Another Hot Day in Texas

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Red lips and massive sunnies serve as a great summer accessory pairing for any casual dress.

As my East Coast friends post endlessly on Facebook about the ridiculous temps, I can’t help but think, Now you know my pain! When we landed in Texas, Josh and I had been warned about the summers but we figured we’d get through it by racing from one air conditioned space to the next. And so far, we have. But yesterday… oy!

This jet-setter (I’ve been to two weddings on the East Coast in two weekends, and arrived home super-late this past Sunday evening) did not feel like a dress Monday morning. Instead she reached for the only clean jeans around, a skin-tight pair with polka dots. Being gone the past two weekends also means being out of dry cleaned and/or recently washed summer tops so it was slim pickings. I ended up in a white Theory button-down (long sleeves) with a black American Apparel tee over it. Ferragamo skimmers.

I nearly died.

The more I’ve looked around my dress code-free office in recent weeks, the grander my “Toto, you’re not in Manhattan anymore” realization has become. There is no need to wear endless mounds of black, smart little shoes, and very carefully curated hemlines. While I miss the daily runway show of Wang, Posen, et al. on the New York City subway each morning, it is more than a little bit freeing to know that I am now fully justified in showing up at work in a little, breezy sundress and platforms, or even (gasp) shorts.

No, the shorts have not happened yet. If you’ve ever seen me in shorts, you know that my collection belongs nowhere near a professional environment. I will likely need to purchase a longer pair before I can show up at work in them. And, um, I don’t really want to do that!

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This liquid jersey maxi from J Crew is a lovely choice for the office or the weekend. But, lose the hat! ON SALE for $55, jcrew.com

So, to keep things classy, I’ve been reaching mainly for sweet sundresses and comfortable flats or platforms. I’m also loving the look of a black or gray cocktail dress in an airy chiffon or silk, paired with great heels and a cardigan. And while the walk from the parking garage to the inner sanctum of this frigid building remains grueling, at least it’s hot enough (everywhere) in Texas that you don’t mind baring your legs in the AC. That delicate balance is one thing I definitely don’t miss about home.

Got some cute summer style tips? Email me at sparklesnfun@gmail.com and share!

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Tuck a shirt into a longer pair of shorts and swap out her flats for a pair of heels. You will look fantastic! Caslon shorts, nordstrom.com, ON SALE for $29.90

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Jonesing for a splurge? These amazing graphic stilettos in black and white from Manolo Blahnik are just to thing to amp up your summer duds and keep you utterly on-trend for fall. $655, saksfifthavenue.com

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Definitely not for the office, but is this gorgeous or what? Love the cut-out back of the top and incredible draping on the hem of the skirt. Photo from lookbook.nu

In an effort to make the brutal Texas heat work for me this summer, especially while I’m working, I decided I needed to figure out the whole maxi thing. I’ve said it multiple times but I’ll mention once more: in general I find the maxi dress does not get the respect it deserves. Yours might be very cute from the front, but if you aren’t carefully selecting your undergarments and checking the ahem-rear view in the mirror before you leave the house, you might just be looking, well, less than fabulous from behind.

Paranoia aside, I decided it was time. My short dresses make me really happy but about a third of them are inappropriate to wear to the office, and once in the AC, I’m often cold. The maxi seems a great compromise, though not one to be over-utilized. I hereby vow to “max” it out at two per week.

I hit up the clearance section at Urban and scooped up three for 10 to 20 bucks apiece. I figured if I hated them, I could part with them at this price better than the $150 of the one I’d been lusting after at Bloomie’s. (Side note: Yes, this blogger has a serious addiction to Bloomingdales and she blames it on her mother. In Texas, a lack of the traditional department store matters not, because there is a Bloomie’s outlet about five miles from her home. This causes about 89.7% of the arguments she has with her fiance).

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Hunzy loved this one because unlike a lot of maxis, it shows the bod.

I rocked Josh’s favorite of the three, a form-fitting gray number with white splatter-paint print, to brunch on Sunday. Sitting outside in the 97 degree heat and eating eggs in a maxi made me want to run into the middle of the street and strip it off while guzzling a gallon of ice-cold Diet Coke. That will not be happening again.

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This tie dye number is extra loose and comfy; I wore it to our ballroom dance class on Sunday so Josh and I can get used to not stepping all over my dress on the big day!

And then Monday morning, I donned a soft chiffon style with a racerback and sweeping skirt to the office. I paired it with those gold bow sandals that seem to work their way into nearly every outfit these days. Not only was I comfy and cool on the walk from my car to the building, and vice versa, but in the frigid AC of the office, I did not need a cardigan. Bonus points go to the maxi for the fact that I did not have to shave my legs. But in case you were wondering, I not only laundered all of my nude thongs and strapless bras on Sunday night, I also inspected my rear-view in every mirror in our apartment before venturing out. A girl’s got to consider herself from every angle, after all.

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Monday’s dress, Pins and Needles Breezy chiffon maxi from Urban, on sale from $69 for 19$… hurry, they are running out of sizes! urbanoutfitters.com