Unfortunately, most of us can't live in our swimsuits all summer. For those of us staring down the barrel of the hottest part of the season, I've gathered some essentials that I think make the heat easier to bear.
The Hand Fan
In my opinion, a foldable hand fan is essential for cooling down while you are out and about. In NYC, the subway platform in summer can be a special kind of hell and I find myself using mine there often. You can find lots of vintage ones on eBay (search "used") and Etsy (search "vintage"). Karmele Luqui creates handmade fans in wood and fabric at her studio in Spain under the name Olele. The simple palm fan above is made by artisans in Cambodia and is available on Ten Thousand Villages.
When it's really hot, I tend to grow the dreaded "sweatstache". However, if I carry around a reusable handkerchief, I can daintily dab it away. Vintage hankies (eBay, Etsy, thrift shops) are always a great option. If buying new, get an organic cotton version like this one from Jenna Rose or this one from TSHU. Made in Montreal, TSHU plants a tree for each hankie sold.
Sunglasses are an obvious summer accessory. While not really doing anything to cool you down, you can at least look cool as you melt into a puddle of sweat. I also wanted to remind you of the awesome styles (the matte black Beckett style is my favorite right now) and social enterprise of Warby Parker. They donate glasses, as well as train people to give eye exams and sell glasses at affordable prices in their communities. If you don't have a store near you, you can try up to five pairs at home.
The Sun Hat
I'm in the market for a new summer hat. Hats keep the sun off of your face; straw versions look and feel cool. I'm leaning toward one of these from Worth & Worth. They are hand-woven in Ecuador and handcrafted in their NYC studio. The best part is that they offer hat repairs; so even though they are more expensive than some hats, they can be worn and maintained for many years to come.
The Water Bottle
Staying hydrated helps you stay cool. Use a metal or glass bottle instead of plastic — I like metal because they're light when empty and won't break. On the go, I like S'well bottles because they keep liquids cold for 24 hours and hot for 12. Like, whoa.
Tell me. What are your summer essentials for staying cool?
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