It’s going to get plenty hot soon, so if you’re planning a quick getaway this summer, I’ve been looking in stores and online to get an idea of what you can pack to feel fresh, chic, comfortable, and more pulled together, despite the heat. These suggestions do not include beachwear. Rather, this article assumes you’ll be in a city or town visiting family or friends, and sightseeing. For beachy weekend trips, just add 2 bathing suits, a cover up or sarong, flip flops, a hat, tote bag, inspiring novel, and plenty of sunscreen.

The trick is to pack light and still be prepared for any weather from intense daytime heat to evening showers. The other trick, which I think is more difficult to pull off, is to find summer clothes that feel authentically YOU, fit well, and cover the body parts you don’t want exposed. If you don’t love the way your arms look you’ll want some sort of sleeve or topper. If you don’t want to expose veins that have suddenly popped out on your legs, you may want a maxi dress or pants.

Be prepared to dig through your closet, stores and online sites to find a few easy-going, chic pieces that all work together to make your excursion pleasurable and effortless.

Wear Natural Fabrics

Wear clothing made of cotton, silk, or linen. With linen, you have to be at peace with the wrinkles. Synthetics like viscose and rayon are also great in hot weather when they feel silky and soft to the touch. Keep your silhouettes lightweight and less form-fitting. Fluid and oversized are great in hot weather.

Bring Loose-Fitting Dresses And Pants

Even if you’re not normally comfortable in a dress, this is one instance where you’ll be glad you have a loose-fitting dress. A lightweight and roomy cotton or silk dress is about the comfiest item on earth. Pack at least one lightweight sundress that can be dressed up at night with a light sweater or kimono jacket and accessories. Lightweight loose pants, like culottes or harem, are cool in the heat and most have pockets to store your subway card or hotel key. If you like to wear shorts, a nice walking short is always cool and dressy enough for most situations.

Go Sleeveless With A Light Cover Up

Sleeveless is the way to go in the heat. Bring a cotton or linen long-sleeve top to protect your arms from the sun. Carry a lightweight cardigan in your tote bag for air-conditioned buildings. Or, you can opt for a lightweight merino wool sweater to throw over your shoulders (ditch the cotton hoodie!).

Wear Comfortable Shoes And Bring A Hat

Bring your most comfortable shoes. When it’s hot, your feet swell and sweat, so 2-3 pairs will be needed. Bring attractive walking sandals that can take you sightseeing during the day, and bring a dressier sandal for night. Remember to get a pedicure before you leave! Depending on your destination, you may need a pair of athletic shoes for hiking or nature walks. Bring a hat — choose a fun silhouette and integrate it into your style. Think fedora, floppy straw hat, baseball caps, or cowboy hat.

Mix In Some Prints

Try not to bring all dark, solid colors, but mix in brighter colors and summery, flirty prints. You’ll find prints both flattering and practical because they hide stains and wrinkles! And, keep your “travel capsule wardrobe” to one color palette so everything coordinates.

Here are my suggestions for what to pack for a 3-day weekend in the heat:

  • Two sleeved tunic tops
  • Two layering sleeveless silk tops and/or fun t-shirt
  • Culottes or lightweight pants
  • Loose-fitting white linen pants (daytime or dressed up for evening)
  • Cotton/linen sundress (1-2)
  • Walking shorts or knee-length skirt
  • Kimono jacket or other style for layering
  • Lightweight cardigan
  • Cross body handbag and/or tote bag (you’ll want to be able to fit a water bottle)
  • Walking sandals (2) or substitute one for a close-toed flat or oxford
  • Dressy sandals (gladiator wedge)
  • Athletic shoes
  • PJs
  • Jewelry, scarf, hat, umbrella
  • Cosmetics



Anthropology Rayon Shirtdress


Cotton Tunic / Beach Coverup


Leopard Print Cold Shoulder Tee


Covered Perfectly Cold Shoulder w/Susan Street


Credit Lady of Style


Soft Surroundings Stretch Walking Short


Soft Surroundings Linen Pants & Scarf


NYDJ Capri Pant

What’s on your packing list? Do you struggle with packing light? What are your best packing and travel tips?

Here’s the recipe for the Coconut Rose Water Lemonade:

You’ll need:
-1 tsp Rose Water
-1 cup Coconut Water (I prefer raw, organic brands that don’t add sugar)
-3 cups Water
-Juice from 1 Lemon (for tartness)
-2 drops Lemon Oil
-Sweetener, to taste (raw honey, stevia, etc).
Combine all ingredients in a glass pitcher. Stir, taste, and add sweetener as desired. Enjoy in good health!