The phrase “Summer Sweater” is one of those elusive fashion oxymorons. You see these sweaters in stores, on models, and in magazine spreads, but wonder when one might actually wear one. In theory, they are adorable and look oh-so-fun and stylish and casual and summery. In reality? It’s 95 effing degrees with 85% humidity. You can hardly stand to wear a t-shirt, so why in the world would you want to be wearing a sweater? I feel you. I also feel that there’s a time and a place for everything. So perhaps if we can just re-examine how exactly to wear the summer sweater, we’ll all have the chance to be fashionable while keeping our cool.
- Cool colors. Not only will lighter colors help to give a sweater a summertime feel, but they will also help keep you from having a hot sun beating down on your black sweater. Whites, beiges, pale colors and a few brights (like turquoise and coral) are good go-to’s.
- Shorts. Only wear these sweaters with shorts. For a few good reasons. Not only will covering both your legs and arms mean serious insulation (re: HOT), but a summer sweater is supposed give the appearance of cool, breezy, carefree style. Wearing a summer sweater with pants, even if they are colored jeans or capris or whatever summertime pant is out there, will not achieve this look. Instead, you will look like you woke up and thought it was January.
- Swap the cardigan or long-sleeve shirt for a summer sweater. Most of us grab a cardi or long sleeve tee as we run out the door and head to work or drinks/dinner. Why not grab for the summer sweater instead? This way if the temperatures drops at night or if it’s cold in your office, you’ll be comfy and super cute.
- Sandals and summer sneaks. To me, nothing says perfect summer look like a pair of shorts, a loose-fitting summer sweater, and a pair of Toms or Keds.
- Stripes. It may not do anything for your actual body heat, but nautically themed gear just always seems cooler (in every meaning of the word).
- Over a bathing suit. Try a sweater as a cover-up instead of your standard gym shorts and t-shirt. Or, wear over a bathing suit top and shorts on the city streets for a cute summertime look.
- Be selective with material. You want a loose knit (you know those “hole-y” sweaters) and a material that breathes. You’d be surprised at how the right material can make you feel degrees cooler, even though you’re technically wearing a sweater.
How do you like to wear a sweater when the temps rise? Or do you see sweaters in stores this time of year and think everybody is absolutely crazy? Speak up in the comments section below!
After graduating from college in ’09, Allyson Barkan flew off to Greece to teach English Literature at a private high school and explore Greek and European culture for a year. Since returning stateside, she now works in Entertainment Public Relations in New York City. For travel advice, stray observations as a 20-something in the big city, and the occasional hilarious misadventure, follow Allyson atwww.allysonbarkan.com and on twitter at @aebarkan.