Cool clothes for the hot weather

Although some would never admit to this, the first thing many girls think in the morning is, “What am I going to wear to college today?” We all want to ...

Sep 14, 2013

Although some would never admit to this, the first thing many girls think in the morning is, “What am I going to wear to college today?” We all want to be the envy of campus like the protagonists of a Hollywood movie.
But this is easier said than done when you are in a constant battle with the weather. Switching from the 16 degrees Celsius environment in Sama Tower to the 40 degrees Celsius sauna of your walk to Al Safa can prove to be a major challenge to dressing appropriately.
But fear not. After talking to a several students, The Gazelle has crafted this list of eight recommendations for dressing in Abu Dhabi:
1. Midi skirts
Whatever the place, whatever the occasion, make these skirts a permanent feature of your closet. Midis, skirts that are short in the front and long at the back, are modest but still airy enough to provide for a very comfortable day in the city. Since these skirts tend to be slightly voluminous, try pairing them with a more form-fitting top to give the outfit a streamlined look.
“A good place to buy these is H&M,” said sophomore Mika Koulibaly. “You can buy just about everything else there too!”
2. Cardigans
These are another absolutely essential item for living in Abu Dhabi. The extremes in temperatures between inside and outside make cardigans very useful to have around. You can wear more form-fitting tops and pair them with a cardigan to still maintain a modest appearance. Try the oversized kind, and experiment with belts and even scarves to create the perfect-layered look. Forever21 has some really nice designs that can be adapted to everyone’s tastes.
3. Leggings
Short skirts and dresses may not be the best choice for Abu Dhabi when considering local cultural norms. However, when paired with stockings, leggings or tights, they are perfectly fine. One recent back-to-college look has incorporated opaque neutral or coloured leggings with a simple neutral short skirt.
4. Blazers
Blazers are certainly a wardrobe staple but can be trickier to pull off. The go well with summery dresses, skirts and even t-shirts, and are ideal for the Abu Dhabi climate. Blazers protect you from the sun when outside and from the cold inside. An added bonus is that they make almost any outfit look more fashionable.
5. Maxi dresses
What better summery outfit than a maxi dress? These dresses can be worn in a smart or casual look. They are low maintenance, culturally sensible and most importantly, comfortable in the heat! Accessorize a maxi dress with wedges for the evenings or keep it casual with sandals or flip-flops in the daytime.
“They are the best choice for the Abu Dhabi climate because of how airy they are,” said freshman Alexandra Seyfang.
6. Jumpsuits
The jumpsuit is back, and this comfy-yet-stylish look seems to be popular at NYU Abu Dhabi. You can spend the whole day in a jumpsuit without feeling the slightest bit of discomfort, and they look stylish, when paired with a jacket and accessories.
“Marina Mall has a good collection with some interesting designs this season. It’s great if you just want to explore too,” said Koulibaly.
7. Scarves
This is a must-have accessory for anyone who lives in Abu Dhabi. Scarves serve as great protection against the air-conditioned climate of the Sama and Downtown Campus classrooms and also instantly spice up any outfit.
They are also great for visits to the mosque where you are required to cover your head completely. Experiment with different knots, patterns and fabrics to develop a unique sense of style. Try some of the fabrics and pattern from the local souks.
8. Loose T-shirts
If you are too lazy to dress up, T-shirts are the way to go. They are very comfortable and airy, and allow flexibility of movement for different physical activity. T-shirts, shorts and a light jacket are perfect for wandering the hallways of Sama. Sometimes it is good to dress up, without dressing up.
Hopefully, this list benefits all who were confused about dressing style in Abu Dhabi. Remember that it is always best to be respectful of the local culture. A general rule of thumb is to cover your shoulders and your knees and  wear nothing too revealing or see-through whilst out in public. Take the outrageous Abu Dhabi heat as a chance to experiment with your wardrobe in new ways.
Mitali Banerji is a contributing writer. Email her at 
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