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5 ‘Hot Girl Summer’ Outfits That Won’t Leave You Drenched in Sweat

Our favorite light and breezy styles for staying cool when it’s a million degrees outside.

By Caitlin Abber

In case you didn’t get the memo, summer 2021 is officially “Hot Girl Summer.” When Megan Thee Stallion popularized the term with her 2019 song of the same name, she probably didn’t imagine it becoming the anthem of a populace emerging from fifteen months of medically and socially necessary isolation, but…here we are. Women (and some men) are getting their nails done, lathering themselves in sunscreen, and engaging in just enough trouble to make all the effort worth it. As Raven Smith recently wrote in Vogue, “This is the summer we deserve.”

That said, nailing your own “Hot Girl Summer” aesthetic can be a little complicated, especially if you’re simulanteously in the midst of returning to work and don’t know what to wear there, either (we’ve got a guide for that!). Plus, did we mention it’s 94 degrees outside—in the shade?

We thought we’d help you out with this calculus, so we put together 5 “Hot Girl Summer” outfits that are both work-appropriate and heatwave-friendly. 

For When You Wish You Were Outside But You're Back in the Office

The return to the office also signals the return of Summer Friday FOMO, i.e. that feeling you get when all your friends are meeting at the park at 2pm, and you’re still ankle-deep in Spreadsheet-ville. Along with putting on your favorite pool party playlist and powering through, there’s nothing like a truly vibrant head-to-toe look to help keep things positive. Since you can’t be out in the sun, you might as well dress like her by pairing the Paige top in sunshine with the silky Orchard skirt to match. A pair of Luna earrings completes the metaphor, and the Koio sneakers are necessary for quickly and quietly darting out of the office exactly at 5pm.

For Heading Out for Drinks When It's Still 80 Degrees At 8pm

It’s one of those disrespectfully humid summer Saturdays when, thankfully, you can take things slowly at home in just a tank top and an old pair of shorts. Maybe you lazily commute between your couch and your refrigerator and catch up on a little work, or take a long nap on top of all your blankets—whichever you prefer. But now, as your evening plans approach, you’re presented with a somewhat stressful conundrum: It’s still so hot. This is the exact moment when the only thing that makes sense is to upgrade your aforementioned tank and shorts with some breezy linen, like the Caitlin shorts in dark chambray, a crisp T-shirt, like the Alina in thin stripe, and a pair of high-but-still-walkable heels, like the Ella sandals. Throw your hair up in a perfectly messy bun, and go have fun.

For Spending the Whole Day Outside—And Living to Tell the Tale

You haven’t seen your friends for over a year, and now they’re in town and want to do everything. You’ve got brunch plans, shopping plans, museum plans, ice cream plans, before-dinner drinks plans, dinner plans, dancing plans, and even late-night pizza plans. You’re almost considering swapping a purse for a backpack, as you doubt you’ll have time to head home and freshen up between stops, but we don’t think that’s necessary. To make it through this long, hot, but really fun day, you’re going to need an outfit that can stand up to the test. The Rowley skirt is an above-the-knee, machine-washable, wrinkle-resistant wonderkind that won’t let you down. Top it with a simple but sophisticated tank—we love the Rochelle in ivory—and you’ll look just as put together at the museum as you will on the dance floor. Again, you’ve gotta wear sneakers—your itinerary is no joke.

For Running Errands, Then Running to the Office

Have you ever had one of those hot summer days when you need to rush the kids to daycare, drop off the dry cleaning, and squeeze in a dentist appointment, all before getting to the office for a 9am meeting? When the pressure to do it all is sweat-inducing enough, an outfit that was made to be on the move is going to be your best bet. The Fletcher shorts in safari are an M.M. employee favorite for their versatility and the fact that they can stand up to the heat. Similarly, the lightweight, silky Rowling top is a go-to for those days when it’s too hot to think about clothes. Bonus: the Rowling is treated with Polygiene, rendering it odor-resistant. Did we mention it’s also machine-washable? Because, um, it looks like you dribbled a little at the dentist.

For Sitting Next to the Air Conditioner All Day

Of course, even the hottest “Hot Girl Summer” girls need a day out of the sun—especially if it’s too hot to be outside. Cozy up to your air conditioner in the Doris—a dress so light and unrestrictive, it’s practically a caftan. Since you’re going to be inside all day anyway, ditch outdoor shoes and swan around in a pair of fuzzy Emu slippers. And since it’s still “Hot Girl Summer,” you should probably still wear some sparkly jewelry. You deserve it, after all.

Caitlin Abber

Written By

Caitlin Abber

Caitlin Abber is the Brand Editor at M.M. LaFleur, and an award-winning writer and content creator. Over the last decade she has held senior editorial positions at MTV, Women's Health, Public Radio International, and Bustle, and has bylines at InStyle and OprahMag.com.

See more of Caitlin's articles

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