The One Thing To Know About Summer Fashion

Summer is the time of year during which folks stop and smell the roses, people-watch in curbside cafes, and the sidewalks transform from bleak paths into colorful runways. Thus, summer's a great time to get your style on-point, and there's one thing you need to know about summer fashion that's super important.

You might think I'm about to discuss key spring/summer 2016 trends, or inform you about a new style of sunhat I think you need to know about, but you'd be wrong. When it comes to seasonal fashion, the topic I believe rests above and beyond any type of trend is putting comfort over style. No, that's not a typo.

Historically, the fashion industry has arguably been hellbent on making style lovers think that they need to suffer in order to look chic, or make people believe that their comfort comes in second place to "looking great." But IMO, this notion is archaic and unfair.

First off, why can't we live in a world where we all wear exactly what we want to, regardless of how it makes us look? Secondly, why do we have to choose between style and comfort? Unfortunately, it may be some time until society stops judging people based on their appearances; but in terms of choosing to feel comfortable or look great, it's crucial to remember that you can do both. Stick that in your pipe and smoke it, fashion.

Let's face it: Summer is awesome, but it brings with it a whole host of apparel-related problems. Depending on the individual, these might include: trying to find a shirt that doesn't show your sweat patches, picking a swimsuit that covers the ingrown hairs on your bikini line, or choosing to rock pants instead of a skirt in humid weather because you haven't shaved your legs.

Of course, these issues tie in with the myriad of beauty ideals that are expected of women and feminine people — such as the expectation that we should shave and hide our bodily functions or strive to be as petite as possible. But if you choose not to fulfill these expectations, such supposed "problems" won't affect you in the slightest.

I know that for the majority of women who do feel pressured to live up to beauty ideals, summer can be a difficult season to navigate — especially if you want to fit into the box of conventional "attractiveness." But it's important to remember that you'll never be as attractive as when you're totally feeling yourself. If this means rocking 5-inch stilettos, jeans in 98-degree weather, and thick, black fabrics that won't reveal perspiration, you go grrrl. But if such sartorial choices would leave you feeling grim, dejected, and uncomfortable, my advice is to opt out.

Take, for instance, the case of the jelly sandal. This cutesy footwear is glittery, feminine, and makes a nostalgic nod toward millennial childhoods. Therefore, you might assume that any feminine-presenting gal would love to wear this shoe come summertime.

What you might not recall is that jelly sandals can be painful, uncomfortable, and can even leave your feet sore and blistered. It's safe to say that some of us will still rock a pair of jellies because we'd rather look adorable and suffer than wear a pair of less whimsical yet more comfortable kicks. But if you want to sport the look and not sacrifice your feet in the process, consider adding socks into the mix and preventing those pesky blisters.

When it comes to what to wear to work in the summer, well, that's a whole other ball game, especially if you have a strict dress code in your building. Feeling comfortable in a button-down top, tailored trousers, and high heels in the height of the heat is nigh on impossible.

If you're in a similar predicament, your best bet is to opt for loose, light fabrics and flat shoes or fancy sandals, should your dress code allow them.

For many, summer is meant to be all about enjoying the great outdoors, road trips, and having awesome vacations, so don't limit yourself by ruining the fun and feeling uncomfortable the whole time. There's only one summer 2016, after all.

So enough with the fashion rules, the faux pas, and the use of the word "flattering." Wear whatever enables you to enjoy yourself to the max, this season and beyond.

Images: Phoebe Waller; Yegide Matthews, Bruno Gomiero, Tara Urso/Unsplash; Takmeomeo/Pixabay