9 Ways to Survive the Heat in Winter (and Look Good Doing It)

Not to brag, but recently we’ve had mostly sunny skies and above average temperature weather here in southern Califonia and it’s forecasted to stick around for a while. In a ‘the grass is always greener’ kind of way, I’ve been a little envious of the gals living in colder climates who are still sporting boots and wrapping themselves up in warm and cozy layers. Fine, whatever. You’ve got snow and we’ve got an early start on hayfever season.

An ever-helpful person, The Husband forwarded to me a link to an on-line article in the New York Times entitled 9 Ways to Survive the Cold (and Look Good Doing It). I suppose he thought I’d find it amusing but, as I read through the article, I was struck with the idea of an inverse article (did I mention that it’s been in the 70’s and 80’s here?). How does one cope with unseasonably warm weather while staying stylish and without resorting to beach attire?

I have come up with 9 tips, tricks, and strategies to share with you on this very topic. This advice will have you properly prepared should there be an unexpected winter heatwave in your neck of the woods or if you are planning to visit this part of the country in the very near future.

1. Make Use of the Internet
I found a couple of the quotes in the NYT article about not being prepared for snow and ice in New York in February rather baffling. A quick check ahead on your laptop or via an app on your smartphone will give you the low down on the weather forecast for almost any locale. There is no excuse to not be prepared unless you figure it will be a great excuse to go shopping.

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2. Sunglasses
Without cloud cover, the light of day can be blinding so make sure you got a pair or two (or three) on hand to protect the peepers and reduce the need to squint (a major cause of crow’s feet). They can be inexpensive enough to be a true fashion accessory like shoes or handbags.

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3. Embrace The Pale
The security of tights and leggings is not an option in this weather so be brave and bare those legs. Exfoliate, shave, and then slather the gams with moisturizer to get them ready for public viewing. Don’t worry that they haven’t seen sunlight in months. We all know that long-term sun exposure is damaging and your skin is at its best in its natural state so flaunt it. It doesn’t have to be the whole leg, a whole lot of attention can be gained by baring just an ankle. A little or a lot, naked skin is sexy.

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4. Hydrate And Protect
Generally speaking in So Cal, the higher the UV factor the lower the humidity so it’s important to stay hydrated, to use a good moisturizing lotion, and of course, protect your skin from the sun. Along with sunscreen, I’ve been know to take an umbrella with me to outdoor events like swap meets, farmers’ markets, and garage sales where shade can be difficult to find. Besides, an umbrella will come in handy if the El Nino rains ever show up (see Tip 1).

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5. Early Warning For Swimsuit Season
Like most of you, I’m giddy with excitement for the Spring and Summer fashions that are starting to show up in stores but, then I see the swimsuits, and I remember that I’ve been slacking on my fitness routine. A great thing about this unseasonably warm and sunny weather is that it motivates you to get outdoors and being outdoors often leads to physical activity. Use this opportunity to get a jump start on your swimsuit season prep.

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6. Lighter layers
It may be hot outside during the day but it’s cool in the evening and with the AC on at the office, layers are still needed but a lighter version. The ever popular cardigan in a tissue weight cotton provides the perfect barrier against chilly air without a lot of bulk. With the option to wear it buttoned or unbuttoned, a cardigan allows you to adapt to changing environments with a flick of the hand. Pairing a cardigan with a looser fitting cami or sleeveless top keeps you looking polished while staying cool.

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7. White Sneakers
I’m totally onboard with this trend. I bought this pair of Keds a couple of years ago after surgery on one of my feet as an alternative to bulkier athletic shoes but never wore them much until recently. I’ve been feeling so reckless breaking the ‘no white shoes before Easter’ fashion rule. They are definitely a warmer weather only option as they don’t provide much protection against ice and snow. I’m on the fence about sandals in February but perhaps those with chunky heels would do but please no flip-flops. It is my belief that they should only be worn if you are within 100 yards of a body of water, if you are taking a shower in a communal locker room, or if you’ve just gotten a pedicure (I’ll take mine with an extra 10 minute massage, please).

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8. Shirt Dress As Overcoat
You checked the forecast before you packed your pared down get-away capsule for the desert region but hadn’t counted on an impromptu trip to a coastal town and the temps there are a bit cooler. No problem because your versatile shirt dress can double as a lightweight overcoat. Dawn Lucy shared this look at Fashion Should Be Fun back in January and it’s a great solution if you find yourself in need of extra layer that’s not too heavy.

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9. Convert Boots to Booties
If you’ve found yourself in a warmer climate and the only footwear you brought are boots, try this tip I’ve borrowed from Nicole Mölders at High Latitude Style. In Mixing All Patterns, Nicole showed how she had folded down suede boots to look like booties. I don’t think that she thought of this as a way to wear boots on a warm day but sometimes desperate times call for desperate measures. I’ve had these boots for years and never thought to wear them this way before.

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Is a heatwave in your future? What are your best tips for dealing with unseasonably warm weather?

12 thoughts on “9 Ways to Survive the Heat in Winter (and Look Good Doing It)”

  1. These are all great tips! Unfortunately I’ll only be able to use them in summer. You in Cali are lucking out with such nice weather in February
    Thanks for linking up with us on Start the Week Stylish!
    – Ana Luiza
    Northwest Blonde

    1. I was hoping for a longer winter season because I really love the cold weather fashions so I’m truly envious of all of you still wearing boots and cozy sweaters.

  2. Love that idea of the shirt dress as a layering piece!
    So Cal is my dream place! Lived there 4 yrs a lifetime ago and think of it like a lovely mirage. 🙂
    Hubby is taking me on a trip down coastal hwy 1 this summer for our anniversary. Will only get as far south as Santa Barbara, but I’m sure looking forward to it. He grew up in Long Beach and has no desire to drive in LA area. So I’ve gotten 2 trips to San Diego and now north of LA…so can’t complain….except that I don’t LIVE there. ha

  3. Hi Rena! Saw you on Patti’s Visible Monday and couldn’t resist your caption. I DETEST hot weather. Yes. HATE it. Layering is everything in my book.. I live in Atlanta. Cosmic joke right there. It was 70 degrees today and I can feel the humidity creeping in. Only a few more weeks to go if I’m lucky.

    I appreciated the humor of your post and agree with your tips! It should be a regular topic: How To Survive the Heat in Style as a post-menopausal, non-athletic woman, i.e. me. HAHA. I don’t think I’ll come to SoCal unless I’m dragged there. I’m thinking maybe Canada, Scandinavia, Iceland etc? 🙂

    1. Thank you for stopping by and for commenting. I hope that you will become a regular reader. You and I are of the same mind as it is my dream to one day move away from the heat and live in a cooler climate.

A comment from you would be lovely