I’m A Lifelong Texan, And These Are My 12 Favorite Warm Weather Fashion And Beauty Essentials
Dotdash Meredith and Yahoo Inc. may earn commission or revenue on some items through the links below.
Trust this born-and-raised Texan who has spent every summer in triple-digit temperatures.
As a born and raised Texan, you would think I would be used to the harsh sunny summers. However, every time the temperature hits triple digits and the humidity is on full blast, it is still an adjustment. But thanks to my almost three decades of experience dressing for unpredictable springs and expectedly hot summers, I have some wisdom to impart when it comes to what to wear as well as the best sweat-proof beauty products as the weather transitions.
Shorts and tank tops are not the only uniform to beat the heat. Keep your style even in the height of summer with everyday basics that are spring and summer friendly—including pants and, yes, boots. Curating a transitional closet means stocking up on classic styles in high-quality materials. Durability and breathability are the key to transitional pieces, and my closet’s most-used items include Levi’s 501 Original Fit Jeans and the Universal Thread Button-Down.
When it comes to beauty in the bright sun, a minimal makeup routine is key. Layering up on makeup and hair products can make you sweaty, so keeping it breezy with light yet mighty products like Rare Beauty’s Liquid Blush and IT Cosmetics’ CC+ Cream With SPF 50+ are staples in any summer makeup kit. Ahead, shop my fashion and beauty must-haves to stay cool in the coming months.
Universal Thread Button-Down
A sturdy yet breathable long sleeve button-down is essential come spring and summer. The timeless piece will never go out of style, and my favorite is the Universal Thread Button-Down. The collared button-down is made of lightweight cotton fabric for an airy feel with a structured look, making it an affordable option that doesn’t sacrifice quality.
I wear my button-down as a layer over a mini dress or tucked into jeans, pants, or shorts. Its versatility makes it an everyday piece I use often. The Universal Thread top is my go-to when the sun comes out because, unlike heavier shirts, this one keeps me cool and doesn’t stick to my skin. Available in five spring-ready muted pastel and neutral colors, the shirt will pair well with any wardrobe.
BUY IT: $25; target.com
Jo Malone Wood Sage and Sea Salt Perfume
Jo Malone’s Wood Sage and Sea Salt Perfume is the only scent I like to wear during the warmer months because it reminds me of being at the beach. Even on summer days when I’m unfortunately not lying seaside, I can still have that salt-kissed and wind-swept feel with the perfume’s mineral and woody scent. With notes of ambrette seeds, sea salt, and sage, the crisp perfume harkens to a beachfront day.
As any Southerner knows, warding against unwanted side effects of the harsh sun often means layering up not only on skin protection, but anti-odor products as well. A perfume with staying power is necessary on long summer days, and one with subtle notes is even better. The Wood Sage and Sea Salt perfume lasts all day, and the airy scent will have people wondering when you found the time for a trip to the beach.
BUY IT: Starting at $20.40 (orig. $24); nordstrom.com
Abercrombie Traveler Dress
The Abercrombie Traveler Dress was by far my most-worn item last summer and will be this summer too. An outfit on its own, the cool knit mini dress is thick enough to keep everything in place, and its built-in biker shorts make it easy to travel with confidence. The adjustable straps help get a snug fit, and it even has a hidden pocket on the shorts that’ll fit a smartphone.
I’ve worn this dress by itself with a pair of sneakers and dressed it up with an oversized blazer and boots. I’m a proud outfit repeater, so being able to make countless outfit combinations centered around one durable piece of clothing has my heart. I own the breathable dress in black, but you can shop it in 13 colors.
BUY IT: $70; abercrombie.com
Ray-Ban Aviator Sunglasses
While I originally purchased the Ray-Ban Aviator Sunglasses as a gift for my husband, I have gotten more use out of the pair than him. We are not close in size, and yet the versatile sunglasses fit both my husband and I—an unexpected perk to my purchase a couple of years ago.
As spring and summer ramp up, protection against the bright sun is a priority and the aviators save my eyes, especially on long Texas road trips. The style’s larger lenses cover my eyes better than smaller shades, making it less likely for the odd flash of the sun to get through when I turn my head. The metal framed glasses with crystal polarized lenses come in a wide variety of metal colors and tints for a highly customizable pair of shades.
BUY IT: $169.95 (orig. $213); amazon.com
Tresemmé Extra Hold Hairspray
Flat and frizzy hair is every Southerner's bane of existence come the humid season. One vital tool in my hair care kit that keeps my hair bouncy is the Tresemmé Extra Hold Hairspray—a tried and true classic. Even outside of the summer months, my hair never seems to hold a curl, and this is the only hairspray that has kept my hair from falling straight.
Crispy hair is almost as bad as frizzy hair—and I’ve layered on hairsprays in the past that left my curls as hardened as a helmet. Mercifully, with this hairspray, I have yet to experience the dreaded hair crisp. I have front bangs, and if I want them to stay in place, it requires hairspray but the noticeable layer of hair on my forehead can get heavy with even the most minimal amount of product. The Tresemmé spray keeps my bangs locked in place without weighing them down.
BUY IT: $7.99; ulta.com
Anthropologie’s The Colette Cropped Wide-Leg Pant
When it gets scorching hot here in Texas, we spend much of the time in the air-conditioned indoors. Whether working, running errands, or going out with friends, most of our day is spent trying to beat the heat. Anthropologie’s The Colette Cropped Wide-Leg Pant is the perfect solution when you know you have to be dressed up in the summer. The pants are made of Anthropologie’s “Magic Fabric,” which is a combination of viscose, cotton, linen, and elastane for a sturdy yet stretchy fit.
