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Haute Stuff: How to not be disgusting at summer weddings

So how do you stay cool when the temperature threatens all the work you put into looking fantastic for a few hours of listening to speeches and enjoying the hopefully open bar? There are a few things to consider when preparing for those inevitably hot weddings in these summer months.

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By Amy Van Veen (The Cascade) – Email

Print Edition: July 17, 2013

Sometimes I fear that the heat affects me differently than everyone else. That the back sweat accumulating in a stagnant-heat traffic-jam is my shame alone or that the shiny way my nose reacts to even the slightest rise in temperature is my own personal burden to carry.

But when the breeze stops, we’re all left sitting there, borderline disgusting … and on our way to a wedding.

So how do you stay cool when the temperature threatens all the work you put into looking fantastic for a few hours of listening to speeches and enjoying the hopefully open bar?

There are a few things to consider when preparing for those inevitably hot weddings in these summer months.

First, go light on fabrics. No one will survive in thick cotton, polyester or wool – think light cottons, sheer fabrics and as much flowiness as possible. Gents, maybe think about forgoing the suit jacket and opting for light khakis instead of thick dress pants – that is if the tone of the wedding isn’t formal and in a ballroom at a downtown hotel you can’t afford.

That brings us into the second clothing element to favour (which is sadly a ladies-only option) – flowy fabrics! The simple explanation is that flowy fabrics allow you to feel breezy with just a waft of a full circle skirt or a chiffon dress. The more complex reason to go with the flow is sweatiness is more difficult to detect. In a tight dress, the less attractive side of a hot day is quickly evident – especially with the colour grey. I don’t know why that colour needs to be so evil when it comes to sweat stains, but it just is. But when you’re wearing a breezy fabric, there isn’t time for the sweat to accumulate because as soon as you’re feeling too warm, a quick swoosh cools you right down. It’s the same logic behind elephants’ giant ears being their own personal air-conditioner.

Next, you may want to consider bulking up your purse with must-have on-the-go essentials like tissues, oil-absorbing sheets, antiperspirant and a bottle of water – if you can fit it. If not, at least make yourself known to toilet seat covers. I know it sounds weird, but those free papers of wonder not only protect your rear end from unwanted toilet seat deposits, but they’re also made of the same materials as the expensive oil-absorbing sheets. A quick dab (with a fresh sheet) makes your oily skin matte as new.

Another trick you can have in your arsenal is to plan ahead. When you know you may have to sit in construction traffic on your way to a fancy wedding in Vancouver and you’re not sure how refreshed you’re going to feel after you sweat through your first layer – take off your second layer and save it for when you get there. This only works with very specific outfit choices, but if you plan on wearing a cute skirt with a cami and a sheer button-up, take off the button-up for the drive so that you can throw it on when you arrive and feel properly put together. Or, for you fellas, have a spare shirt for the drive. You’re blessed with the social acceptability of doing a quick shirt-change. Take advantage of it.

And gents, do yourself another favour and undo that top button. You’re going to feel anything but cool when the tightness of a top button leaves a collar of sweat all for the sake of a tie. You could play it cool by having a loose tie with an undone top button and make it even cooler with a thin black button-up (less susceptible to obvious sweat stains), a pair of suspenders and some Chucks.

The most important thing, though, is not to sweat the sweat. Everyone’s going to feel borderline gross when the heat attacks, but by the end of the wedding, the sun should be setting, ice drinks should be available and you can enjoy a night of dancing – where no one cares about the back sweat.

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