My Wardrobe, Myself

The intersection of clothing, emotions, and life

Welcome to part two of my series on the wardrobe difficulties we can experience when it’s too hot to wear a third piece. There are two primary issues related to dressing for hot weather: our physical comfort and our emotional comfort. In my last post, I focused on the physical issues, specifically how to look pulled together while also staying as cool as possible.  I shared some workarounds that I’ve used on days when it was too warm to wear a jacket, coat, or cardigan, including cooler third piece alternatives and interesting details that provide visual interest without adding warmth or bulk.

summer emotional comfort wardrobe issues

Do you find yourself wanting to cover up, even on a hot day?

In today’s essay, I delve more into the emotional comfort part of the equation. A person’s emotional comfort issues are very individual, but here a few situations in which one might feel emotionally uncomfortable:

  • Wearing colors or silhouettes that don’t feel in line with one’s sense of style or how they see themselves.
  • Not being as “covered up” as one would ultimately like to be.
  • When parts of the body that are viewed as flaws are visible or highlighted.

As an example, if you prefer to wear only dark or neutral colors and favor solid pieces over prints, it may be well out of your emotional comfort zone to wear a brightly-colored striped top. Likewise, if you usually wear loose-fitting clothing, you may feel very uncomfortable wearing something form-fitting, even if the item is physically comfortable and objectively flattering.

I’ll touch a bit on the issues of modesty and wearing things that don’t feel true to who we are, but the main focus of this post is on the desire to hide what we view as our imperfections. As someone with lifelong body image issues that have been compounded by menopausal figure changes, this is a bigger challenge for me than the physical comfort considerations I wrote about last week. However, it’s important for me to address both aspects as best as possible so I can successfully navigate dressing for weather conditions that are too hot for a traditional third piece. I hope some of what I offer in this two-part series will be helpful to you with the warm weather sartorial challenges that you face.

Reader Suggestions on Dressing for Hot Weather

Before I dive into the main topic for today, I want to circle back a bit to the issue of physical comfort and also share some insights that I’ve gained over the past week. I know that not everyone reads the comments on my posts, but a number of readers offered their suggestions for how to look stylish and polished when it’s hot and humid outside.

Below is a brief summary of those suggestions, many of which I plan to utilize myself:

  • Wear linen pieces (the brand Eileen Fisher was recommended) or other natural fibers to stay cooler and drier.
  • If it’s still hot during the autumn months and you want to look more seasonally appropriate, start wearing traditional fall colors in lightweight fabrics that don’t “scream summer.”
  • Wear woven pieces, as they usually stand a little away from the body and can keep you cooler.
  • People tend to notice our shoes more often than not, so choose interesting footwear to help pull your summer outfits together.
  • Wear a pair of prominent dark shades as a great third piece alternative.
  • Carry a topper with you to put on when you’re in air-conditioned indoor spaces.
  • Use color and texture to add interest to your outfits when it’s too hot to layer.
  • Wear an open weave or mesh topper to get visual interest without warmth. Fabric suggestions include Tencel, lyocell, linen, and viscose.
  • When it’s too hot for a necklace, wear statement earrings and bracelets
  • A belt or “waist treatment” (i.e., a wrap, tie, ruching, or some other feature that enhances the waist) can serve as a third piece alternative.
  • Focus on “statement tops” that look interesting enough on their own, without the need for a topper or a necklace. This is the tip that I will focus on the most next summer!
  • Don’t refrain from baring your arms or legs due to age, size, or body shame, only to end up sweating and feeling uncomfortable. Treat your body like it’s your best friend – because it is. (This was probably the best tip offered – simple but definitely not easy!)
  • Outfit formula ideas:
    1. Maxi dress paired with a shrug cardigan or a thin scarf tied around the shoulders.
    2. Graphic print wide-leg pants or skirt paired with a bright top.
    3. Summer dress with a necklace and/or chunky bracelets.
    4. Printed rayon blouse with an open neckline – it can be tied at the waist if desired.
    5. Loose cotton or rayon maxi tank dress worn with a thin cotton or rayon kimono, silver bangles, and statement earrings.
    6. Turn an oblong scarf into a kimono vest – or a kimono shrug.

