From Sweaty Streets to Subway Grates, Here's How to Dress for Sweltering Summer Heat

Think you’ve sweat all you can sweat this summer? Think again, because it’s only going to get hotter, stickier and sweatier. The rest of July and August are going to make us wish that we could wear bikinis to the office and run naked through the fountains at Dundas Square on the weekends. But alas, this is downtown Toronto and we cannot do either of those things unless we want to get fired or arrested. We’re not blessed with the giant backyards and sprinklers of suburbia, we just have balconies looking out at other balconies and sticky, sweaty, public streets where one has to be properly clothed at all times. 

So what to wear when getting from point A to B through the maze of metropolitan streets and packs of sweaty people in 35 degree humidity? Let me tell you, there is a very fine balance between dressing so that you don’t fall off your bike from heat exhaustion and dressing so that you don’t show anyone your lady parts while biking. Here are a couple rules to live by when getting dressed in the morning for a sweltering day out on the streets: 

1) Bathing suits (and bathing suit cover-ups) are not for the city.

It doesn’t matter if you’re on your way back from the beach or from tanning at some rooftop pool, we’re in downtown Toronto and bathing-suits or a barely-there cover-up are not allowed. They’re not okay at the movies, they’re not okay for drinks on a patio and it is definitely not okay to enter a nice restaurant in a beach cover-up. The simple solution to this timeless dilemma? If you are planning to go out directly after tanning just stuff a thin dress into your bag to throw on for later, I know all your purses are big enough. 

2) Unless you are Jessica Simpson, swap your daisy dukes for boyfriend shorts.

This isn’t the cottage or summer camp any more ladies, we live in the centre of a major metropolitan city where big decisions are made and expensive deals go down (or so I’m told). It may be a lazy day off work but that doesn’t make shorts that are barely longer than the bum pockets okay.To still execute the easy, breezy, I-totally-look-like-I’m-a-surfer-girl-from-California jean shorts look, try boyfriend shorts instead. They cover a little more leg and, from personal experience, baggier shorts mean less bum sweat (yes I know it’s gross but it’s a fact of life and we have to deal with it). 

3) Yes, even though the days of all-girls catholic school are behind us, the fingertip rule still applies.

There may not be any headmistress (because apparently I went go Hogwarts for high school) to tell you, but the fingertip rule should still be a general rule to live by. If you can’t take big steps in it, bend down in it or sit in it, you probably shouldn’t be wearing it. It may be record high temperatures but that’s not an excuse to whip out that miniskirt you wore 5 years ago because it’s 2 inches shorter than all your other skirts. This rule can sometimes (and I stress sometimes) be amended for a night out on the town but during the day, when you have to pass by children and seniors, opt for longer instead of shorter. Sometimes, longer but roomier and flowier dresses or skirts can be just as cool and breezy on a hot day, if not more so.  

4) Ever heard of wind tunnels or subway grates? Wear full bum underwear.

I wish I could say it was cute when I stepped over a subway grate and my flowy maxi dress blew up to my bellybutton. When I look back on the moment I try to picture myself like Marilyn Monroe, but in reality it was me screaming and trying to get the hair out of my face, my dress blown up around my waist and my pink thong out there for everyone on Yonge Street to see. The lesson here? Toronto can be a seriously windy city, even in the summer, and so, to protect ourselves from the eyes of prepubescent boys, overworked business men and the homeless guy on the nearest corner put on some full bum underwear. 

~ Loren Hendin 

Wildfox denim boyfriend shorts $148
Maxi skirt $180 – 
Full Bum Underwear $38 –
Maxi dress $198 – 

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