Are you a hot or cold person? That is, do you find that you’re always hot or cold? It might not be something you’ve thought about, but it really has a huge impact on all your style choices.
Find out why you need to know the answer to this question to build a wardrobe full of clothes and accessories that actually works for you. Watch the video
If You Run Hot
Layering may not be your thing. In fact, you may find that you never layer or will only add one layer in the depths of winter. This means that you need your tops to be the star as won’t be adding so many “third pieces” as others may, to add more interest to your outfits. It also means you can look for more interesting construction in your pieces as you don’t need to layer over the top of them. You may even find you can wear most of your clothes year-round rather than needing quite different wardrobes from summer to winter (depending on where you live in the world and the climate there). Here are three easy ways to add interest to your summer outfits when it’s too hot to add layers.
How long do your sleeves need to be? You may find, like one client I had who ran hot, that she owned nothing longer than a 3/4 sleeve in tops and jackets
Which fabrics work? You are most likely wanting to stay away from synthetics such as polyester which don’t breathe, for fabrics like linen and bamboo that are more comfortable in the heat.
Think prints and patterns as part of your staples in summer if you run hot to add interest to all your outfits. Make sure they work for your colour and value contrast so they enhance your features too!
You may find that your accessories are lighter in weight and more simplified. You may even look for built-in detail in the decolletage/portrait area so that you don’t need to add too much if it makes you feel hot. Instead of necklaces think about adding brooches or feature earrings. Scarves may be tied around your handbag rather than your neck!
In summer you may also find that dresses are better than tops and bottoms, as you don’t require a waistband that holds in the heat. Get more tips on staying cool in summer here.
If You Run Cold
You may need more clothes in winter. I run cold and wear 3-5 layers every day (on my top half) in winter (which I’ve written about here), which means I need more clothes and finer layering items with more similar necklines so that they layer easily. There are no batwings or overly interesting garments in my winter layers, just lots of fine merino knits and cotton elastane knits for underneath. It’s the outer layers that can get more interesting, jackets and blazers in colours and prints, plus patterned scarves in lots of colours and statement jewellery that turns a simple basic outfit into something more stylish.
Which fabrics do you prefer to wear? You may love fine wool and cashmere (my winter favourite as it’s warm and comfortable), but be also happy to wear some garments with some synthetic fibres as they help to keep the heat in.
Layering is something you need to master if you run cold. And this is why choosing the kinds of garments that can be easily worn together (a colour palette is soooo handy as the colours easily work well together in many combinations) is the way to go. Here are some tips to help you layer more stylishly!
You may also need to remember to take a layer in summer when moving from the outside heat into an airconditioned environment. Having layers that work for all temperatures and outfits is something that you will need, and so cold people tend to need larger wardrobes than hot people.
Do you run hot or cold (or are you like Mama Bear who is luckily at the happy medium)? How does it impact your style and wardrobe choices?
More Tips to Help You Stay Warm or Cool (depending on your preferences)
Dealing with Summer Clothing When You Like to Remain Covered
Thanks so much for this great post, Imogen. I freeze in winter and don’t layer quite as many tops as you, but I might just try. I recently discovered Uniqlo Heattech underlayers as well and I love them. If you run cold, too, Knee-length wool socks are your best friend.
Lovely to see The Shrug, Imogen. Those pink and rose and purple-ish shades really brighten a grey Melbourne Midwinter day.
I tend to be a hottie who struggles to cool down.
For me it’s skirts or dresses, bare legs and flattish sandals all year.
The sandals have broader straps in winter for a wee bit extra warmth (no snow here).
I try to buy summer styles in darker colours so they can be worn year round.
I’m loving silver, grey and charcoal shades at the moment, but blues and purples that go well with (Melbourne) black are long time favourites.
Elbow or 3/4 sleeves suit me best, with slightly thicker tops for winter and lighter weights for summer with looser sleeve and neck openings.
A long sleeved t-shirt can work as a jumper (sweater) in winter without causing overheating. (Although I also cover my torso!)
A shirt or floaty kimono makes a light jacket to wear over a top with sleeves for winter warmth, and go over sleeveless and strappy dresses and tops in summer when they also give sun protection.
Ponchos and wraps of various weights do the same duty.
I usually carry a shrug or pashmina in case I need a little more warmth. Because this winter has been quite cold and stormy I have a heavyweight jacket for outdoors in the form of a blanket poncho.
In summer, loose floaty dresses, or skirts and tops are cool to wear.
I find the coolest fabrics are natural fibres
A pale blue pashmina has been in my handbag for about three years now.
It has been tied to create a poncho, worn as a halter top, a scarf, a head covering, used as sun protection, a wind break, and a blanket in the cinema (remember those) and when I dozed in the car. I refused to allow it to be the tablecloth at a picnic in the park. Lol
(I lament the passing of Twofer tops – with sewn on jacket fronts.
For Hotties they were great for a while.
Because a Twofer looks like a jacket or cardigan I looked dressed for winter.. but being mostly one layer like a t-shirt I was comfortable and not overheated. Believe me, it’s weird to fan yourself in winter in public while resembling a giant tomato!)
Light weight scarves are also handy for hotties.
A long woven strip of a scarf can be chilled with cold water around mid length and placed around back of neck or head. With a little breeze, natural or fan, it’s a more stylish way to cool down than a face cloth.
In this year of extremes.. keep safe and be well everyone.
I’m also on the cold side and need layers. We do have heating in winter, but I still prefer to add a layer or two than to turn up the heating. I’ve even added an extra thick lining to a winter coat.
In summer, I get hot, but avoid the air conditioning as much as I can.
I think I run hot: I usually less layers than more even in the winter but I do like layered looks so I try to make them work for me with a scarf sometimes instead of a jacket.
I definitely run very cold especially in winter! I generally need 3-5 layers during the colder months as well as lots of scarves and knit caps! I wear hats indoors all winter long or else I would need 5-7 layers instead of 3-5! Maybe this is why I have so many things in my closet…because it is winter for 10 months a year where I live! Great tips, my friend. Thanks for sharing and linking with me. By the way, those knee high floral boots in your final photo are absolutely spectacular!
Thanks – when I saw them I had to have them!
I tend to get chilled easily in the cold weather, or in air conditioning in summer. All of my outfits must have a compatible layer, even in summer, and I rarely leave home without a layer available. I rely on simple neutral cardigans or blazers for casual or everyday wear. And I keep a supply of short sleeve cardigans or shrugs in colors that go with my summer dresses.
I am a cold girl in a four season state; hot humid summers and blustery cold winters. I adore ballet flats especially since by back, legs, and feet strongly dislike heeled anything, but they only work for a very small margin of temperate weather.
Too much exposed skin for cool fall & winter and air conditioned summers, and also too hot for outdoors in summer, lol.
Can sometimes wear when the heat is cranked up, but only indoors. So needless to say, I resist the urge to buy ballet flats anymore!