A Recent Realization

I spent some time in my closet this past weekend evaluating my wardrobe. This is often something I do around the change of the seasons. Although we’re still getting a few warmer days where I live, the days and evenings have mostly gotten cooler, such that it’s time for me to break out my “not summer” wardrobe. With the exception of my “holding zone” box, I actually keep everything in my closet at all times (which I was never able to do until I pared things down). However, I rearrange my pieces as needed so that the current season’s items are front and center.

I have a lot of plain tops in all sleeve lengths, but the three-quarter-sleeved and long-sleeved versions tend to be the most versatile. Many of my plain tops are in solid colors, but I own quite a few striped items as well. They’re basic pieces that work well when layered with toppers, scarves, necklaces, and the like. Since layering is more problematic to do when it’s hot outside (which was the subject of my last post), my plain short-sleeved and sleeveless tops are much more difficult to style than their longer-sleeved counterparts. While I thought it was a good idea to own lots of basic tees in all sorts of colors and sleeve lengths, that presupposition turned out to be only partially true.

Moving forward, I plan to only purchase short-sleeved and sleeveless tops that are interesting enough on their own that they don’t need toppers or abundant accessories to “jazz” them up. I won’t necessarily get rid of all of the basic tees that are already in my closet, but I’ll consider passing on those that are too difficult to make into a complete outfit using minimal accessories or a patterned bottom.  I’ll also try to repurpose some of my basic tees as exercise or sleep wear, as I mentioned in my last post.

Emotional Comfort When It’s Too Hot for Layering

Of course, I also need to consider my emotional comfort in terms of wearing tops without a “third piece.”  Even if I owned those “special” tops that I wrote about above, would I feel comfortable wearing them on their own? While I’ve long been self-conscious about my hips, buttocks, and thighs, I used to enjoy showing off the top half of my body. I always had toned arms and a slim waist, but I’ve lost much of the muscle tone in my upper arms and I gained a layer of fat around my midsection following menopause. As such, many of the tops I enjoyed wearing on their own a few years ago don’t look so good on me today, and I find myself wanting to reach for a cardigan to pull on over them.

I don’t want to be faced with either sweating profusely from wearing too many clothes or feeling extremely self-conscious about loose skin and lumps and bulges. I don’t want to leave my house in an outfit that only works when I’ve got that third piece on, especially on a hot summer day. It was only really this summer when I fully realized the ways in which my warm weather wardrobe isn’t serving my needs.

I thought that I could carry on as I had been for years and years, but even though I might still look fine to others in those old outfits, that doesn’t matter if I don’t feel comfortable wearing them. The same could be said for my friend who looks great in many different colors (to me and others), but only really feels emotionally comfortable when she’s wearing black, gray, navy, and maybe white. What matters most is how we ourselves feel!

My Ultimate Goal

My ultimate goal is to feel both physically and emotionally comfortable in my clothing, and I also want to feel like I look stylish and pulled together in what I’m wearing. So, basically there are three criteria that need to be fulfilled with my summer outfits:

  1. I want to keep relatively cool in the summer heat and humidity.
  2. I want to feel like the garments I’m wearing highlight my figure in an attractive way, showing off my good points and playing down the areas I’m not as happy about.
  3. I want to feel in line with my style guideposts of dramatic, polished, and elegant.

That’s really a tall order when you think about it! The first factor is all about physical comfort, while the other factors relate more to emotional comfort. Both are important, and both can make us feel miserable if we ignore them or don’t address them appropriately. It’s not always possible to mitigate all physical and emotional comfort challenges, as there’s only so much we can do to feel cool when it’s over a hundred degrees outside. Also, if our bodies have changed significantly, we may not love the way we look no matter how we’re dressed, but our clothing choices can go a long way toward helping us to feel more comfortable and able to confidently meet the challenges of our individual days.

