Umbrellas aren’t just for rain—7 shady summer solutions to help keep your cool

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Photo by Luke Calvin

As we enter into the thick of summer, dealing with Charlotte’s heat and humidity can be a struggle. Summer rains can be unpredictable, and though sun rays make the raindrops disappear, the air is sticky for the rest of the day. You need to find relief from the sun beating down on your face, and versatile accessories are key to staying cool while still looking cool. 

No matter where you fall on the fashion spectrum, from comfortable and carefree to fashionista, choose the right accessories and you can assemble heat-friendly outfits that are both stylish and functional. 

Here are a few summer essentials that will keep you cool whether on vacation or spending weekends in the Queen City. 

(1) All-weather parasol

Where to find it: BRELLI
Cost: $79

Courtesy of Brelli

A parasol is a perfect and underutilized summer accessory. Add flare to any outfit with this multi-purpose attention grabber. The BRELLI parasol has 99% UV protection, is wind resistant, waterproof and is completely biodegradable. It is a classic, sustainable accessory — rain or shine.

(2) Cashmere scarf

Where to find it: Sloan Boutique
Cost: $195

Courtesy of Sloan Boutique

One of the most breathable fabrics, a cashmere scarf will actually keep you cool in the summer. Wear this lightweight version draped over your shoulders or head whenever you need a break from the sun. The great thing about cashmere is that it can stand up to a summer downpour. Just lay it flat to dry, and it will soon be ready for your next outing.

(3) Lightweight chore jacket

Where to find it: J.Crew
Cost: $150

Photo by Luke Calvin

The garment-dyed blazer from J. Crew might be the most versatile jacket you’ll sport this summer. Cut in a breathable fabric, this unstructured jacket is perfect for a casual weekend look or dressed up with chinos for a more professional vibe. You’ll be hard pressed to find another summer-weight jacket this stylish and practical.

(4) Nude sunglasses

Where to find it: Shades of Shades
Cost: Prices vary depending on style, starting at $275.

Courtesy of Shades of Shades

If you want a pair of sunglasses that will go with your entire wardrobe, a nude pair are a great choice for men and women. The great thing about Shades of Shades sunglasses is that they offer 14 different nude shades in every style, so you are guaranteed to find your match. Whether you prefer an aviator or a flat-top silhouette, they have what you need to stylishly protect your eyes from UV rays.

(5) Patterned bandana

Where to find it: Madewell
Cost: $12.50

Courtesy of Madewell

A bandana is a great multi-use item that can be used to keep your hair out of your face or to keep you from sweating, all while adding a hint of color to any summer look. Use it to tie your hair in a ponytail or fasten it around your neck. When temperatures rise, soak it in cold water, put it back on and get back to enjoying the sun.

(6) Straw hat

Where to find it: Coplon’s
Cost: $44

Photo by Luke Calvin

Give your baseball cap a rest and try a straw version as a summer alternative. This woven raffia hat available at Coplon’s is a summer-friendly take on the classic athletic hat. It allows your head to breathe while providing protection from the sun. Find one that fits your personal style.

(7) Waterproof Birkenstocks

Where to find it: Nordstrom
Cost: $39.95

Photo by Birkenstock

Check out this waterproof version of the classic birkenstock. Wear them around town, to the beach or pool, and they can even replace your shower shoes when staying in hotels. It’s great to have a durable, multipurpose shoe that can take you anywhere, all summer.

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