Summer means hot weather, outdoor activities, and hours by the pool. If you are one of many people who live in regions with cold winters and wet springs, summer also means time to shop for a new wardrobe. The winter wardrobe of long pants and sweaters can be neatly packed away for a few months of sunshine and warmth. Picking out what to wear in the summer months can be a challenge. Women run the risk of showing too much skin while men can risk looking too casual and frumpy. By following a few simple tips, however, both men and women can break out their summer styles with confidence.

What to Wear: Women

Summer for women can often mean short shorts and skirt and low cut, sleeveless tops. This style is often for a teenage generation and, while it may be comfortable, it is often inappropriate for a more mature lady. When searching for shorts, look for a pair that approaches that knee that you can comfortably sit and walk in. These can be made of a variety of different fabrics and can still be attractive and cool without showing too much thigh. The coolest skirts and dresses for summer are made of light and flowing material that stretches to the ankle or to the ground. The lose fabric acts as a sun barrier, preventing sun burn and direct heat from the sun, and the excess fabric creates a cool and shady environment for you legs. Similarly, the most stylish and comfortable tops are made of loose flowing material that gives your skin room to breath.

What to Wear: Men

Men’s clothing for summer can get too casual fast. Just because the summer weather is hot does not make athletic shorts appropriate for a day out with the family. Look for shorts made of a patterned material like plaid. This preppy look is classic and comfortable. If you are a slender guy, don’t be afraid to wear shorts above the knee. This style is extremely flattering for skinny men and can be cooler than long and baggy shorts. Finally, classic tee shirts are a great choice for summer for men. A simple, solid v-neck can make an outfit look comfortable and feel great. If you are looking for a more formal look, invest in a button down shirt in a light color such as pink or light green. Wear an under shirt and only button it part way. Then roll up the sleeves for a cool and attractive look. Choose fabrics that are cool and can be easily washed, like classic cotton. That way, these outfits can be worn outside in the yard, when playing with your kids or exercising your dog, and they won’t be ruined.

Summer fashions need to be functional, comfortable, affordable, and stylish. By selecting fabrics that breathable and washable, and choosing a few basic pieces that can be worn over and over again, you can create a summer wardrobe that is perfect for your style and your budget.