IF THAT WAS JUNE, one can only imagine what August has in store for us. Hot weather, in general, is bad for fashion. This is most obviously because it's hard to keep one's clothes on once temps get into the high 90s, but even when we do manage to make ourselves presentable, the sweat sticks and stains, wrinkles seem to breed in the heat, and looking put together simply becomes too much of a bother. Bring on the torn-up denim and jersey. Fuck it.

As someone with dealings in the apparel world, though, one might imagine I find such a thing distasteful, but one would be wrong. I love the heat of summer, and its ability to bring society down to hilarious levels of casual dress is amusing and strangely bonding. You can get away with more pantslessness in summer than any other time of the year. Same goes for shirtlessness, shoelessness, and hairlessness. Layering becomes merely a concern that enough of your bikini top is showing through the torn-wide sleeve holes of an old t-shirt. Can your panties be seen under that diaphanous, thin cotton skirt? Eh. Too hot to care.

Truth be told, I love to use summer to prepare for fall, to a somewhat zealous extent. I secured a few nice lightweight pieces for weddings and such earlier in the year, but am happy to play some sleight of hand, mixing in utter rags to get by between launderings while I plot an outerwear offense that won't be enjoyed for months. A few weeks ago I bought a shearling jacket off the back of a meat delivery van from Imperial Stock Ranch, at less than a third of its original retail price, and I'm currently trolling the sales bins of upscale shops for rock-bottom deals on last year's sturdy coats. The brief, hot minutes when I try these things on are well worth the money saved and the satisfied feeling of readiness for fall.

That said, there's one summertime item that should never, ever be avoided: a hat! It's also one that could be better represented in Portland's shops and studios. Of course one could always opt for the heirloom-worthy option of a custom straw by Pinkham Millinery. But don't let such a precious thing get washed down the river! When it comes to off-the-rack in our independent boutiques, the options are rather poor: floppy numbers that are better suited to autumnal days, mostly.

The obvious solution is to go the vintage route, but here's another: a simple, cute, unisex canvas sun hat made exclusively for Canoe by Adam Arnold. At $80 a pop, it's not to be taken lightly, but it's as unfussy, casual, and durable as the formerly nice sneakers you're currently using to creek walk.

Check in this week on blogtown.portlandmercury.com for more summer essential highlights!