Asian woman wearing a hat and a sun dress on the beach.

Staying fresh in cute summer outfits isn’t as simple as it seems, especially in . You set out smelling like a baby, face matte and skin non-sticky – but it doesn’t last very long. So, you end up seeking the feeling of freshness all day only to fail after standing for a few minutes in the sun or a crowded train. How do you stay cool when it’s sweltering out? Try doing the following.

1. Choose Breathable Fabrics

Opt for lightweight, breathable fabrics such as cotton, linen, chambray, and seersucker. These materials allow air circulation and help wick away moisture. You could also go for tech wear, which is designed to cool and regulate body temperature. Just bear in mind that these performance fabrics also trap oils and bacteria, making them prone to getting stinky.

2. Wear Light Colors

Why do most summer fashion collections come in a light color palette? Because light-colored clothes reflect light, while dark colors absorb it and convert it into heat. Thus, you will tend to feel warm if you wear an all-black outfit in the middle of April. To stay cool, choose white, pastel, and neutral-colored summer outfits.

3. Choose Loose and Flowy Styles

Loose-fitting clothes allow air to circulate around your body, preventing heat from getting trapped. A tight pair of pants can make you feel sweatier than usual, so go for , kaftans, wide-leg pants, and loose shirts. You can cinch them at the waist with a woven wide belt and pair them with flat leather sandals for a boho vibe.

4. Wear Sun Protection

Aside from generously on exposed skin, it’s essential to use accessories like hats, sunglasses, and scarves for extra protection. When summer peaks, you’ll need these to help prevent overheating and sunburn. 

While light-colored fabrics may feel cooler, dark and bright colors block offer better protection from UV rays, according to the Skin Cancer Foundation. Some clothing would have UPF (Ultraviolet Protection Factor) labels that indicate how much UV light it can shield. Tip: UPF 30 and up works best.

5. Use Cooling Products

Certain shampoos, body washes, powders, and deodorants contain cooling ingredients that can help you stay fresh in summer outfits and soothe the skin. For example, Dove Go Fresh Cucumber & Green Tea Body Wash and Dove Go Fresh Sakura Blossom Body Wash, two refreshing body wash products, deliver 24 hours of freshness and hydration in a lightly scented, easy-to-rinse formula.

6. Use Moisture-Wicking Undergarments

Choose undergarments made from moisture-wicking fabrics like nylon or spandex to keep sweat away from your body. This helps in preventing chafing and discomfort. These types of undies would also feel lightweight and won’t look bulky under a sundress.

7. Stay Hydrated

helps regulate your body temperature and keeps you feeling fresh, so drink plenty of water throughout the day, especially in the summer. Doing this also keeps you from getting cranky, gets rid of headaches, aids in digestion, and most importantly, prevents heat stroke. According to the , you should drink water before you start feeling thirsty (by the time you feel thirsty, it’s too late).

8. Accessorize Sparingly

Step away from that giant statement necklace if you want to stay fresh in the summer. Sure, they may look cute, but they’re also an extra layer on your skin. Instead, choose minimal, lightweight accessories – no tight, uncomfortable chokers that can also cause .

9. Put Up Your Hair

Summer is the perfect time to let your hair down but try not to do it literally. keeps you cool a bit longer and may even help prevent breakouts on your neck and chest, which can be triggered by sweat and oil. Try loose hairstyles like a messy bun or , especially when enjoying outdoors.

10. Don’t Neglect Your Personal Hygiene

Brushing your teeth and applying a non-sticky deodorant can help keep you fresh and confident in your summer outfits. With these hygiene essentials, you don’t have to hold back on making new friends, engaging in physical activities, and living your best life.

To stay fresh in your summer outfits, experiment with different fabrics, styles, and combinations. Everyone has a different comfort level (and body temperature) so don’t be afraid to test different strategies to find out what’s best for you.