Image via John F. Kennedy Library

Right about now, most Houstonians are savoring the last few weeks before summer barrels into town, knocking us off our fashion game. You might be taking this time as an opportunity to wear unnecessary layers while you still can, or simply letting your gaze linger nostalgically on your barely-touched outerwear as you get dressed. Maybe you’re trying your best to be captured in one flattering photo to be remembered by, just in case this is the year the humidity finally makes good on its threat to swallow you whole.

We can fight this, though. Maybe not the rising temperatures, but certainly the toll they take on our vanity. Now, I’m not saying that looking put together during cruel Houston summers will be easy, but the key is developing your strategy now before the heat sets in and wipes away your capacity to make any decisions at all. 

Here are a few things to think about as you prep for the coming heatwave: 

Clothing The great thing about summer wardrobes is that a few key ingredients will never change: denim shorts, sundresses, and white t-shirts, to name a few. Under the glare of the sun they are always classic and never boring (think Kennedy vacation photo). Find a few 100% cotton pieces that fit you well and you could have the foundation of a foolproof summer wardrobe for years to come.    

Shades Sunglasses, of course, are as much armor as accessory, so they get a category of their own. Though one of the basic tenets of my fashion philosophy (I’ll spare you that novel ... for now) is a staunch opposition to the idea of “statement pieces,”  I do make an exception for sunglasses. There’s no easier way to shift the mood of an outfit, so having a couple different styles in your arsenal like these Karen Walker shades (available locally at Laboratoria) can keep it interesting.  

Beauty SPF is a given for summer, but what about products that will keep your spirits up? Lush has a toner that is literally called Breath of Fresh Air, which you can carry around and spritz as needed, like the beauty equivalent of an ice-cold glass of lemonade. If you need your makeup to stay put, sweat be damned, try a finishing spray like Make Up Forever’s Mist & Fix.

Hair The overwhelming consensus in the fashion world seems to be that Karlie Kloss’ tousled chin-length bob is the current “it” haircut, and this is great news for anyone looking for inspiration for a weather-appropriate shearing. However, if you're like me and not quite prepared to commit to chopping off your hair just because it looks great on one of the worlds’ highest-paid models, sleek high ponytails are making a comeback and provide a good temporary fix for beating the heat.

Stay brave, Houstonia. Sunglass up, SPF all over, and steel yourself for the kind of fashion challenge New Yorkers can't even contemplate.

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