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Woman sits on grass in heat
Reuters/Kevin Lamarque
BE MORE PEGGY

This Mad Men-esque undergarment is the ultimate hot weather wardrobe hack

By Rosie Spinks

It’s summertime, so you know what that means—to keep cool, you need to wear fewer clothes—at least that’s the conventional wisdom. But this is not as easy to execute as it sounds.

It’s one thing to slip on an easy, breezy sundress over your bathing suit for your stroll down to the beach. It’s quite another to go to a meeting, commute, or run errands as an employed urban human in a floaty little number. Outside of the context of a vacation, that seemingly safe summer dress usually ends up being a clingy, bunched up, sweaty, wrinkled mess by the end of the day.

But it doesn’t have to be this way. Enter, the under slip: Useful for anyone who feels like they’re melting during a scorching day, the undergarment is a surprisingly effective way to hack sticky summer dressing. The reasons, I can tell you, are plentiful.

Firstly, a non-clingy slip prevents your clothes sticking to your body, a fact that will delight and surprise you each and every time you stand up and instinctively reach to subtly pull your dress away from your skin. Secondly, a slip with the right material (more on that below) will actually wick away sweat better than your linen or silk sundress resulting in less sweat. Thirdly, you don’t have to worry about a vigorous gust of wind turning you into a Marilyn Monroe impersonator or a particularly bright shaft of golden-hour light rendering your diaphanous outfit transparent, because, well, you’re wearing a slip. You’re basically invincible!

In the days of the era of Mad Men, set in the 1960s, slips were de rigueur. But thanks to thongs, Spanx, and changing expectations of modesty, they fell out of favor. And yet, the fast fashion clothes many people wear these days seem to cry out for them ever more. When was the last time you bought a dress that had lining? Exactly.

While they have their evangelists, slips are not what one would call trendy, so finding one takes a little work (or using the internet). It is likely you’ll be wearing one made from synthetic material, but it’s imperative it should be crafted from sweat-wicking and moisture-absorbing material. Look for fabrics that are used in workout gear; the material should be designed to cool you down and feel smooth enough that your dress won’t snag or cling to it.

Amazon has options, but if you’re stumped, head to the lingerie floor of the nearest department store (remember those?) and ask for some help. I prefer the skirt-slip variety—which can be worn right under the bust, or at the waist, depending on the length of your dress—but a spaghetti-strapped slip dress option can arguably double as screen siren-inspired loungewear.

While seemingly counterintuitive, the idea that wearing another layer on a hot day can actually have the effect of making you cooler is somewhat of a sartorial revelation. And the final perk of the slip dress: you’ll secretly feel like Peggy Olson all summer long.

Peggy Olson leaves the office.
Giphy