The Getup: What to Wear on a Hot & Humid Summer Date

Staying cool and comfortable in near-tropical temps takes a little planning. We’ll help you pull it off.

Hot date? Cause for celebration. Hot-weather date? Prepare for perspiration.

When the seasons switch from sweater weather to sweatier weather, you’ll face one of the trickiest style challenges: how to dress well without turning into a soggy, pit-stained mess over the course of the evening.

The answer breaks down into two categories: fit and fabrication.

men outfit's outfit infographic:  Half way on the CASUAL SMART CASUAL DRESS scale Click on each item for more info LINEN SHIRT: Everlane, $60 Budget: Abercrombie, $29 A linen or linen/cotton blend Amazon alt: Goodthreads, $30 shirt is the sharpest of the light options. If it works well enough in the jungle, downtown will be in a cinch.  A leather or canvas band watch may be your go-to for this time of year, but when you're hot and sweaty, that's an uncomfortable setup stinky disaster.  WATCH Skagen, $126   BELT Carhartt, $25  STRETCH LIGHTWEIGHT SHORTS Bonobos, $58  Amazon alt: Goodthreads, $15  Is it it a boat shoe? Is it a moccasin? Is it a loafer? It's all 3, and it grounds the outfit for dressy intentions.  DRIVING LOAFERS Minnetonka, $69  Upgrade: Brooks Brothers, $126  If you're meeting your date somewhere, or your car's AC isn't what it used to be, plan ahead with these portable shower wipes to wipe off the humidity sweat before saying hello  FULL BODY WIPES HyperGo, $15  TALC-FREE BODY POWDER  Chassis, $19  Budget: Dude Powder, $13  SCENT Dolce & Gabbana, $88 Notes grapefruit, marine, juniper   Click here to see more Getups!

carhartt belt minnetonka driving loafers body wipes dude powder chassis everlane shirt everlane linen shirt abercrombie shirt goodthreads bonobos shorts goodthreads shorts brooks brothers loafer skagen watch dolce gabanna the getup

Looser Fits for Comfort in the Heat

Save your sharpest, most tailored threads for cooler temperatures. When it’s hazy, hot, and humid, reach for looser, drapier items. The shirt is a little looser than you’d probably wear your usual button-up; the shorts, while not baggy by any means, have a great not-too-loose-not-too-tight cut that helps keep the “smart” in Smart Casual.

Best Fabrics for Summer

Linen is THE quintessential hot-weather fabric. Not only is it lightweight, it’s highly breathable and quick-drying, so any sweat quickly gets absorbed and then evaporates. Best of all, it looks good even when it’s a little rumpled, so the inevitable creases and wrinkles come off as smart, not sloppy. When paired with the smooth, crisp lines of the shorts, the overall effect is laid-back yet sophisticated.

With the main pieces squared away, it’s time to talk about:

Summer Accessories

It’s easy to grab a pair of simple white kicks, or even slide on some sandals. Take a walk on the (slightly) dressier side with a pair of preppy-inspired driving mocs, which borrow a few stylistic touches from another summer classic: the driving loafer.

Another overlooked summer swap: the watch strap. If you usually buckle on a leather or canvas band, try a cool Milanese mesh watch band instead. The thin links are smooth and light, so sweat won’t collect the way it would under a thicker, more densely woven band.

Read moreA Comprehensive Guide to Watch Straps

Once you’ve nailed the look, it’s on to the trickiest part: getting to your destination in one (reasonably unsweaty) piece.

Adapting Your Grooming Routine for Summer Heat

Managing Sweat

The first step is stopping sweat — or at least minimizing it. Apply a body powder anywhere there might be chafing and you’ll cut down on sweat and odors, which is easier than trying to clean yourself up on the go. Choose one that’s talc-free with a light, grown-up scent to avoid any unfortunate baby powder associations.

If you’re taking public transit, or if your car’s AC isn’t what it used to be, you can stash a small pack of body wipes in your bag (or the glove compartment) so you don’t show up looking like you took a wrong turn at Death Valley. Pick a fragrance-free option, which won’t clash with your cologne.

Speaking of scent: your body heat will make any odor more intense, whether it’s your own “natural musk” or a favorite fragrance. Heavier scents, like those with earthy notes (think woods, tobacco, musks) are better for cooler nights. Lighter colognes, typically those that feature citrus and aquatic notes, will help you feel (and smell) fresh and clean.

What are your best tips for beating the heat in style? Share ‘em in the comments!

Andrew Snavely

Andrew founded Primer in 2008 and brings 15+ years of men's style expertise. Known for his practical, relatable approach to style and self-development, he has been a recognized speaker at conferences and has styled work for top brands. Off-duty, he loves photography & editing, and enjoys road trips with his dog, Leela. Raised in rural Pennsylvania, educated in DC, and living in LA for nearly 20 years, Andrew's diverse experiences shape the relatable and real-world advice that has helped millions through Primer. On Instagram: @andrewsnavely and @primermagazine.