What To Wear During A Heat Wave In The Late Summer Because August & September Are Tricky, Too

As the end of summer reaches us, it's easy to think that'll mean the end of humidity. But nope: It's mid-August and thermometers are still exploding all over the place. And the sad truth is, there are only a few options for what to wear during a heat wave. 1. Your swimsuit, because you're permanently glued to the pizza slice floatie inside your pool. 2. Your bra and a pair of boxers, because you are not moving from the revolving fan. Or 3. Something that touches as little skin as possible.

When you're forced outside the confines of an air conditioned room, however, it can be a little tricky to decide what to wear. Ideally, you'd step outside in a loin cloth, but that could get you into some legal trouble. So what should you do when trying to avoid falling back on the usual shorts or dresses combo?

Summer style can take a hit during these sizzling later months because we go into survival mode, but there are some clever tips you can keep in your back pocket to add interest to your looks without adding more cloth. You'll feel cool, fresh, and excited to be wearing a touch more than a hand towel. So step away from the fan and go back outside. I've got you. Below are five styling tips on what to wear during a heat wave.

1. Opposite Styles Create Interest

Women’s Color-Block Sandals, $22, oldnavy.gap.com; Plus Size Racer Front Mock Neck Crop Top, $23, charlotterusse.com; Black Ripped Mom Shorts, $58, topshop.com; Kate Spade New York "Cocktails and Conversation" Statement Earrings, $128; amazon.com; Faux-Leather Buckled Backpack, $45, yesstyle.com

I know what you're thinking: This is that tried-and-true shorts combo I was just ripping on. That's only half true, though. It's a shorts outfit, but it has some clever details in it that raise it a couple notches on the chic scale.

First off, let's focus on the obvious: The core of the outfit is very laid back and unfussy. You have your ripped shorts, your crop top, and your cap. So what can you do to make this a tab more interesting? Play with contrasting styles. If you have something casual, throw in something glamorous like chandelier earrings or a structured, well made bag. It'll instantly add some pow to your look.

2. Add Interest To Summer Dresses

H&M+ Short Sleeved Dress, $30; hm.com ; HEAVEN Gladiator Sandals, $45, topshop.com; Tory Burch Frances Pebbled Leather Saddle Bag, $450, neimanmarcus.com; Ray-Ban Sunglasses Original Aviator, $200, macys.com

One thing that will never go away during the summer is our love of dresses. They're just so easy and take minimal styling. But after a while, the same old frock can feel a little tired.

To add interest to your look, try focusing on the shoes and bag. If you opt for shoes that cover up a large area of your feet, such as gladiator sandals, cage wedges, or blucher sandals, they'll immediately attract the eye downward and make it feel like there's more to the dress. Do the same with a bold statement bag, focusing on details such as tassels or texture.

3. Better Yet, Layer Your Summer Dresses

Current Elliot Florence Eyelet Dress, $238, harpersbazaar.com; Strappy Bralette, $10, abercrombie.com; H&M+ Jersey Shorts, $18, hm.com; Loeffler Randall Flap Bucket Bag, $350, saksfifthavenue.com; Dr. Martens Clarissa Chunky Strap Sandal Shoes, $120, revolveclothing.com; Junior Amici Accessories Floppy Straw Hat, $22, nordstrom.com

Take your summer dress styling a step further and layer! For example, does your dress have an open back or a really low cut? Add a strappy bra to add interest to the look. You'll be wearing one (most of the time) anyway, so you might as well make the piece work for you. Then, if you have a loose babydoll or tunic dress, pair it with some jersey shorts and tuck a corner of the hem into the waistline, changing the dress into a billowy top.

4. Focus On Mixing Patterns

City Slim Clutch — Natural Green Botanical, $49, stelladot.com; White Off the Shoulder Tassel Tree Print Dress, $10, SHEIN.COM; Strap Cord Sandals, $20, mango.com; Shayla Aviator Sunglasses, $10, necessaryclothing.com

If you want to stay away from layers, shift your attention to patterns instead. Part of the reason why summer style is so fun is because it's so playful and bold. Don't be afraid with mixing prints if the colors are complementary. Summer pieces are meant to be busy! Have fun mixing floral with stripes, polka dot with tropical print, geometric with stripes. The possibilities are endless. Plus, you get bonus points if you mix the same print in different varieties, like this look does with palm leaves.

5. It's All About The Accessories

H&M+ Rib Knit Dress, $30, hm.com; ARRAY Sammy, $80, shoemall.com; Lilac Grid Print Portfolio Clutch, $13, newlook.com; Henderson Scarf, $31, superdry.com; Illesteva Leonard Mirrored Lense Sunglasses, $178, intermixonline.com

You'd be surprised by how quickly a simple dress or blouse can change when the right accessories are involved. If you have pieces that are neutral in nature (like this tank top dress) have fun spicing it up by focusing on the extras. Add in a summer scarf and wrap it close to your neck, picking one either with citrusy colors or interesting details, like a pom pom trim. If you're feeling bold, add in a printed clutch to juxtapose with the scarf, and always pick a pair of sunglasses that have some color to them. Mirrored lenses are a great way to add just a touch of color and balance out a piece that's minimalist by nature.

In the end, it's all about focusing on the details of the outfit. Pay attention to patterns, notice how opposing style can create something interesting, how shoes can become a game changer, and how accessories can add some spice to a neutral canvas. You: 1. Heat Stroke: 0.

Images: Sunset Girl/Unsplash; Courtesy Brands