Tuesday, January 22, 2013

A Gothic Summer

It's Summer again *hiss*

Oh Australia, 35c degrees and higher everyday, how I dislike you. But I've survived each summer, and that means you can too!

Australia has recently passed the selling of 50+ sunscreen. Our highest used to be 30+. Australia tests sunscreens itself, thus we don't have the high sunscreens of other countries. Choose one that you feel is not too oily or smelly. You can get a different type just for the face, these are generally light and non-greasy. Make sure to cover all areas that are uncovered by clothing with sunscreen.

Parasols are different from umbrellas. Umbrellas are generally waterproof and are used for the rain. Parasols are cotton or lightweight material (I find this helps more when it's windy). There a lots of different types of parasols to choose from. I personally like the 'three fold' design of parasol. This type is manually folded up into a compact shape, so I can fit it into my bag.

The other type is the 'umbrella' style of parasol, which is long and you have to carry it everywhere. There are lots of different styles, with lace or cotton or pointy. Look for parasols in china town or asian parts of your city. Lots of asian girls use parasols in summer. Don't feel silly carrying it around! I used to feel strange because my outfits didn't suit parasols, but I got over it. Be sunsmart!

I have a large collection of handheld fans. I found mine in a market for $3 each. I suggest stocking up on fans because you never know when they will break. They are useful for keeping yourself cool outside (or on the train) and are brilliant for dancing with. I never go dancing without my fan! Look for them in markets, or chinatown.
Avoiding the sun:
The sun is at it's worst in the middle of the day. Try to keep indoors as much as possible. Be aware of where the sun it. When you're outside try to keep your arms out of the sun. On the train/bus figure out which side of the vehicle is in the shade (I do this). In a car you can drape a cardigan or piece of clothing over your arms. Stand in the shade of a tree or building if you're outside.

Drink lots of water! I always have around four bottles of water in rotation at home. Once I finish one, I fill it up with tap water and put it back in the fridge. Save water, try not to waste it.
Ice treats are good to keep cool. Not to mention icecream! Oh, and watermelon and grapes. All of this talk is making me hungry!

Lightweight material is best. Pirate shirts are good because they're billowy and made of cotton. Think of skirts, dresses, and breathable fabric. Try not to wear things that trap in the heat. I wouldn't suggest corsets for everyday wear, I still wear a corset in summer when I go clubbing. Lace and sheer materials are nice, they let the breeze in.
If you have confidence issues about your upper arms just wear singlets anyway! On hot days everyone is too hot to worry about how other people look. Plus, you're perfect the way you are and NO ONE should make fun of you. I recently work a sleeveless dress outside for the first time. I felt like "screw you guys, it's too hot. LOOK HOW AWESOME MY FAT ARMS ARE!"
I'm a large girl, and I always wear skirts and dresses. If you're like me, you know about the dreaded 'chub rub'. This is when your thighs rub together when you walk, creating discomfort. I wear bike shorts and tights to stop this.
Hats are a good idea if their suit you. Top hats, bowlers, sun hats. If you wear a hat outside make sure that the brim is wide enough so that the sun can't hit your face.
Shoes are a dilemma. If you enjoy sandals, wear them. Other options include Maryjane's and brogues. I wear winklepickers and boots.
Sunglasses are both fashionable and protect your eyes from the sun. You can get heaps of different designs cheap on ebay!
Get a nice pair of bathers (swimming costume) because you never know when you might go swimming. I have a pair from an online plus size store. I only use them maybe three times a year, but I really enjoy swimming!

Somehow my makeup stays in when I'm all sweaty, I don't know how I do this!! Try not to use too much makeup for everyday wear. Eyeliner and eyeshadow is good. I always use liquid eyeliner, and you can get this in waterproof too. Eyeshadow primer is good for keeping eyeshadow from sliding around (and it keeps drawn on eyebrows safe too). I use Lime Crime eyeshadow helper, but I've heard good things about Urban Decay too.
I personally wear foundation and powder even in summer. People might find this too heavy, you can use tinted moisturiser or a light foundation. Or just go natural!

Air conditioning:
It really sucks having to go through summer without and air conditioner to cool you off. I have a standing unit that I can move and plug into the window. I used to only have a fan that did nothing to help cool me off.
If you don't have an air conditioner you can spend some time in places that do. Libraries, museums and art galleries all have air conditioning. They generally don't care how long you stay around.
Movie theatres are also nice and cool, but you'll have to leave after watching a movie.
Shops and malls also have air conditioning.


Tenebris In Lux said...

I think a lot of people forget about the nice, airy clothing. Let your skin breathe! There's nothing worse than walking around in tight pants saturated with sweat. :-(

TanteFledermaus said...

Dude, we have SPF 100 here. I'm not sure it's really 100, but I do know that I wore it to the Ren Faire last year and had not a trace of bodice burn. Not even a faint bodice tan. That's UNHEARD of. Smelled like the usual sunscreen bleh, and I broke out a little (my skin is ridiculously picky), but still. I was a happy camper.

SaryWalrus said...

My friends and I have a habit of going into the cinema and just sitting in their for hours without watching a film. Usually no one cares but I do feel really bad. We tend to feed the game machines with coins though. :3

Michelle said...

Good post Natalie!

I love parasols, and carry one around everywhere in summer (the fold-up idea is good though).

I get sunscreen from the health food shop with no nasties - costs more and is thicker to apply, but doesn't give me a rash like chemical sunscreens do!

I don't really alter my makeup in summer either - though my hair dye tends to run in the heat :P

Morgaine Fey @Purji said...

Blargh, the dreaded chub rub. I invested in some bicycle type shorts and it made me a very happy fluffy goth gal.

I like your parasol and fans idea. I recently decided "screw it" about my upper arms and am going to be sleeveless this summer, so these are really helpful hints!!


Anonymous said...

Lucky you over there. We've got snow and ice, and plenty of it here in London, UK right now. hehe