Ufff it is hot! There is more than a suspicion of sweat on the brow. The nights are definitely warmer. ‘What do I wear?’ is the daily question. One can’t bear to look at dark colours, heavy fabrics or fussy clothes. Fresh fruits, sunscreens and open-toed sandals are back. It is going to be a long haul this summer and we need help. City designers have easy-to-follow wardrobe rules that will keep us clean, crisp and elegant despite the heat & dust

Must haves in your wardrobe:

Choose fabrics that do not require layering or lining. Good quality linen and modal cottons are excellent.

Have a selection of Kota, kalamkari and ikat dupattas. They are timeless.

Stock up on white salwars and kurtas— they go with everything and look cool. Jazz them up with lace or piping in neon colours

Buy floral Patialas in peppy prints and colours

Go in for plain, floral and block-printed skirts and team them with easy-fit tops

Look fabulous in palazzo pants in soft prints, linens, and crepe silks. Or, try coloured trousers in electric blue, peach and baby pink.

Keep cool in white and pastel Lucknowi kurtas.

Make a statement in loose-fitting sari blouses in playful, fun floral prints.

Starch your cottons for a crisp look.

Show off your arms in short sleeves.

Float past in wispy, lightweight chiffons

Keep away from...

Synthetic leggings

Outfits with thick lining

Tight clothes

Dark solid colours

Silks and synthetic fabric

Fancy, elaborate chiffon and net tops. They are unsuitable for summers and the sweat stains are difficult to remove

Fab 5

Must-have fabrics this season: Cottons, Mulmuls, Linens, Chanderis and Chiffons

Colours of the season: Canary yellow, lime green, rose pink, peach and turquoise blue

Mix and match: Use minimal accessories. Go in for simple bead neckpieces and small ear rings. Wear bright head bands and clips. Try plaits with neon bands. Carry a trendy umbrella, a tote bag or a cool sling.

Lingerie: Choose pure cotton inner-wear.

Feet first: Avoid sweaty feet with flip flops and flats

Style check!

Shirts are back with a bang. Simple designs with a nice brooch or light embroidery enhance your summer wardrobe. Tie-up shirts are popular and stylish. Smart cropped jackets in cotton look great; team them with tank tops or basic tees. For a flowy look, go in for lined georgettes or chiffons in bright colours. Kaftans are stylish yet comfortable.

(Inputs from designers Megha Asher, Anita Vadivel, Sulochana Malhotra, Aparna Sunku, Manoj Saravanan and Sathya Karthi; Lakshmi Meera (South India Institute of Fashion Technology), G.P. Sathi (Vichitra Tailors); and J. Elango (Owner, Feelings, R.S. Puram)