Assessing My Current Summer Wardrobe

I decided to spend some time assessing my current summer wardrobe to get a better sense of my starting point, as well as what I need to work on before the warm weather comes along in 2022 (as well as the inevitable unseasonably warm days that will occur in the interim). I put on one of my favorite pairs of black cropped pants and a loved pair of wedge sandals, and I then tried on all of my short-sleeved and sleeveless tops to determine which ones work well on their own.

For this exercise, I mainly focused on my emotional comfort. I wanted to see which tops I would be comfortable wearing without a topper. As I tried everything on, I realized that most of the tops I placed in the “no topper needed” category tended to be longer and looser in silhouette. They’re not what I would call baggy, and they’re also not exactly tunic-length, but they’re definitely not the snug-fitting shorter tops that I used to always wear. Many of the tops that I felt emotionally comfortable in were either part of my at-home wardrobe or “crossover” pieces that I wear both out and about and at home.

Unfortunately, what I discovered was that many of those “no topper needed” tops are relatively plain and require at least a few accessories in order to create a stylish look (similar to the stock photo I included near the top of my last post). However, I do have a decent-sized collection of tops that don’t need a lot of accessorizing when paired with pants and sandals on a hot summer day. Here’s a look at those tops:

tops that I'm comfortable wearing without a topper

I feel emotionally comfortable wearing these tops without a topper. 

As you can see, the tops above all include print, embellishment, or interesting details of some sort (and some include two or three of those characteristics). Even the plain black tee in the top row is made more interesting by means of a crisscross detail at the neckline. I’m not sure if all of the tops pictured will work with each of my pairs of summer pants, but I think I have some great outfit options to play with (which I plan to do relatively soon).

Since most of my tops are knits, I plan to find a few versatile woven options to add to the mix before next summer. I think that blouses (which are usually woven) tend to look more upscale than knits and probably won’t require as many accessories to put together an attractive look.  Blouses are often more difficult for me fit-wise, but if I’m patient and try on a number of options, I should be able to find a few that either work off the rack or with a few small tweaks.

I also feel like I could use some more colorful options, especially since many of my pants are either black or another dark color. Black features heavily in my wardrobe, but I usually rely on having a third piece to incorporate more color into my ensembles. If I’m going to wear black pieces on both the top and bottom, there either needs to be some texture variation or a handful of accessories, or else I’ll end up looking boring and uninspired. So, I’m going to keep an eye out for a few colorful, interesting tops, as well as another pair or two of printed or non-neutral pants.


I gained a lot of powerful insights through taking the time to evaluate my summer wardrobe and troubleshoot my issues with getting dressed in hot weather. I discovered both physical and emotional comfort issues that have been standing in my way of being happy with my warm weather ensembles. I learned that I need more “stand-alone” tops that look great on their own without the need for layering or heavy accessorizing. I also learned that I prefer my summer tops to be a bit longer and looser than the ones I typically use for layering in colder weather.

I now know what to focus on to prepare for more successful outfits in summer 2022. Your summer wardrobe issues (if you have any) may be quite different from mine, but I hope this two-part series at least got you thinking about any potential changes that you might want to make. If you even got one useful tip from last week’s post or this one, I will feel happy and grateful to have made a difference for you in that way.

Now I’d love for you to offer your thoughts about the topics I shared today and in my last post. Here are a few questions for you to consider, but feel free to chime in however you’d like:

  • Do you find it more difficult to get dressed in the summer months? Why or why not?
  • What emotional issues do you have around warm weather dressing, or dressing for other times of the year?
  • What has helped you to overcome some of those issues? What tips do you have for those of us who are still struggling?
  • What are some of your favorite summer “uniforms”? A few were shared last week, but I’d love to add more to the mix to help inspire us all.

