Hot weather and color go together like peanut butter and jelly.  I don’t know what happens to me when I travel to warm climates.  Perhaps it is the heat, but I find myself craving more color than usual.  I remember when I was a fashion designer; we would make sure we would design regionally knowing that women in the south thought nothing of buying bright, colorful pants while most women in cooler parts of the northeast shied away from them.

Depending on where you live, it might hotter than Hades.  Here in New York City we have just been teased with hot days, but they are coming.  No matter what the temperature reads in your neck of the woods, today’s post will give you some summer color combinations to consider wearing during the hottest months of the year.

Summer Color Combinations that are Stylish in Hot Weather

#1- Brights, lots of them

summer color combinations

Only in the summer does it seem perfectly acceptable to dress in bright color from head to toe.   I love color, but tend to wear it as an accent or ground it with neutrals when I do wear it.  Too much color just seems too clownish…until the hot weather hits.  Granted, even then, I’m less inclined than most, but it definitely seems more acceptable.

If you love color and brights, summer is definitely your season.  In the outfit above, I went crazy with color using these pants from Banana Republic as my guide for color combining.  I added this hot pink tunic from French Connection, a soft purple bag from Elizabeth and James, deep purple flat sandals from Stuart Weitzman, light blue J. Crew earrings and white Kate Spade bangle.  The outfit is as cool and refreshing as a fruity summer drink.

#2- Navy and white

summer color combinations

Perhaps because navy and white looks very nautical, this color combination is a summer classic that always looks chic, elegant and sophisticated.  Navy is much more palatable for those who prefer dark colors.  When it is paired with white it looks light, crisp and fresh.

I styled this J. Crew tank dress with gold drop earrings from The Sak, a navy and white wrap bracelet from Tory Burch, white bag from Frye and, for a pop, red slip on sneakers from Ugg.  The nice thing about navy and white is it can be treated like solid and any colors can be paired with it.  Don’t like red?  Chose any color to as your pop, or none at all.

#3- Olive and khaki

summer color combinations

When I think of olive and khaki shades in the summer, I am immediately reminded of African safaris and these colors just read summer to me.  As someone who doesn’t particularly look good in fruity, blue-based brights, I’m very drawn to these colors in warm weather and I love them paired with muted tones, like dusty pink, mustard yellows, earthy terra cotta, and more.  I also like the way brighter tones, like teal, turquoise, brighter pinks and other vibrant shades bounce off of these grounded base colors.

I styled these olive linen pants with a dusty pink blouse from Vince Camuto, added these colorful sandals from Sam Edelman, and finished the outfit with a teal bag from Fossil, leather bracelet and drop earrings from Bauble Bar.

#5- White

summer color combinations

The last way to create summer color combinations is to use white in your outfits.  White paired with any color, even black, can make an outfit look perfect for hot weather.  White is believed to reflect heat, which is actually a fallacy, according to some.  While we don’t know exactly how white became such a summer color, in addition to the heat reflection belief, wearing this color has a history in social class and turn of the century wealth.

During the industrialized years of the 19th century, the city would be filled with soot, waste and horse dung.  This made wearing darker colors ideal.  Unlike the working class, the elite were able to retreat to vacation homes in the country and relative cleanliness and the tradition of wearing white was born.

Over the decades, as more people became self-made and wealthy in their own right, those of old money clung to wearing white in the summer, along with other traditions, to separate those with “new money.”  What a bunch of snobs.

Whatever the reason, the color white and summer have a long, albeit odd, past and it’s likely not to change anytime soon.  So pop some white into your outfits and see how much more summery they look.

In the outfit above, I styled these white culottes from Ted Baker with a black top from Madewell, black sandals from Lucky Brand, a denim jacket from J. Crew, printed scarf from Ann Taylor, silver earrings from Anna Beck and faux leather hobo from Sole Society.

With these summer color combinations, I hope you will be able to create some warm weather outfits for the season to come.