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Lingerie and Accessories to Help You Stay Cool and Dry This Summer

Century Girl Slip by Dottie's Delights

Century Girl Slip by Dottie's Delights

"It really feels like summer!" I thought as I walked outside yesterday. When I finally checked my weather app on my phone it cheerfully informed me that, with the humidity, it felt like 105 degrees out. Whether you live in the cooler Pacific Northwest or are stuck in the heat hellhole that is the southern US at this time of year, I suspect you'll appreciate this article.

First of all, a word about terminology. I hate the term "chub rub", which is how most of these types of articles get clicks. I don't care what size you are: everybody sweats during the summer. It's also common to have uncomfortable rashes of all sorts from sweat and friction issues during the summer, regardless of size. So today we're going to talk about how to make your life a little less miserable, with equal consideration to prettiness and practicality. I've divided my recommendations into three separate categories, to make it easier to either layer them or to easily find the solution for the sweat-related problem that you're experiencing.

Protective Layers: 

This is the category you see featured in all of those nasty chub rub articles. However, as much as I hate the term, barrier clothing is frequently needed under dresses. If you live in a really hot climate and have to walk to work, barrier layers can be a godsend. There are tons of options these days, so I've listed some of my favorites here.

Anti-Chafing Shorts by Thigh Society

Anti-Chafing Shorts by Thigh Society

 Anti-Chafing Shorts by Thigh Society: 
There are lots of basic bike short type garments out there, but these are my favorite. They come in black and beige and range from a small to a 4x. While $40 is kind of pricy for bike shorts, these are worth the investment. They look like new after ton of washes, hold up beautifully through regular wear and tear, and don't pill at all. If you want a hardworking basic that won't let you down, try these.

Lace Bike Shorts by Hanky Panky

Lace Bike Shorts by Hanky Panky

Signature Lace Bike Shorts by Hanky Panky:
If you like your undershorts with a more lingerie-like feel, this new offering from Hanky Panky may be your favorite solution. I haven't tried these yet, but they're on my list. I love that they look like more traditional lingerie offerings, but still offer the practicality of the plain variety of shorts. The only downside is they are currently only available in black, so if you favor light colored clothing in the summer you're out of luck.

Bandlettes in Red

Bandlettes in Red

This is the most fashionable option - and they really do work! Make sure to measure your thighs carefully to get the right size. The only downside is they don't wear nearly as well as the Thigh Society shorts, but they also don't come with the same price tag. You'll definitely have to replace these more often, but you'll look cute and feel comfortable while wearing them.

Century Girl Slip by Dottie's Delights

Century Girl Slip by Dottie's Delights

Vintage Blue Sheer Slip at ForsythiaHill on Etsy

Vintage Blue Sheer Slip at ForsythiaHill on Etsy

Silky Skin Slip by Hanky Panky

Silky Skin Slip by Hanky Panky

I'm not going to get deep into a discussion of slips, as that really could use its own column. Slips are great year round, but they're especially useful in the summer to keep you cool and protect your favorite dresses. Your clothing will also hang better and stay new-looking longer.

There are so many great options for slips, from vintage slips at your local thrift store to luxury silk slips from your favorite lingerie designer. Bigger brands have also gotten into the slip game, with brands like Hanky Panky offering luxurious versions of slips that are also easy to care for. No matter which option you pick, your clothes and your body temperature will thank you.

Slips are a great way to express your personality as well. Whether you go for bright colors, eye catching patterns, or a plain slip, make sure to focus on quality fabrics that will breathe well in the heat.

To Maintain General Dryness:

Silky Underwear Dusting Powder by Lush

Silky Underwear Dusting Powder by Lush

Dusting Powder by Lush:
If you live in a hot enough climate, all of these layering options may not be enough. Sweat is everywhere --- in your bra, in your shoes, and in the creases of your skin. For drying out on the go, I swear by this stuff from Lush. I'm linking to the most basic version, but they carry a ton of other scents and formulations (including one with bronzer in it). It's small enough to tuck into most purses or pockets if you want to use it while you're out and about. Sprinkle it in your shoes, sprinkle it in your bra cups, or anywhere else you want to feel dry yet moisturized. It even works well as dry shampoo!

What do you use to stay cool in the summer? What products do you swear by?

Holly Jackson

The Full Figured Chest provides creative and elegant copywriting for the high end lingerie industry.

9 Comments on this post

  1. Becca says:

    Undersummers are kinda like bikeshorts but slinky breathable and pretty AND in sizes 2 -30
    Seriously I cant believe the lingerie addict hasnt mentioned them

    • Cora says:

      Hadn’t heard of them. But thank you for mentioning them here! We don’t catch everything. That’s definitely where comments can help fill in the gaps.

  2. Emma says:

    I live at the top end of Australia (last year in the Kimberley which has a tropical, humid climate, and this year in the Pilbara which is dryer but still outrageously hot) – and the thought of ADDING a layer makes me cringe.
    I make sure I wear natural, breathable fabric, switch to unpadded bras and wear looser clothes. I have to make do with chafing cream because there is no way I could deal with shorts in this weather. The bandlettes might be a good option to try. Thanks :)

  3. Solanah says:

    Such a helpful article! Definitely checking some of those out.

    An accidental discovery I found last summer was wearing Oroblu tricot fishnets when it’s hot out. I would wear them for photoshoots because they smooth out on camera beautifully, and there’s just something about that particular brand/the quality that really helped with friction without adding another full layer. I think combining those with powder would be a great combo, especially if you’re looking for a polished or work appropriate look!

  4. Avigayil says:

    I second Body Glide – it is a miracle for feet too. Just put the Bandlettes on my wishlist!

  5. AmaniS says:

    Oh man, my Lush is closed for remodeling.

  6. Estelle says:

    Underwear dusting powder, now there’s something I’d never heard of before! I’m after a slip for summer and just in general for my unlined dresses, and I love that Dottie’s Delights one! It’s the perfect length to stay hidden under my above-knee dresses too.

  7. Jeanna says:

    This was such a great article. All hail bike shorts – plus, pretty bike shorts make me absolutely unafraid of the wind, which is great. harMonica is a new indie brand that has an absolutely brilliant undershort in misses sizes (I’m stocking them), and I’ve been wearing them almost every day this summer and thinking that I probably needed another pair. And I didn’t know Hanky Panky did bike shorts! So basically: thank you for helping me spend money today, Holly. Xoxo

  8. Thursday says:

    Australian summers get pretty hot, and while I wear skirts and dresses 95% of the time year round, I do find chafing an issue with even a short amount of walking. Ahead of my trip to Thailand last November (humid doesn’t even start to describe their weather!), I explored both the Thigh Society shorts and the Bandlettes, but before I committed to something that would add unwanted layers, I tried the anti-chafing balm Body Glide. It’s an absolute miracle for me. Goes on easy, and immediately disappears. No chafing whatsoever, lasts all day, no matter how much you sweat (although I recommend reapplication after swimming). I’m a total convert.

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