We are faced with many conundrums every summer. We wonder what to do for vacation, how to keep the kids occupied, how to get sun without getting too much, and this summer we are certainly faced with a whole lot more serious problems we have never faced before. Yet I think one of the most universal and annoying conundrums women deal with every summer is how to stay warm without sweating to death.

As mentioned in yesterday’s post, humid weather is beyond unbearable and a sweaty body has to be up there with one of the worst physical sensations known to man. Yet, we also deal with frigid indoors that feels even colder when blasted on skin warmed by the sun. Every time I walk out of a store with the air cranked to ‘frostbite degrees’, the Hades hot outdoor air feels good for a few minutes as I thaw out. Of course, shortly after that, I can’t wait to get back inside so I can cool off again. Back forth, back forth. Summer is simply a series of hot and cold situations, like that leg you pop in and out from beneath the covers when sleeping. There is no medium.

This makes topper pieces sort of crucial. They’re a huge pain in the ass to lug around but not nearly as inconvenient of being without something to shield yourself from feeling like you live in the South Pole.

And let’s not forget to mention bare arms, a part of the body that few women want to go flapping around. Hot weather aside, we look to these topper pieces to feel camouflaged as well. I did a post on tops and dresses that will cover the arms and given the fact that this is such a hot button issue for so many women, I felt it was worth touching on again in this post.

Summer Toppers that won’t Make You Sweat

So what it boils down to (literally and figuratively) is we need summer toppers we can wear in warm weather that won’t make us feel like we are melting, pieces that look like they belong to the outfit vs. just throw on pieces to stave off hypothermia. Below, I have five suggestions for summer toppers that won’t make you sweat.

Outfit #1- Kimono

summer toppers

I talk about kimonos a lot on this blog because I think they solve a litany of issues. First, they are lightweight and perfect for summer weather. Second, they often come in prints that can add a lot of interest to a look without requiring too many layers. Your arms get covered, you provide yourself with a bit of warmth and you look stylish. What more can we ask for?

I styled this kimono from Anthropologie with a soft blush t-shirt from Caslon, straight leg white jeans from Madewell, slate blue slides from Born, blush drop earrings, and a rose-colored bag from Tory Burch.

Outfit #2- Short Sleeve Cardigan

summer toppers

Short sleeve cardigans aren’t easy to find, which is a bummer considering they are so incredibly useful in the summer. Finally, brands like Ann Taylor and this style from Everlane have come through. A client of mine owns this Everlane style and it is a really simple and well-fitting piece. A short sleeve cardigan might be the missing link in any summer wardrobe.

I styled this Everlane piece with their utility pants in light blue and a navy tank from Halogen. I finished the look with silver slides from Ugg and a light blue bag from Frame.

Outfit #3- Short Sleeve Jacket

The only thing harder to find in the summer than a short sleeve cardigan is a short sleeve jacket. Well, let me rephrase that, a short sleeve jacket that isn’t completely dorky. If you want to find some weird poly-blend jacket that looks like something your grandma wore in the ’70s (like this one) somehow it can still be found.

When I envisioned this short sleeve jacket look, I was inspired by Brigitte Macron and the time she wore a short sleeve jacket.

Brigitte Macron

Akris Punto is not an inexpensive brand and despite it being my personal favorite, I try to use it sparingly on the blog. However, given how stunning this jacket is and the fact that Akris Punto does great short sleeve jackets, I had to use it. Plus, it’s not exactly easy to find many. With the jacket, I added these popular Lafayette 148 pants and a black breathable Airism t-shirt from Uniqlo. I finished the outfit with Tory Burch platform sandals, a cognac Coach bag, and Madewell earrings.

Outfit #4- Shrug

Imagine a wardrobe piece so practical a woman would be willing to drop nearly $700 on one…multiple times. I am speaking about the Michael Kors shrug cardigan that is this perfect topper that covers arms and little else.

Now the good news is, this shrug has been copied a million times over at all different price points. Hobbs makes one for a fraction of the cost and the one I am using in this outfit is from Teri Jon. I styled it with a hot pink jumpsuit from J. Crew and finished the look with tasseled thong sandals, statement chain necklace, and Kate Spade crossbody.

Outfit #5- Open Knit Cardigan

A cardigan can be more summery just by being in an open knit. It’s breezier and can allow more airflow. I styled this cardigan from Anthropologie with a summer dress from LOFT and finished the look with flat sandals from Sam Edelman and wicker handbag.

You can be covered and sweat-free at the same time. All it takes is rethinking some old standbys to be summer-ready.