The cropped wide-leg style keeps the breezy pants from sticking to your legs, and the sturdier fabric will keep you warm when the air-conditioning is at full blast. I like to wear these pants when I know I’m going to be spending most of my time indoors and don’t want to sweat like crazy during my walk from my car to the building—they’ve been a staple for everything from work events to date nights at the movies. The pants fit closer to a legging material than a jean, which makes them a super soft and comfortable alternative to other less-giving bottoms.
BUY IT: $120; anthropologie.com
Rare Beauty Liquid Blush
I cut down on my makeup routine in the summer to avoid layering on heavy products that coat my skin and make me sweaty. Instead, I choose to stick to a few breathable essentials, one of which is the Rare Beauty Liquid Blush. If there’s one product I put on before stepping out of the house it’s this liquid blush. The popular blush is worth the hype, and I’m already on my second tube.
The liquid blush goes a long way, only the tiniest drop is needed for a look that lasts all day with a weightless feel. Its long wear means you don’t have to take makeup with you for reapplication. Bliss is my go-to shade for a natural pop of color on my cheeks, but Rare Beauty has a variety of shades in both matte and radiant finishes for a color that’ll go best with your skin tone.
BUY IT: $24; sephora.com
Old Navy Extra High-Waisted Power Chill Biker Shorts
Easy to throw on while running errands or working out, the Old Navy Extra High-Waisted Power Chill Biker Shorts are a summer staple in my closet. I love to pair biker shorts with a t-shirt or tank and will layer on a light sweater on those days when the weather can’t make up its mind.
My unflinching criteria for biker shorts is that they must be thick enough to not be see-through, but thin enough to be wearable in the Texas summer heat. These Old Navy shorts fit the bill. Made of a combination of Tencel modal, polyester, cotton, and spandex, the above-the-knee shorts are durable yet soft. Available in petite, regular, and tall sizes ranging from XS to 4XL, and eight colors, there’s a perfect fit and style for just about anyone.
BUY IT: $19.99; oldnavy.com
Levi’s 501 Original Fit Jeans
Jeans are a year-round staple, and the Levi’s 501 Original Fit Jeans are a classic. The high-waisted jeans with somewhat fitted legs offer enough flexibility to move around and breathe. The straight-fit cut is incredibly versatile and easy to style; whether pairing it with a tight tank or flowy top, the bottoms are a solid base that can be easily dressed up or down.
I prefer a lighter wash for a more summery look and I love to pair these jeans with a button-down. There’s nothing worse in the Texas sun than wearing a pair of denim that sticks to your skin, so after many summers of trial and error, testing everything from jeggings to flare jeans—the Classic 501s are my go-to summer jeans due in part to their timeless silhouette and structured yet wearable denim.
BUY IT: $98; amazon.com
IT Cosmetics CC+ Cream With SPF 50+
Less is more when it comes to everyday makeup in the sweltering Southern sun. On days when I want a little more coverage but don’t want to sweat through a base of foundation, I turn to IT Cosmetics CC+ Cream With SPF 50+. The lightweight cream applies like a lotion and blurs out any redness for a smoother look.
Warding against the sun’s harsh UV rays is important, and I appreciate the added layer of protection with the CC cream’s SPF 50. The cream utilizes hyaluronic acid for plumpness and sun spot prevention. White cast can be an issue with SPF, but the light yet full coverage CC cream’s six deepest shades are formulated with clear SPF to avoid it.
BUY IT: $44; ulta.com
Madden Girl Redford Western Boots
Before you try to revoke my lifelong Texan status because of my cowboy boot choice—hear me out. I’ve owned my fair share of higher-end boots, and while they’re high quality and last for years, I’ve never owned a comfier, wear-ready pair of boots than the Madden Girl Redford Western Boots. The affordably priced boots have the classic Western-boot style but with generally more modern color options. I purchased a pair in black for a neutral and easy-to-pair boot, but there are also pink, red, bone, and sand options.
The hardest part of getting a new pair of cowboy boots is the breaking-in period, but these soft boots with padded footing, had no break-in period. I wore these boots for the first time at a concert in Austin, and I was worried my feet would be sore after walking all over town and dancing at the venue. However, by the end of the night, my feet felt like they could still walk for miles. While they’re not meant to replace workwear boots, this easy-to-pull-on and slip-out pair have become my everyday boots.
BUY IT: $39.60 (orig. $99); amazon.com
Revlon Perfect Style Hot Air Kit
Light and bouncy hair is the goal year-round, but that can be especially tricky to achieve when the humidity levels ramp up. For blow-dry level hair at home, the Revlon Perfect Style Hot Air Kit easily styles hair to look professionally done. The set comes with three attachments: a blow dryer and a 1-inch and 1.5-inch ceramic-coated brushes. When my hair was longer, I would use the 1.5-inch brush to get curls and volume in my hair. Now that I’ve recently cut over half of my length, I use the 1-inch brush for volume and curled ends.
No need to take a trip to the salon for a professional blow dry, the kit is simple to use and saves money in the long run. I’ve also found that my hair holds its shape against the harsh Texas humidity better with the styling kit than when I use a curler.
BUY IT: $23.98 (orig. $31.99); amazon.com
For more Southern Living news, make sure to sign up for our newsletter!
Read the original article on Southern Living.