Dressing Up in Hot Weather and a Graduation

Dressing Up in Hot Weather and a Graduation
Tori did it!
Tori getting a piggy-back ride from her big brother, Ryan.

She not only graduated, receiving her high school diploma on Friday, but she successfully made it through announcing the names of almost 200 students. Tori and another senior were hand picked by the principal to read students’ names at the ceremony.

To add to the anxiety of reading the names properly, annunciating clearly and loudly, she had to also deal with the radiating afternoon heat while wearing a dress with a graduation gown over it…and a cap.

A heat wave arrived in Northern California Friday and by the time we got to the football stadium at the high school it was well into the 90’s with very little shade or breeze.

I knew Tori, being young, full of adrenalin-charged excitement and with plenty of distractions, would be fine as long as she had some water handy, which she did.

Conversely, I being 45, hormonal and distracted only by the blaring sun and my perspiration, would not be fine unless I dressed carefully and cooly for the weather.

I can’t remember the last time I worried so much over what to wear to an event. If there is one thing that I dread it’s being hot and sweaty, especially if I know it’s going to be for an extended period of time.

My first thought was to wear this dress:

It’s light in both color and weight but it’s got long sleeves, a high neck and I have to wear a slip with it. Sounded hot, not in a good way.

Next I thought about wearing this Laundry high-low dress:

It’s sleeveless and short enough for hot weather but the material is heavy – a jersey with double thickness. And the dark gray would show sweat spots.

Then I started thinking about shorts. My Lilly Pulitzer shorts worn like this would have worked:

But this outfit really needs heeled sandals to look dressed up enough. I knew there was a chance we might not get seats and I’d have to stand for three hours or more, which did in fact happen. I am so glad I didn’t wear heels for that reason. Plus, black in the direct sun is not a good idea.

Finally, I made a decision. A navy blue Banana Republic lightweight gathered maxi skirt with a COS slouchy white tee, cognac belt from J. Crew, Michael Kors flat cognac sandals and my Persolé Chic Shade.

The outfit is not as dressy as I had wanted, but certainly comfortable and not too casual. The tee shirt is light without being overly sheer, and the skirt still managed to be cool even though it’s lined and to the floor.

Bringing along my Persolé Chic Shade for extra sun protection was a brilliant idea, if I do say so myself. I actually had someone offer to buy it from me before the ceremony began!

Here we are meeting up after graduation with the beautiful graduate herself.

Thank you for all the kind congratulatory messages you left for Tori on my last post.
I hope you had a happy weekend!
How do you go about dressing up in hot weather?
Do you have any fashion tips for a heat-hater like me?

And remember that How I Wear My: Floral is going to up bright and early on Tuesday, June 4th. There is still time to be included in the post. Just send a photo of you in something floral to me or Jill of Everything Just So by mid-day on June 3rd.

How I Wear My 
xo, Adrienne



  1. June 2, 2013 / 2:00 pm

    Fabulous choice Adrienne. I love the parasol. Hats can certainly look chic and provide sun protection, but sometimes they make me feel hot. We don’t get a lot of super hot weather up here in Vancouver, but sometimes a 100% cotton tunic…the really lightweight ones…are comfy for me in the sun.

    I had hoped to join in for the floral party, but I’ve been stuck with a cold these past few days, and photographs are the farthest thing from my mind right now.

    Sue xo

    • June 2, 2013 / 3:12 pm

      I love my parasol, too. I really, really loved it on Friday! I thought of a hat but I only have floppy hats for the pool or beach that aren’t very flattering on me. I don’t think I am much of a hat person either except for baseball caps.

      I love Vancouver weather – Vancouver is my favorite west coast city. How fortunate for you that you get to live there!
      A cotton tunic is a great hot weather piece. I bought one in Kauai last fall and wear it over my swimsuit.

      Too bad about the floral photo. You are welcome to use and older photo if you want to.
      Feel better soon! Summer colds stink!

  2. June 2, 2013 / 2:12 pm

    Ahhh it feels so good when they graduate! One of those PROUD days~cherish it! xoxo

    • June 2, 2013 / 3:13 pm

      It is a big relief when they graduate and also a feeling of starting a new chapter in life both for her and for us as parents. Yes, PROUD is right!

  3. June 2, 2013 / 3:10 pm

    I liked all your choices, and I’m glad you found the perfect one for you. I can’t believe you had to stand, though. My goodness!
    I’ve never heard of having other seniors read the graduates’ names. What an honor for Tori. I know you were proud.

    • June 2, 2013 / 3:35 pm

      Me too! Standing the entire time. Not very fun for my father-in-law. At least we found him some shade and something to lean on.
      I had never heard of that either – Tori’s school does not choose a valedictorian. Instead they select a handful of students to give speeches, and sing songs, and a boy and a girl to read the names. It’s quite an honor to get to read the names aloud!

  4. June 2, 2013 / 3:37 pm

    Adrienne you look adorable and comfortable as well. Love you Parasol.

    Thank you so much for sending me the Wine Glass Markers! My granddaughter and I will have fun with these!

    2013 Designer Series
    Art by Karena

    • June 2, 2013 / 4:18 pm

      So glad you received the Wine Glass Writers already!
      Have fun with your little one!
      xo, A

  5. June 2, 2013 / 3:52 pm

    Congratulations to Tori! And I love your style choice, ESP the fab umbrella. Thanks for sharing with Vis Monday!

    • June 2, 2013 / 4:19 pm

      I would have been kicking myself had I left my Persole at home. It was the perfect place to use it.
      Thanks for hosting Visible Monday! I can’t believe it’s #99!

    • June 3, 2013 / 10:16 pm

      I would have been standing uncomfortably close to you for a snip-it of your Persole shade. This is something I must remember to bring when needed, as in some heat hats can be too warm!