Happy (Early) Thanksgiving!

happy thanksgiving - pumpkins

Thank you for reading, and in case I don’t post again until after Thanksgiving (which is likely given what I have going on), I want to extend warm wishes for that holiday to my readers in the United States. May we all continue to have many blessings to be thankful for even in the midst of an ongoing difficult time for the country and the world.

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23 thoughts on ““Third Piece” Challenges – Part Two

  1. Jenn says:

    Excellent suggestions from you and your readers!

    I find it difficult to dress for hot days because my
    62-year-old legs are veiny and well, 62 years old.

    I’m also a bit self-conscious about my arms which are a big jiggly despite regular workouts.

    My standard outfits are a printed T-shirt, cropped jeans, and sandals.

    I really don’t have any tips other than to do what we can to be as emotionally and physically comfortable with who we are and what we wear and try to enjoy our one wild and precious life.

    1. Debbie Roes says:

      I’m glad you liked the suggestions, Jenn! I have very veiny legs, too, and haven’t worn shorts in years. But I still wear cropped pants and dresses in which the veins are visible. It’s weird how we can not change anything about our diet or exercise habits, but our bodies still change with time and hormonal changes. It’s hard to adjust to it sometimes, but if we want to enjoy our one wild and precious life (love that phrase!), we have to do our best. I like your standard casual outfit, and I know it’s great for a casual lifestyle. Sometimes jeans can be too hot (for me) in the summer, but it depends upon the day. I hope to be able to navigate summer better in terms of my clothes next year!

      1. Jenn says:

        You’ve got me thinking, Debbie. I have a thing about jeans. I think I associate them with sort of a “cool factor.” Maybe it’s because when I was a kid I really wanted to have nice jeans like so many of my peers, but I never did until I could afford to buy them myself. Jeans are certainly not the most comfortable bottom for me to wear which is why I never wear them at home. There, I choose comfy knits that I never wear outside the home, except for walking my dog. Perhaps I need to explore other options next spring. Nothing too baggy–or my lower half will get lost.

        1. Debbie Roes says:

          I never wear jeans at home, either, Jenn. I like the look of jeans and often wear them, but I never think they’re all that comfortable physically. The past almost 2 years of “Covid times” helped me to hone my at-home wardrobe, but my out-and-about wardrobe still needs work, especially when it’s hot outside. I don’t like my bottoms to be too baggy, either. It’s all such a balancing act!

  2. Sue says:

    This post supports my growing realisation that a plain T is not as versatile anymore for me as it once was. It can still work wonderfully as a layering device but not on its own, especially in a bright colour (white included, which can also be unflatteringly seethrough if too thin). I love wearing jewel tones and bright accents but feel emotionally uncomfortable in a bright plain T unless I can subdue most of it with a topper. On the other hand, I don’t want to wear overly dark colours in summer because then I feel dowdy. So my aim for next summer will be to follow your lead and find more stand alones to wear (lightweight clothes in loose-but-not-baggy flattering shapes, in not-too-dark-and-muted/not-too-light-and-bright flattering colours with interesting details).

    1. Debbie Roes says:

      Great points, Sue! I also like to subdue bright tops with a topper, which is part of why I feel uncomfortable in some of my tops in the summer. I agree that plain tees aren’t as versatile as we’re always told they are. Hopefully both of us will be able to find some nice standalone tops next summer. Fingers crossed!

