Dressing Cool : Keep It Long, Loose and Sleeveless

It’s time to start shopping for clothes to wear through the long hot summer. This season’s fashion trends, mercifully, are on a woman’s side: loose and flowing dresses, pajama pants and airy, sheer skirts.

Short lengths are permissible, of course, but ankle length is newer and feels breezy on the body. A sleeveless vest--worn with a tiny cotton bustier, bra top or nothing--looks to be a favorite among the young and hard-bodied, as is anything that exposes the midriff.

The summer shoe is the platform--high, low or wedged. But the hottest hot-weather shoe is the high-top, high-heeled sneaker brought back from the ‘70s by French designer John Paul Gaultier. The non-designer version is by Converse. (Some girls are taking them to shoe-repair shops to have extra layers of foam rubber glued to the bottom, as much as 8 inches.)

Michelle Cole, costume designer of “In Living Color” and “Martin,” says her hot-weather uniform consists of “white gabardine shorts, a men’s white tank undershirt, because it’s sexy, with a denim work shirt tied at the waist, in case it cools down later in the day. The only accessory is a choker around the neck and platform sneakers by Sam & Libby.”


As for hot, sticky summer nights, Cole recalls Elizabeth Taylor in “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.” “Just wear a sexy tank dress that looks like a slip and nothing else but a sexy pair of high heels. It has to be loose and sexy when it’s hot.”

Location courtesy of California Nursery Specialties Cactus Ranch, Reseda