Getting Dressed For A First Date In A Heat Wave Can Make For A Serious Set Of Sartorial Struggles

Being obsessed with fashion often means you have some sharp knowledge handy. You know what to wear during a heat wave, how not to look like a down comforter during winter, and how to make the trickiest trends feel natural. However, being fashion dedicated comes with its own set of problems. It’s not all Muppet coats and flirty two-piece sets. Those of us who have been taping up Vogue editorials up like wallpaper since the seventh grade sometimes have a whole other level of crazy we have to deal with.

One plight that the fashion-dedicated girl will usually understand is the first date. Specifically, the first date during summer. The weather report has replaced the little sun icon under the Saturday slot with a cackling demon in little licks of fire, and the air outside is so humid that it feels like you could swim to your train stop from your apartment. So what do you do? Well, those wool blend pants would look ah-mazing with your crop top, so on they go. Heat stroke, shmeat stroke.

Crazy? Absolutely. Necessary? Even moreso. Below are seven things the fashion-dedicated will understand about getting dressed for a first date in a heat wave.

1. Mood Comes First

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So what if the rest of the city is wearing nothing but dish-towel-sized shorts and bikini tops? Yes, you might have seen a plastic water bottle begin to melt into the sidewalk from your bedroom window, but that’s neither here nor there. It’s not like you’re going to be sitting outside the whole day; you’ll be locked inside an air-conditioned space.

Oh wait, you agreed to have brunch at that patio place, didn’t you? Whatever. That knit turtleneck crop top is calling your name, and damned if you’re going to ignore it. You’ll just pop into the ladies room from time to time to mop yourself up. It’ll be fine.

2. There Is No Such Thing As “Seasonal Dressing”

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Alright, you can pretty much bet a month’s worth of mimosa funds that every single woman in the restaurant will be wearing something floral or candy-colored. Actually, you’re so confident that you can bet two month’s worth of funds. But you? Just because July decided to try to kill off the human species this week with heat doesn’t mean you’re going to go the easy way and fall on the tried-and-true. No no, you’re going to consider those tight riding pants, and you might even dabble with some leather booties. You’ll just take a cab everywhere to avoid looking like a drowned rat upon arrival.

3. If It’s Going To Cause Mild Heat Stroke, Be Sure It Doesn’t Stain

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You’ve made the decision that you’re going to suffer for your art, and the next step on the agenda is to make sure no one actually realizes you’re in mild torment. Meaning, don’t choose a material that will alert everyone in a 10-foot radius of your bar stool that you are sweating like it’s 2 a.m. at a New Year’s party.

Fashion is fashion, but no one in Vogue gave the all-clear for pit stains the size of dinner plates on your linen dress. To avoid that, you take some considerable time choosing carefully, picking materials that hide the crazy you’re putting yourself through. 

4. You’ll Just Move ... Slowly

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There will be moments when you go to the bathroom and, leaning against the sink, you stare up into the shiny-faced reflection looking back at you and whisper, “What have you done, you Looney Tune.” God, what you would do to have no pants on at that moment.

Taking a healthy amount of paper towels, you begin to mop yourself up when you remember the trick to not melt to the ground like an ice cream cone: You have to move slowly.

Act like you’re in the South and on your way to drink a mint julep on someone’s porch. You don’t have anywhere to rush to. Just take your sweet, sweet time.

If the heart rate stays alarmingly slow, the sweating situation will be under control.

5. Maybe Sweat Could Be Your Friend

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A lot of us strive for that dewy, ethereal look, right? Where we can be all like, “Oh me? I’m just a sleeping fairy in this here wood. Sure, I’ll get Bloody Marys with you.” Well, with the slight heat stroke you’re experiencing, you’re probably glowing like a friggin Renaissance painting right now. People might think the Holy Spirit just fell upon you if you keep looking the way you do.

After all, a little sheen never hurt anybody. And don’t they say flushed cheeks are attractive? There you go, you’ve got natural beauty nailed right now.

6. This Can Only Last A Couple Of Hours

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Alright, say you’re in hour three, and you may or may not feel your mascara running down your face as if a Hallmark movie just ended. You dab at it delicately and nonchalantly, and remind yourself you’ll be home soon and sitting — preferably naked — in front of an air conditioner. The end is near.

7. It’s Not About Them, It’s About You

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If you’re reading this and not fashion-obsessed, you’re probably shaking your head slowly and hoping we soon find those screws we lost. But the thing is that this whole ordeal isn’t for the date. It’s not about looking cute and sitting all flirty across from someone maybe special at the bar. It’s about loving something so much that it’s borderline crazy — and how wonderful is that?

Some people build little ships inside bottles, and have a whole room dedicated to their fleets. I put on seasonally inappropriate pieces because it makes my heart happy. Some of us are willing to sweat for what we love, right? I just take that very literally.   

Images: Marlen Komar

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