“I’m dreading the summer”

My friend admitted this to me just the other day. Why? Because she counts on her trusty long-sleeved cardigans for body camouflaging in cool weather. And come summer, she’s at a loss for how to find the same type of coverage when the weather begs for fewer clothes. I understand.

So what can be done about it, other than staying indoors with the air-conditioning on full blast? (Although, that doesn’t really sound so bad, actually.)

First, let’s look at what a cardigan achieves, and then see how to get the same effect through different pieces:

1. For arm coverage, look to short-sleeved cardigans.

I don’t mean to state the obvious, but I will. Short-sleeved cardigans offer upper arm coverage, which is the most important part anyway. Look for a light color in a soft, lightweight fabric to make the look appropriate for warm weather.

2. For butt coverage, look to button-down shirts.

A menswear-style button-down is an unexpected yet nearly perfect choice for summer layering. Browse the swimsuit cover-up sections of department stores. They often offer longer versions of button-downs that look just as good over a tank and trousers as they do over a bathing suit.

3. For stomach coverage, look to tunic tops.

This slightly retro style is great for women who are conscious of their mid-sections. They are usually a bit more structured, with a subtle A-line cut that falls away from the waist.

Overall, pay attention to the colors and fabrics of the pieces you choose. Even a long-sleeved cardigan can work in warmer weather as long as it’s not dark , bulky, and brooding.


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