  3. Wendy says:

    You definitely fit the nail on the head regarding the importance of emotional comfort in what we choose to put on our bodies. My summer wardrobe is in a sad state, mainly because I can’t find items that are make me feel both physically but more so emotionally comfortable. I have 2 dresses that I feel great in but only one of them is cool enough to wear out all day on a hot summer day. The other is a maxi dress that I’ve adored for many years and I feel very emotionally comfortable in it but find it too hot on most summer days so I rarely pull it out. I no longer like skirts and fitted waist shorts, I’m totally with you in adding some short sleeve tees with more interesting detail or printed material. My favorite t-shirt is a kelly green loose cotton/linen blend fabric and I can’t seem to find more of the same in different colours. I really do not like to wear dark colours in the summer time as colours like navy and black attracts more heat from the sun to my body despite they are more body slimming colours. Finding the right cuts of clothing (body slimming yet loose and cooling fabrics) with bright colours seems to be impossible to find! I use to love summer clothes and had a good variety of them but as I’m approaching 50 and feeling more sensitive to sun heat and humidity, as well as the physical changes to my body, I no longer like looking for summer clothes despite desperately needing more variety.

    1. Debbie Roes says:

      Thanks for sharing your issues with summer clothing, Wendy. It can be so challenging to find clothes in which we feel both physically and emotionally comfortable! Maxi dresses can definitely be too hot on very warm days, as can dark-colored pieces. I used to feel that summer was the easiest season to dress for, but things sure have changed since menopause, as like you, I’m also more sensitive to heat and humidity as I get older. I hope you’ll fare better in finding tops like your favorite Kelly green one next summer. Maybe there used to be better options than there have been lately, but perhaps we’ll have better luck in 2022!

  4. Nina B says:

    Great info! This is a huge issue for me. When I first hung my “must layer” tops separately from my “wear alone” tops, it really helped me see how few “wear alone” tops I really had. Finding the best length for my wear alone tops was also key for me. I’m 5’8” and long waisted. I often shop in petites for tops because their tunics often hit me right as “regular” length. I do need to try a dress plus very light weight shrug option since I need half or 3/4
    sleeve coverage.

    1. Debbie Roes says:

      What an excellent idea to hang your “must layer” tops separately from your “wear alone” tops, Nina! I’m going to do that, too. I made a list of them, but then I either have to remember or consult that list, which isn’t nearly as easy as seeing them all hung together. I often tweak my closet organization as needed to help make it easier for me to get dressed. Buying petite tunics to wear as longer-length tops is another great idea that I will try. Of course, I can only do that for sleeveless and short-sleeved tops with my super-long arms, but I need a lot more “wear alone” tops in the summer anyway.

      1. Sue says:

        In case it helps, I’d like to share my new wardrobe rule: hang heroes, lay out layers.

        I have KonMari-folded all my tank tops and plain T shirts in a dresser (tanks, short cotton lounge pants and bathers in the top drawer, short-sleeved Ts and long cotton lounge pants in the middle drawer, and long-sleeved Ts and winter lounge pants in the bottom drawer – all organised in IKEA drawer boxes). If I’m going out, I know not to wear tops from the dresser except as underlayers to keep warm and add interest. Where I live, warm summer days almost always start cool but it’s wonderful to know that when the day heats up, I can remove my topper without any emotional discomfort.

        1. Debbie Roes says:

          Thanks so much for sharing your new wardrobe rule, Sue. I apologize for my tardy response, but I was out of town…

          I would like to try our your rule, but I don’t think I have the drawer space to do so. But maybe I could hang the heroes and the layers separately like Nina mentioned here previously. No matter how one chooses to do it, I think it’s helpful to somehow designate the tops that look good on their own versus the ones that need layering in order to work well. It sounds like you have a system that’s working very well for you! I appreciate your sharing it with us here.

        2. Sue says:

          That’s funny. I tried hanging everything but didn’t have the space in my half of the bedroom closet. I tried hanging off-season clothes in my office closet (it used to be a bedroom) but I discovered that there were too few winter-only or summer-only clothes to make a dent. I do store some absolutely off-season items there but I use it mostly for outerwear (jackets, raincoats, winter coats). For me, the dresser solution for storing basic layers is working brilliantly. We work with what we have, I guess.

