching hot outside but most of us don’t work outside…we work in air condition controlled buildings with frigid offices and icy cubicles. Please, feel free to believe that you only have to check the weather on your smart phone once in the morning then dress for that temperature, but don’t come running to me begging to borrow a cardigan when you can no longer feel your fingers and toes!

Point is, yes it’s hot in the summer and no you don’t want to wear more clothing but, that’s not always the practical choice. I’ve put together a few ideas in the Polyvore collage (above) for light summer layers that will keep you comfortably cool all day long.

Start with the basics: A simple tank and a fun pair of leggings form a solid base to your outfit. Next add a flowy loose pair of pants and a crocheted top to serve as an added light layer. Lastly, choose a cute cover up for the occasion; work may require a blazer or knit cardigan while a day of running errands may warrant a laid back jean shirt.

Together, these layers add barriers for temperature control. If your legs are warm during the day remove the flowy pants for a chic printed legging and crochet top look or vice versa. Have fun with it! These are all mix and match options.

When you’re adding a few layers to your outfit, you’ll want to pay attention to your fabric choices as well. here are my favorite beat-the-heat summer fabrics:

Cotton – This is the most popular fabric choice in summer and probably all year round. It’s lightweight, soft and breathable. Plus this fabric soaks up sweat, and allows body heat to escape, thus giving you a cool feeling in the warmer months. Even better, it washes well and very rarely needs an iron.

Linen – Available in heavy and light weight, pure linen is one of the most suited fabrics for summers. For dresses and blouses choose light linen, while for slacks and summer jackets, heavy weighted linen will be the best option and hold its shape best. Linen is strong, durable, absorbs perspiration, dries quickly, doesn’t lint and softens as it ages. It feels cool and comfortable more than any other fabric. However, it wrinkles a lot so you can go for the luxurious blend of linen and cotton if you’d prefer to avoid ironing often.

Denim – Believe it or not denim is still a preferred fabric in this season. Crafted from tight woven cotton, denim absorbs sweat. Compared to cotton and some other fabrics, denim can be quite heavy so focus on the light weighted variety to keep you comfortable in the summer.

Rayon – Rayon combats the heat well making it appropriate for summer clothing. It’s one of the most absorbent fabrics, even more than cotton or linen and this fabric type also drapes well. So it is often found in light weight Spring/Summer scarfs and maxi dresses.

Eyelet and Lace – Obviously both are easy and breezy options that add style to any summer ensemble. Whether you opt for a blouse, skirt or body skimming mini dress, eyelet and lace designs will always keep you cool due to their inherent ventilation.

we heartsters – what are your favorite ways to layer up during the summer heat?



Almost Stylish is a Business of Fashion School graduate who insists that her outfits never perfectly match as a tribute to growing up a rough-and-tumble youth turned glamour girl. She also believes that retail therapy has true healing powers.

11 thoughts on “Fashion How To: Wear Layers During the Summer”

  1. turboterp

    I was nodding my head while reading your post, @almoststylish . It’s a ghastly 105 degrees today where I live, but I’m sitting in my sub-zero freezer of an office with my teeth chattering. A layer or two would make for a much more pleasant day for me. Lesson learned! Thanks for the inspiration!

    1. almoststylish

      Any time! I’m a somewhat forgetful person :/ so when ever I leave a cardigan on the back of my office chair instead of taking it home with me I think of it as a gift to my future cold self haha

  2. kari

    Yes! This is perfect! It’s been unbearably hot the last couple of weeks but my office is ice cold and I always have to think about the best way to dress in the morning for two very different temperatures. This is a great tutorial!

  3. sherrishera

    I so agree @almoststylish, I have multiple lace blouses in different colors, an eyelet bolero-type cardi, multiple sheer rayon blouses in plain and prints and–most useful of all–a thin long-sleeved denim shirt. Layering is always pretty and practical…not to mention it makes a look interesting and adds a plethora of options to your wardrobe. Great post!

  4. irene

    OOOOh, so true! It’s freezing at my office.. as I type the vent is just blowing cold air.. I swear! I’m running the floor heater under my desk just to keep warm! .. I will try wearing layers more often. Timely post @almoststylish :) I love this idea!

  5. marissa

    Awesome post @almoststylish! Like all of you, my office is kept at a crisp 68 degrees and I am lucky enough to sit below one of the main vents :) All great advice here.

    Also, I LOVE the chambray shirt rec. I have been searching for the perfect one–definitely snatching this one up while it’s on sale right now!

  6. tyna

    I’ve been working in home offices over the summer and not subject to the normal corporate air conditioning policies – but I’ve been taking the bus to work and boy oh boy are they chilly! I go from sitting in the hot sun to a cold bus seat in the blink of an eye. So, like @almostsylish suggests I have been dressing in layers – and I always have a lightweight cotton cardi in my bag to throw on when I go into the grocery store on get on the bus.
    Love these tips – they’ll come in handy for evenings out. Here in LA when the sun goes down, it can get downright chilly. Gotta love the wonders of low humidity! Finally, welcome to the team!

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