Be Bold:Keepin’ It Cool for Summer

Article by Laurelin Au

For those of us who have been in Xi’an for a while, we know the “oven-effect” (as I like to call it) that happens during the summer. Although the weather doesn’t really start picking up heat until May, this is truly my last opportunity to leave you all with something informative and practical for managing Xi’an’s heat wave. Yes, my time here is drawing to an end, and this will sadly be my final article for the Xianease. So, let’s fast-forward a bit to Xi’an’s summer—something I know a bit about.

To the people who are new to Xi’an, who claim to know a thing or two about “hot summers,” let me tell you, they don’t call this place one of China’s “Great Ovens” for laughs. The mixture of heat and humidity here makes the typical 38°C (100°F) day feel like 42°C. If that still doesn’t seem hot to you, well then, congratulations, you are impervious to the pain and suffering many foreigners feel during the typical summer day in Xi’an. But, if you’re like me (I search for a body of water once it gets past 26°C) you’ll need some fashion tips to keep you cool. Without further ado, here is a list of breathable and lightweight materials, as well as ways to wear them, for Xi’an’s scorching months.

1. Linen

I used to think that linen could only be worn to the beach or for Star Wars cosplay, but recently, it’s made headlines in the fashion world because of its lightweight feel. Linen has been used to make contemporary and modern garments, and its incredibly lightweight and absorbent material will leave your skin dry even on the most humid of days. Try these summer looks in this material:

2. Cotton

This might seem like an obvious choice. Cotton is a comfortable and lightweight material, and the perfect choice for hot weather. Unfortunately, it’s less than ideal for humid weather. So, check the forecast before grabbing your favorite sundress or T-shirt, because the last thing you want is a material that clings to your body at the first sign of perspiration. Check out these easy summer looks in cotton:

3. Silk

This thin and luxurious material is great for a fun night out. Silk is moisture absorbent, so feel free to dance the night away without worrying about looking like you’ve wandered through Death Valley for a couple hours. The silk fibers do have a tendency to break down in sunlight, so it’s best to wear this material at night. Here are some silky smooth summer looks:

Although I’m not complaining about leaving Xi’an just before the summer weather hits, there is much to miss about this city. I love walking down the street and seeing women and men embrace fashion. Not a day goes by that I don’t see someone wearing a garment that makes me turn my head. Fashion is alive and well in this city, and this welcoming attitude has pushed me to take my own fashion risks; to decide which looks work for me and which don’t. I hope these articles have been as fun for you to read as they have been for me to write. From the community of friends I’ve made, to engaging in a language and culture that is vastly different from my own, it has been an adventure. Remember: you deserve to feel amazing about the way you look. Own your style, whether the weather is 0°C or 40°C. Farewell, Xi’an!

Laurelin Au is a graduate of the University of Oregon, who believes poetic inspiration can be found anywhere you look.