Photo by zombielace via flickr
Here in Maryland, the weather has been shifting between deliriously hot days and hurricane-level thunder storms. Between the humidity, rain, and sweat, it’s safe to say I chose a terrible time to get bangs and my Washington State, sweater-centric wardrobe isn’t cutting it. Luckily shabby-chic, upcycled fashion is newly popular (I knew if I hung onto my clothes long enough that would become a thing) and I’ve discovered a few solutions to look cute while seriously trying as little as I possibly can.
I have fine, wavy hair and sensitive skin, which make blow drying and summer makeup totally irrelevant. Most of my clothes are long sleeved and that’s just absurd living here. It narrowed down my beauty routine and my wardrobe to a few good options. Still, I like to look pretty when I leave the house so I was determined to find some ideas.
After attempting to straighten my locks a few times against Maryland’s relentless humidity, I gave up on the effort altogether. After that, I tried a high ponytail, which is cute, but I got bored of it. I moved onto a top-knot which looks great in magazines, but I don’t have the thickness to pull off so I ended up looking like a 6 year old ballerina. Finally I came across a sock bun and although I was skeptical, it worked out great. To my delight, it’s the easiest thing to do in the world and it looks fantastic. You can look up roughly eight million different tutorials online about how to do this, but here’s what works for me
* Have dry, relatively clean hair. Take a business sock (since they’re thinner for my fine hair) or, honestly, any one of the sad lonely partners of a pair lost in the washing machine. I have a ton of those and resigned to a life full of mismatched socks. Cut the toes off and roll the sock in on itself – hiding decals or colors around the top, if there are any – until it looks like a scrunchie.
* Pull your hair up to a high ponytail and secure it with a hairband. Find wherever works for you – I like just below the crown of my head to avoid looking like I’m being fitted for a tiara.
* Pull your hair through the center of the sock and then slide it to the end of your ponytail. Wrap the ends of your hair, from the inside of the sock outward, around the sock and begin to roll it down towards your head, collecting hair on the way.
Once you reach your head, where you made the ponytail, the hairband will be hidden and with any luck all of your hair will have covered the sock. Fluff it around a little if it hasn’t – this has never been a big issue for me. Now it looks like a full, round bun and I find that if I do it quickly without trying too hard, it’s cutely messy. That works in summer-weather favor, when the heat and humidity begin to undo your ‘do. The longer you wear it, the messier it gets. It takes no bobby pins to stay in place and it keeps my hair out of my face and off my neck. Best of all, my sad lonely socks without their partners get a new lease on life.
This one is so easy it’s dumb. Like I said, I have sensitive skin and during the summer, I can’t use a lot of product. I enjoy embracing the dewy glow that a little humidity brings instead of trying to fight it, so I like to exfoliate and moisturize as much as possible. That’s where coffee comes in. If you don’t drink three cups a day like I do, that’s okay – splurge a little for a pound of coffee or get it free from Starbucks, I’m not even kidding you. They donate their grounds for compost all the time. Anyway, during your shower or morning ritual just wet your face, scrub with a handful of coffee grounds (try keeping a few scoops in a jar or bowl, freeze the rest) and rinse! It sounds hokey, but it’s amazing. It exfoliates your skin to keep it shiny and soft, and has just enough natural oil to moisturize without clogging. After that, I don’t wear makeup on hot days so I don’t have to worry about sweating it off. Bonus? My face smells like coffee all day.
This is more of a cheap outfit trick for hot weather. I had a ton of leftover shirts that I wasn’t wearing, since all I can stand is a tank top lately. Thanks to the internet there are literally hundreds of ways of how to chop up a t-shirt, so pick whichever works for you. I find it’s a really great way to save on summer clothes and keep shirts I know fit me.
* Try taking an old t-shirt and cutting the sleeves off, opening an large hole all the way down each side of the shirt to bare some midriff. Leave the bottom seams intact so you still have a shirt, duh. Snip open or cut away part of the bust/back to keep it airy and lightweight. This works over a light tank, a bra or a swimsuit top.
* Instead of the above, snip away the sleeves and part of the bust/back but leave the sides intact. Snip 3-inch long holes down each side about one inch away from each other until you’re about 4 inches from the bottom seam. Throw it in with your dirty clothes and after it’s washed, the strips will curl up on each other and leave the midriff with a cool, slotted design.
* For the truly crafty, repeat the above shirt design. Instead of leaving all the strips intact, take a strip from the middle of each side and cut them away from the back of the shirt, so they’re still connect to the front. Tie them together behind your back to give the tank some shape around your waist.