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undramatized illustration via Amber Demure

We have reached “put ice cubes in your dog’s water bowl” temperatures, and it’s only going to get worse.  After an abnormally cool Spring, I had almost forgotten what summers in Austin were like, but, with temperatures now in the 90s it feels like summer is finally here.  If this will be your first summer in Austin, you should be warned that the next few months will be a test of many things, including: your ability to not gain weight from margarita and sno cone consumption, your ability to save your phone from water damage from late night pool immersions, and your skin’s ability to recover quickly from sun burn.

But amongst all these things, probably one of the hardest things to do in the summer in Austin is stay stylish.  I know some of y’all think it’s a lost cause and once temperatures go above 90, you will immediately opt for a tank top and flip flops.  But here are some of my suggestions on how to stay looking good in the heat for both girls and boys…

Tips for the gals…

1) Make Swimwear Part of Your Outfit.

I dunno about you, but I spend most of my time during the Summer in my swimsuit.  But this doesn’t mean you have to look like you just came from the pool.  Luckily there are many styles of swimsuits these days that can also double as bodysuits, and vice versa.  A black one-piece swimsuit is a great suit to pair with a patterned skirt or some shorts to create an outfit.  We found local wardrobe stylist Alana Madill sporting this look this past weekend on South Congress: check it out.  There are also some bustier style bikinis (like this one) that you can easily put with a high waisted flowy skirt or vintage style shorts to create a cute look that’s appropriate for both pooltime and non-pooltime activities.

Here are some examples of cute summer onesies that you can easily make part of your outfit…

1) Shiny halter bodysuit, American Apparel

2) Betty swimsuit, Nasty Gal

3) MINKPINK Celine One Piece Swimsuit, Urban Outfitters

4) Cherry blossom cap sleeve swimsuit, BlackMilk

2) Wrap it Up.

We don’t get the luxury of letting our hair down too much in the Summer.  The “top knot” is a hair must-do when in the heat, but this summer it’s also all about accessorizing with the head wrap.  Not only is it cute, but it’s also practical as it can double as a way to keep your hair up, keep your sweat off your face, or hide your dirty hair after a bike ride…

1) Cult Gia Pin-Up Headwrap, Urban Outfitters

2) Polka dot printed wire tie, Free People

3) Make a Statement with Sunglasses.

Sunglasses are of course a summer essential, and they are also a really fun way to add style to your look (or to stylishly hide a pool party hangover).  This summer is all about eye-catching frames, mostly of the round and cat-eye variety.  Try a fun patterned frame, or stick with a classic tortoise shell.  And if you really want to stand out this summer, put on a pair of sunglases with mirrored lenses…

1) Mirrored sunglasses, Alexander Wang

2) 60’s oval sunglasses, TopShop

3) Tortoise shell sunglasses, Phillip Lim

4) Striped cat-eye sunglasses, TopShop

4) Show Your Feet Some Love.

There’s nothing worse than noticing a girl in a cute outfit, only to scan down to find her feet are sadly in a pair of old flip flops.  Unless you are near a body of large water, please leave the flip flops behind.  Here are some examples of cute summer footwear alternatives to the dreaded flop…

1) Mayan sandal, Free People

2) Calcutta wrap sandal, Free People

3) Flat thong sandal, Zara

5) Wear Simple Makeup That Won’t Make You Look Like a Melting Clown.

The only makeup you should really wear in the summer in Austin is a tinted moisturizer with SPF.  Everything else is pointless and will cause this to happen (another undramatized illustration by Amber Demure).  My all-time favorite is the Mineral Tint by Rae Cosmetics because it soaks in and blends in well with your skin and is lightweight.  It also has an SPF of 20 which is pretty high compared to most makeup with SPF, and if you’re fair like me then this is essential.

Climate Control Mineral Tint, Rae Cosmetics

Tips for the guys…


1) Go For Short Shorts.

If you’re still holding onto those long board shorts from the 90s, get rid of them.  For men’s swimwear, it’s now all about the short shorts.  You don’t have to go super short, but, at least above the knee and a more fitted fit is what you should look for this summer. And if you’re bold, go for a bright colorful pattern for fun.

1) swim shorts, H&M

2) swim shorts, H&M

3) floral print swim shorts, Zara

4) Katin apache trunk, Stag

2) Sunglasses.

Classic and masculine square cut frames work best for the guys.  A simple classic black pair is a standard choice, or you can find some with some added detail or pattern for stylish interest.

1) Aldous, Warby Parker

2) Snowdon, Tom Ford

3) Versace

2) Summer Footwear.

I know it’s tempting to just slip on a pair of flip flops in the summer, but unless you’re by the lake or the pool, your rubber flip flops just scream laziness.  Here are some nicer alternatives that are still casual.  If you want to do a sandal, try it in leather instead of foam or rubber…

leather sandal, Aldo

Yolen sneaker, Aldo

Vans, Urban Outfitters

toe sandal, Zara

If all else fails, just tell the heat to suck it and go naked! And maybe carry some baby wipes…


Joanna Wilkinson
keep austin stylish