      Cheers to Tori!

  6. June 2, 2013 / 4:30 pm

    Wonderful photos and great occasion! I graduated from high school in Northern California, too – in the East Bay. I wear a hat to keep cool, and sometimes take a fan along.

    • June 2, 2013 / 6:23 pm


      I have a few friends who also went to high school in the East Bay. I wonder if, by chance, you know any of them.

      If I looked as great as you do in hats, I would wear them more often for sure!

  7. June 2, 2013 / 4:33 pm

    Graduation is such an exciting time. Beautiful photos.

  8. June 2, 2013 / 5:02 pm

    Congrats to the lovely Tori and her fab family! I am so in the graduation spirit myself-4 grad celebrations in 3 days.
    This is such an exciting time in life. Adrienne-lovely choice since it was hot as ‘hades’ in N. Cal this weekend!
    xx, Heather

    • June 2, 2013 / 6:26 pm

      Oh my! Four graduations in 3 days? Did you go to all the ceremonies? They can be very long!

      It has been hot as hades lately. I don’t like it! I am already yearning for fall – I have a long time to wait!
      xoxo, A

  9. June 2, 2013 / 6:01 pm

    Aaargh–I have the loveliest floral dress, but I don’t think I’m going to get my act together in time. The long skirt you wore with the umbrella was perfect and good for catching a breeze.

    • June 2, 2013 / 6:27 pm

      Too bad! We take photos of outfits from old posts, too. So if you have another floral outfit you’d like us to feature, send it over!

  10. June 2, 2013 / 9:02 pm

    You did a great job of finding the appropriate outfit! I know how hard it is when it’s hot outside. In AZ, we do our graduations in the evening so we’re only dealing with the sun for a few minutes before it sets. Congrats to the graduate!
    Heather from Friendship, Life and Style

    • June 3, 2013 / 1:26 pm

      Smart of you to do inside graduations…and in the evening. Usually it rains or is cool this time of year. Our weather isn’t very predictable in May or June.

  11. June 2, 2013 / 10:00 pm

    Adrienne, Loved the skirt with the T and belt. So cute and perfect. I know what you mean about being comfy and yet still stylish. Still not sure what to wear to my son’s little 5th grade graduation on Thursday. I know it will be a long sit in the sun!


  12. June 3, 2013 / 2:37 am

    You look chic in that tee and skirt but I love your Laundry dress.. stunning! Congrats to Tori!

    MRS JACK OF ALL TRADES (a fashion and life-style blog)

  13. June 3, 2013 / 5:13 am

    Perfect outfit for lots of reasons. Understated, but chic. The high school boys would have been chasing you around in that short’s outfit!!! Love the parasol with it as well. What a great honor for Tori to have been chosen to read the names! And that photo of Tori and Ryan looks like an ad! All your outfits ideas were great and it was fun to see photos of them again too. Congratulations once again – Tori is a spectacular young woman!

  14. June 3, 2013 / 5:22 am

    Congratulations to Tori! And to you and Bill for all the hard work in parenting a child through to high school graduation. My son is going to middle school next year and I know things will only get tougher, not easier! I like what you decided on to wear, it’s perfect. I like a long-ish skirt if I’m going to be in the heat too. And the umbrella was a great addition! Looking forward to the florals post. XO, Jill

  15. June 3, 2013 / 7:27 am

    I think you made a great choice wearing the t shirt/maxi skirt combo, and bringing your Persole. What a great picture of the three of you… Again, congrats to Tori on her achievement!

    Last year my life saver from the heat was a long black Michael Kors skirt that I wore a lot. Then recently, after seeing your post on the maxi dress you bought at Gap I went on to their website and found a cute navy maxi dress. In addition I just ordered a maxi skirt from Nordstrom. I had to have an alternative to pants when it’s hot since my short wearing days are over. (except around the house) It’s already getting humid here…our summers are so awful now and with my hot flashes it makes it that much worse. 🙁

    Have a good week!


  16. June 3, 2013 / 11:01 am

    That looks beautiful, I love the asymmetrical dark dress, it’s beautiful. The light-colored dress is also beautiful, has a great design. But your decision is right, a casual look, simple and elegant, a superb choice. In all of them you are attractive.

  17. June 3, 2013 / 12:18 pm

    Congratulations to lovely Tori! She looks happy and relieved 🙂

    Gorgeous maxi look, Adrienne – I ordered my first maxi dress today.
    I also love the first, beige dress with long sleeves.

    And I admit, I never had to think about dressing for too hot weather, here it is only the other way round… believe me, it is equally challenging!

    Lady of Style

  18. June 3, 2013 / 3:29 pm

    Like you, I’m a parasoler… and today’s post at my place is about hand fans. I’m never without mine, and every woman who ever had or ever will have a “personal summer” (as Patti puts it) really should have a fan handy!
    All your occasion outfit choices were great … perhpas not the shorts, as you legs would draw attention away from all the grads. (How do you do that? They go on forever.)
    You looked lovely in your final choice. Perfect.
    Congrats to you all … a wonderful occassion. My granddaughter just “gradatated” a year early (special program they have up in Alaska), so I’m proud as well!

  19. June 3, 2013 / 8:20 pm

    Looks like you made the perfect choice.I’m like you not a great lover of the heat (unless at the beach). So it’s ironic that I live in Spain for part of the year. I guess my tips are stick to white or light colors, no synthetic fabrics, ice-cold Evian water mist to spritz the face, a hairstyle that doesn’t need to be blow-dried during the summer months i.e embracing crunched beach hair or lovely summer hats xx

  20. June 14, 2013 / 10:20 am

    I think you look fantastic! Gorgeous choice as always 🙂

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