        3. Debbie Roes says:

          Yes, Sue, we all need to work with what we have space-wise. I wish I had more drawer space for sure, as I like your idea. I try not to contain my clothes to my closet and dresser, with the exception of my coats and outdoor-only jackets (which are in the coat closet) and my “holding zone” bin (which is in the garage). I’ve found that when I store things in another closet, I tend to forget about them, and I’m also more likely to accumulate too much. But if I lived in a place with more distinct seasons, I would probably store some of the really off-season stuff.

  5. I can relate to how body changes are difficult, but I can also know that you do get used to it! With some medication changes, I gained about 100 pounds in 5 years, going from a size 8-10 pear with a trim upper body to a size 2x-3x pear-leaning-apple. (That medication has probably saved my life, so I don’t regret it.) That was about 2 years ago and now I’m used to my new body…and I absolutely refuse to compare it to the one I had in the past or to a societal ideal. I have gotten comfortable with my larger size and am not afraid of “looking big,” though I do prefer to avoid a lumpy/bulgy look (which is common when women’s bodies change but they don’t correspondingly change how they dress or increase sizing as they should) in favor of a smoother one that doesn’t push awareness of my body to the forefront, if that makes sense.

    So I have accepted wearing looser tops and “surrendering the waist,” particularly in hot weather. One thing I’ve noticed for myself is that if I wear a top that fits well (not tight, but a bit fitted) at the neckline and shoulder, then flows looser from there over the middle, the structured feeling at the top keeps my shirt from feeling baggy all over, even if it is loose at the waist and hips. This is a drastic change from how I used to dress when I had a small waist. What was key for me was setting aside what I used to know about the body I used to have and to start over with my current shape, testing different kinds of tops, even ones I would not have considered before, until I found what made me feel physically and emotionally comfortable. Instead of a trim top + looser bottom silhouette, I’m now much more of a long-over-lean dresser. For people experiencing much less drastic changes in their shape and size, it might only require a tweaking rather than a huge change, but I think the general idea of starting with where you are right at this moment can help you find the styles that work.

    Also we need to remember that feeling emotionally comfortable isn’t the same as feeling “skinny” or “young” or whatever. There is no clothing in the world that’s going to make me look or feel skinny 😀 It can be difficult to let go of those concepts as the standard for whether we look “good” or feel “right” in our clothing, but it’s also incredibly freeing! I can honestly say I have more confidence in my style and am more satisfied with my look now than when I was 25 because I have learned to accept myself as I am. The other option is to be at war with yourself, and life’s too short for a grown-ass woman to be her own enemy forever.

    To readers who are struggling with self image issues, please don’t take my words as fuel for feeling bad if you haven’t reached a place of acceptance. I share my own story not to drag you down and make you feel inadequate, but to give you hope that things can get better. It can definitely be two steps forward, one step back, and you probably won’t just wake up one day feeling like you should seek work as a lingerie model, if my experience is anything to go by. But I do believe you can reach the place where you at least sometimes believe yourself as beautiful as the people who love you know you are.

    1. Debbie Roes says:

      Sally, I really appreciate your sharing your story and insights here. Your honesty will benefit a lot of people, I feel, as so many women struggle with self-image issues. There is so much I could say about the wisdom that you shared, but I’ll just focus on a few key points. First, your practical tip about fitting tops at the neckline and shoulder to provide a structured feeling is very good. A lot of us don’t want to wear baggy tops, but we also don’t want form-fitting. Like you, I’m also more into a “long-over-lean” silhouette. It’s not really trendy anymore, but I care more about feeling emotionally comfortable than I do about being super current.

      I also loved what you said about feeling emotionally comfortable isn’t the same as feeling “skinny” or “young.” So true! If we change our perspective and set new standards for ourselves, we’re much more likely to be happy with what we’re wearing and how we look. I’m still working on the self-acceptance, but clothing can play a role in that when we dress for the bodies we have and for our physical and emotional comfort.

      Thank you for what you wrote in your last paragraph, for those of us who haven’t yet reached the place of acceptance. So wonderfully said, and gives us all hope to get to the place of freedom where you find yourself today!

