Every summer, but especially this summer as I’m heading to the USA for nearly three months, I struggle with staying cool. I am not well suited to hot weather; I have very pale skin and burn easily, and I find anything above 20C uncomfortably warm. My preference is to stay inside, or failing that to be completely covered to avoid sunburn – but of course that means I overheat.

This year in particular, as I have grown increasingly uncomfortable with revealing outfits, I am thinking about how I will dress to avoid heat exhaustion without stripping off. I am large-busted, which means that unless I wear tops which cover to the neck, everything is either low-cut or too tight.

I have done a bit of searching for blogs and websites on this issue, but am not having much luck. The advice I have found is either too extreme – some of the Muslim websites are very interesting but I will not be wearing hijab, and I have no problem with women wearing trousers – or not extreme enough – I am not comfortable having my shoulders and upper back uncovered, although I don’t always wear long sleeves.

In the last few months I’ve bought several longish skirts. I think I now have four or five skirts which fall between just below the knee to mid-calf, and one full-length black skirt for concerts. I’ve also got a few mid-calf summer dresses, which I wear with a little bolero cardigan to cover my shoulders. It’s t-shirts which are the problem. Everything seems to be strappy (which can be solved by boleros as well, but I only have one at the moment), low-cut, tight, short or too warm. Previous attempts to find thin blouses which don’t gape across the front have been fruitless. Hopefully the choice will be more extensive when I’m in America – perhaps the problem is that here in the UK, we get hot weather so rarely that the clothing companies simply don’t bother making suitable clothing, except for the usual sexy skimpy things!

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