All Things Fashion DC | 12 Glam Essentials to Survive The Summer in DC
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12 Glam Essentials to Survive The Summer in DC

DC Summer Essentials

12 Jul 12 Glam Essentials to Survive The Summer in DC

by ATFDC Contributor Sophie-Marie

The scorching heat. The humidity. The thunderstorms and power shortages. We all dread them but alas, they all come with summer to the DC area. Unless you stay at home from June to September and you drop the temperature to 50 degrees indoors, you are bound to deal with the heat, in which it is quite challenging to remain girly, feminine, and glamourous. In fact, I personally find it quite a shame to have to remain indoors in such an exciting city as DC.

So here is my list of essentials to remain beautiful and glamourous during the summer-long heat wave.

1) A LWD. Little White Dress, that is, because you shouldn’t even think of wearing black in such a climate. It is better to keep outfits as simple as possible by wearing the least possible amount of fabric while remaining appropriate (so you don’t – gasp – choc conservative DC people). I like a versatile, figure-flattering model that I can take from day to night only by slipping on a statement necklace and taking out a nice clutch (see below). The fabric must be in cotton or something 100% natural. Definitely avoid synthetics unless you fancy sweating heavily.

White Beaded Cotton Dress Available at Wallis

2) A large-brimmed hat, to protect your skin from sun rays. And your hair too, in fact. Sun rays can fade your hair colour (so do chlorine and sea water; summer isn’t exactly a hair-friendly season), so wear a hat to protect your investment.

Sashed Floppy Hat at Forever 21


3) Sunglasses. It’s important to protect the fine skin around your eyes, but those who wear contact lenses know that it can be potentially dangerous to get dust in your eyes, especially when you’re driving with the air-conditioner on. Still in line with my firm belief that a woman can’t be too chic, I favor retro, cat-eye models, and preferably in tortoiseshell.

BCBG Maddy Cat-Eye Sunglasses


4) A drink, to remain hydrated. If you don’t drive or if you’re exploring the city by foot, it is important to replenish the water you lose through excessive sweating. I do like Vitamin Water because it contains electrolytes, dietary supplements and tastes good. But plain water works just as well.

Vitamin Water


5) A tote bag. Because we’re women and we’re never going to reduce the list of absolute essentials to whatever men carry with them. I like summer totes that look like woven baskets, with a marine theme of navy-blue and beige tones.

Terre Rouge available at


6) A nice clutch. Say you make impromptu dinner plans at the end of the day, you go to see an outdoors concert, or you are invited to a backyard party when it gets slightly colder. A nice beaded clutch would switch your outfit from day to night in a split second. I like this one from Forever 21 because it has this refined 130s touch.

Forever 21 Beaded Envelope Clutch

7) A statement necklace. I am not too fond of having scorching hot metal against my skin, but I like to keep a nice necklace in my purse, so I can wear it in no time if the occasion calls to jazz up my outfit.

Fire Elsa Necklace Available at

8) Comfortable sandals. I am much too French-minded to tolerate the wearing of flip-flops in public; I think they’re only appropriate for the beach and for public showers. However, I can simply not have my feet sweat in closed shoes all day long. I like sandals in versatile tones of gold or bronze, and I personally like them with a small wedge, because long walks in flats actually make my legs and back hurt.

House Of Harlow Casmine Snakeskin Sandals

9) A powder foundation with SPF. I like to wear the lowest amount of make-up on my face in the summer, especially cream or liquid make-up, which melts in a ghastly mess by the end of the day. I tried tinted moisturizers with SPF, but they didn’t quite work for me. This Estée Lauder SPF 10 powder make-up stays in place and doesn’t darken with sweats and natural oils, which to me is essential.

Estee Lauder Spf 10

10) A hair serum, to fight humidity. If your hair gets frizzy like mine, a hair serum is essential to keep it from getting out of control and looking, uh, bad. I’ve been using this Redken serum for a long time, and what I like about it is that it also multitasks as a heat protecting serum.

Redken Smooth Down Heat Glide Hair Serum

11) A cold cream to cleanse your skin. At the end of a summer day, my skin gets too dry and too irritated to handle more astringent chemicals. I’ve discovered, thanks to my grandmother, the miracles of cold creams, and I’ve been addicted ever since. I’ve began using this one from Weleda when I lived in Paris. I simply love its sweet almond smell, and it only contains the highest quality of natural ingredients, which makes it excellent for sensitive skins.

Weleda Almond Soothing Cleansing Lotion

12) Hair ties. The last thing you need is hair coming in your face in hot weather. I like to wear mine in a high ponytail or ballerina bun after teasing my roots to get this adorable retro bump.

Hair Ties Available at Old Navy


Sophie-Marie was born in a small French-speaking Mediterranean country and moved to the DC area in 2006. In 2010, she started her freshman year of college at NYU in Paris and then took a gap year during which she used her free time to blog ( and cultivate herself as much as possible. History, languages,  film, anything about the 1950s and before, literature (19th century French Romanticism is my favourite), opera, are among the many things that inspire her and her style. Follow her on twitter @miss_sonushka