Cool (and staying that way!)

By Karen R. Smith


There comes a moment when it’s just too hot to shop. A moment when we’re happier staying home rather than brave the escalating temperatures. When you’d rather not leave the comfort of air conditioning, swimming pool and that pitcher of margaritas. Crank up the AC... stay home... and go shopping via your keyboard. There are fabulous clothes out there, just waiting for you to find them via the internet, and free shipping abounds. Besides, when evening comes, you’ll want fabulous things to wear when it’s cool enough to go outside!


Natural forms in soft sculptural shapes predominate at Aritzia, which now has three stores on the east coast but none here in Arizona. Don’t worry ­­ you’re going to love their website. Sign up at and you’ll get notices of their sales, store openings and new collections. The latter consist of brands you already know and love (Ray­bans, Havaianas) and brands you’re going to love getting to know (Wilfred, whose Hollande blouse is the prettiest off­the­shoulder ever and 1­01 Babaton, where an Italian knit has been tailored into a timeless strapless tank). It’s a mix of exclusive and non­exclusive clothing and accessories and you’re going to love discovering everything they have to offer.

Club Monaco

It seems to me there’s a Club Monaco store in most of the countries I visit, but there’s not one here in Tucson. Visit their website and start shopping while you can still get a summer wardrobe of great dresses (on sale right now). Got a college student? They’ll get 20% off. The clothes are fresh, acknowledging trends yet staying timeless. The Zonya dress might be just right for dinner by the pool… 

& Other Stories

Right now, these folks are collaborating with Kate and Laura Mulleavy so you can even get magical Rodarte clothing and accessories (and that includes the best looking sequined party sandals anywhere!). Right now, the Tigress print jersey dress is the buy of the season at only $33; it works equally well as a dress or a tunic. The silk viole v­neck is half price (you need one) and the sleeveless cupro maxi (ditto) will ensure you look great this summer. Their bathing suits are fabulous too, and you can mix and match sizes and styles.


If you’ve already got what you want from Lane Bryant and Torrid...head to For the rest of what you need in sizes 14­24. They have dresses for work and play and events and for all the stuff in between. You won’t see yourself coming and going, since Eloquii is smaller than the better­known plus sized retailers, and their attention to cut and detail is fabulous.


The clothes and accessories at Cos are all crafted to last beyond the season and become long­term additions to your own personal style. While they are certainly elegant, they are easy to wear and will look great with everything in your closet. Right now, I’m crushing on their jewelry; after several years of ‘statement’ necklaces that weigh more than my purse, the simplicity of a curved elipsoid at the throat is just what I want this summer!


Is there a better way to look great as the mercury rises than by putting on a maxi­dress? That’s my go­to uniform once we’re in the three­digit temps. And now that just about every retailer has embraced the fashion, you can find styles ranging from boho to black tie, along with every possible look in between.

When I’m home and it’s 116 degrees and I need something to wear this weekend, I head to  They have oodles to choose from, and prices start as low as $20. The site regularly has sales (including offering free shipping from time to time) so sign up for their emails.


There’s no reason not to head across the pond if you’re doing it from the keyboard of your computer...and if you’re looking for a cool and beautiful midi­dress, is the place to go. Free shipping (which includes free shipping back anything you may wish to return) makes things easy. With a midi length, you can show off your pedicure and a great pair of sandals…

Finery London

For those of you who prefer to head out in something short and sassy, the place to visit is The site always offers free shipping over a particular price point (usually $200) and they have a terrific assortment of dresses you’ll want to add to your closet.


I started shopping at this internet retailer’s over ten years ago, and they never disappoint. I was worried when they were acquired by Amazon, but it’s really only improved their shipping and increased their exclusive designs. Right now, there are lots of wonderful things for the whole family on But let me tell you about two dresses that really embody everything you need this summer. One, the Ocean Dress by Elliat Boheme, is an incredible sundress crafted from blue oxford shirting, with strapped­into­quarters open back. It will work for almost everything...and what it doesn’t seem right for, Splendid’s 2x1 Racer Back dress will be what you wear instead. This is bodycon with class, in 100% cotton and available in either black or khaki. If you order both, you won’t need another dress this summer...and you’ll have plenty of cash left to pay the electric bills!

About the Author:
Karen R. Smith is an award-winning journalist and publicist. Her book, "Stylishly Sexy" is available online and she takes private style clients throughout Arizona and across the country. Visit her at