  6. RoseAG says:

    I had major surgery for breast cancer many years ago and I dress and layer to help myself be comfortable with the state of my chest.
    I need to wear a lined bra with good side arm coverage to look even across both sides. As such I wear a tank top under almost everything that I wear. It covers up the bra, and lets me lean over without worrying that the world will be looking down the front of my shirt at a silicone breast form.. It took several years to get adjusted to this, but at this point my uniform is a sheer short or long-sleeved top (most knits as anything that needs ironing spends more time on the ironing pile than on my body) with a tank underneath. I’m very fond of boxy shirts with wide V-necks, and if I’m feeling fancy I can add a scarf or necklace to the whole outfit.
    If the shirt is thicker and dark I can go with a standout colored tank, if it’s sheer and/or light colored then I go neutral.
    Since I’m overly focused on my chest I wear shorts and sleevless things if I want to, flaws in those areas don’t have the same sensitivity to me as my chest.
    Given that I like my legs I find it easier to get dressed in the Summer than Winter because I’m not trying to find matchings socks or stockings to go on my legs.
    It works pretty well for me, and is defintely an emotional as well as a material comfort.

    I think that wrap tops look good on some women and have that “stand alone” quality, but they’re not good for me because I don’t have the boobage to hold the top in place.

    1. Debbie Roes says:

      Thank you for sharing your unique challenges, Rose, and what you’ve done to address them. It sounds like you’ve honed a uniform that helps you to feel more emotionally comfortable with your post-mastectomy figure. I hope that other women with a similar challenge read your comment and get some good ideas. Your tips could also come in handy for women who may be self-conscious about their chest for other reasons, too, and wearing a tank top under another top can also help to smooth over the rest of one’s upper half, which would be useful for women who are sensitive about a tummy. Good suggestion about the wrap tops, too, for those who like that style and can wear it well.

  7. Vildy says:

    My problem is, as I’ve mentioned, the loss of tone mainly inner upper arms, inner thighs but also forearms and calves depending on how my arm or leg is twisted. For summer, I mainly wear looser woven jackets or overshirts, sometimes in a semi-sheer. I do this anyway because I avoid sunblock as much as possible for just everyday activities.

    Yesterday, I pulled out a black watch rayon tunic or minidress. Long sleeved, which can be rolled up. Hits me just above knees, which I know is not the fashionable mini length but I go the other way from what “everybody”s wearing anyway. Because it’s more wintry, I put black riding boots with it but did wonder what I’d do in summer. I tried substantial fisherman sandals in london tan and I thought that was very effective in causing a jump to attention to the more unexpected contrast and away from the bared skin in between shoe and hem. I could also wear a dark camel baker boy type visored cap for sun protection and that would bookend the shoe color.

    1. Debbie Roes says:

      Thanks so much for your comment, Vildy. I apologize for taking so long to respond, but I was out of town.

      Your outfit from the other day sounds very nice. As you’ve mentioned previously, the shoes are often a key focal point. Hats are often a wonderful accessory to add interest to an outfit, too. I like to use “bookending” to make an outfit look more coordinated. I usually bookend with my hair or a topper, but doing it with a hat is also a good way to go. A few readers have mentioned loose-woven and semi-sheet toppers for hot weather. That’s something I’ve never tried, but I’m going to look out for them as next summer approaches.

  8. Vildy says:

    Imogen has a nice little article that touches on all aspects of the third piece or feature, including how different dressing personalities handle it and also including weather tips.

    1. Debbie Roes says:

      Thanks for sharing this article, Vildy! Imogen always has such excellent information, and this article was no exception. I also clicked on a few of the links to previous articles, which were also helpful. I think the key for me is going to be having “special tops” to wear when it’s hot, so that will be my focus for next summer. I’ll probably have to keep reminding myself, though!

  9. Terra Trevor says:

    Good post and reader comments. Thank you Debbie and everyone.

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