Making summer cool again

Weather forecast for Washington DC, with high temperatures in the upper 90s

What the eff, DC? I wasn’t quite ready to see these temperatures in the official first couple days of summer. I mean, this is August weather, right?

I’m finding Washington much more humid than Philadelphia, even though I’m only a few hours south. The humidity makes me feel less than human when I am outside, which I’ve been trying not to be for most of this week. Thursday’s high was originally estimated to be 100 F, putting the heat index well above 105 F and sending the city into heat advisories.

So, how to deal? Well, internet, I’m glad you’ve asked. The following things have helped me prepare for summer days out-of-doors; they may or may not work for you, and I’d like to hear your own safety strategies!

More compliments today on my rockin' parasol


For some reason, I often get weird looks and sideways glances when I rock my parasol on sunny summer days. Whatever, haters. This thing is handy against the sun’s bright rays! I picked this sweetheart up last spring when Joanna and I drove cross-country for the rockabilly festival in Las Vegas. Lots of gorgeous ladies wandered around the pool party and the car show with their own awesome parasols, and I was determined to find my own. One of the vendors had a great assortment of them, with different designs at varying prices. This beauty cost me $15, and it was well worth the money. Sadly, some of the paper has ripped from frequent use, but it will just give me an excuse to knit my own cover when the shade is no longer usable.


Floppy hat

For times when a parasol is not practical, the floppy summer hat is indispensable. This works best for garden parties or days at the beach, or when walking with other people who do not want to be smacked repeatedly with the edge of an umbrella. I wore this a lot with my old commute, as the floppiness made this easier to fold up than my parasol, and stashed on my lap when on the bus. I want to knit all the hats.

Health & beauty items

Hygiene items

Let’s talk about sweat! I do it, and it’sdoubly gross when the humidity is high, making the temperatures feel much hotter. While I don’t often like to wear antiperspirant, because sweating is what helps cool the body, I don’t really want to smell like I’m sweating. I’m also quite sensitive to fragrance, so I prefer free-and-clear type products. I tried Tom’s of Maine for a while, but their deodorant stained my pits. I recently switched to a crystal stick, and it was totally worth it! No scent, from either me or the product.

For chafing, so far nothing beats Body Glide. I wear a lot of skirts now, since I’ve cut pants from my wardrobe, and skirts in summer means red and raw inner thighs. I don’t remember who first suggested Body Glide, but I’ve been wearing it pretty much non-stop since the heat started, and my thighs are still smooth.

Last but not least, sunscreen. It’s good to wear year-round, but it’s especially important in summer, when more time is spent out in the brightness. I use one type for my face, and another type for my body. The Aveeno is great, and doesn’t get all gloopy on my nose or brow if I’m sweaty, and I appreciate that. Nothing is worse than getting sunscreen in your eyes! The Burt’s Bees, however, I’m not liking as much. It’s thick and hard to spread, and got sticky and paste-like when I tried to apply it to my arms.

So, I’ve detailed my summer strategies, which could change if things stop being effective. What’s worked for you? Do you duke it out, or hide in the A/C?


2 thoughts on “Making summer cool again

  1. Mia says:

    I bought a floppy hat last year for a trip to Hawaii, and since then it’s become a staple of mine for hot summer days when I know I’ll be out and about. I’m the kind of person who tends to hide inside when things get warm (I spent so many summers playing SimCity 2000 on our household computer as a kid…), but I do like getting out occasionally, so high-SPF sunscreens and a hat help keep easily-burnable me from turning lobsterish. I like the parasol idea! Even though most of the parasol-carriers around here are little old ladies, that’s never stopped me before. Also, Tia has sung unto me the praises of pettipants, which I’ve been thinking of buying. For now, my bike shorts (which I wear anyway) work semi-well for keeping chafing at bay, although they can be a bit suffocating the warmer it gets.

  2. I bought some pettipants, but they are not fitting me properly. I have the same issues with them as I do with pants. Perhaps when my sewing skills move beyond basic skirts and into pants, I can whip up my own pettipants or figure out how to adjust the ones I’ve got.

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