Cool and Cute Wardrobe Revamp: Climate Change Edition

Let’s get down to business. Climate change can’t be put off any longer. “What’s more urgent than our planet dying?” you inquire emphatically. I’ll tell you: you’re going to need a whole new wardrobe! This is a big investment, and you still have some time to acquire new threads that will fit the weather for your region.

Grist, a non-profit environmental online magazine, provided the public (very generously, I might add) with a detailed breakdown of the 4th National Climate Assessment in terms that non-scientists can understand. So, in the interest of being a dutiful civil servant, I’m here to tell what you’ll need based on where you live.


We’ll start close to home with the Northeast, which includes our beloved New York City. The Northeast is facing the biggest temperature incline across the country, along with the highest sea-level rise. You know what this means, friends. It’s time to order some new swimwear, because by the time this goes into full-effect, we’re all going to be swimming to work. For my fellow college students, Zaful is a good cheap site for bathing suits if you’d like to expedite the global warming process. If not, Aurai provides worthy-of-your-coin swimwear options that are sustainable.

Aurai Swimwear: Joaquina One Piece. $67.18.

Aurai Swimwear: Joaquina One Piece. $67.18.

On another note, Grist writer Zoya Teirstein claims that the extreme weather poses a mental health threat to Northeasterners. Be ready to face the crippling nature of anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder. Or, find a therapist in advance. Reader’s choice.


Say hello to more hot days and even hotter nights. The Southeast will be getting about 100 additional warmer and stickier nights per year. Sounds like the perfect vacation spot, but for local Southerners, this will be affecting labor productivity negatively. Without the option to cool off at night, the labor force will lose about 570 million labor hours (in one scenario), which means about $47 billion gets flushed down the drain. That’s one-third of the nation’s total loss.

I said I have solutions, so fear not. If you live in the Southeast of America, there’s a brand called Thompson Tee that makes sweat-blocking clothes. Their product line carries really good basic tees for men and women.

Here’s a Lionfish for your purview.

Here’s a Lionfish for your purview.

The only thing I don’t have a solution for is that Lionfish will be pushed closer to the Atlantic shore. Lionfish are venomous. If you like to swim or dive, consider moving to a different coastline.


More commonly known as paradise to those of us who live in four-season states, we have the Caribbean up next. Right now, the Caribbean is perfect. Sunshine, ocean breezes and piña coladas all year. Not for long though, my friends. Not for long.

The Caribbean is predicted to expect longer dry seasons and shorter (but wetter) rainy seasons. Freshwater will be limited during dry seasons, and total coastal land will decrease during wet seasons. Hurricanes will also continue to strike the Caribbean more and more as the years pass.

Cornelia Stripe Tunic from People Tree. $86.

Cornelia Stripe Tunic from People Tree. $86.

For your rainy season needs, brands like Carhartt provide excellent eco-friendly raincoats. For the hot and dry seasons, People Tree makes excellent sundresses at a reasonable price. They’re also made of biodegradable materials, which is a major plus here.


The yellow brick road that leads directly out of the Midwest and into the coastal parts of America may come to an end due to climate change. While the Midwest will be facing crops dying and extreme heat (predicted to see the biggest increase in temperature-related deaths, comparatively), these problems are somehow the least aggressive of all the regions. If you disregard the fact that their freshwater from the Great Lakes is developing toxic algae blooms, making the water increasingly difficult to drink, you can focus on the real task at hand: it’s time to get some cowboy boots.

Kat Mendenhall “Swirly Swirls” boots. $525.

Kat Mendenhall “Swirly Swirls” boots. $525.

Kat Mendenhall created a brand that specializes in vegan boots. Specifically, the kind of boots that ain’t just made for walkin’. Time to trade in those Zara booties made by unpaid laborers in for some handcrafted, high-quality, vegan-leathery goodness.

Northern Great Plains

Calling all cattle ranchers! Considering you only make up 1.5% of the U.S. population, your contribution often goes unnoticed. I’m sure most of you have yet to thank the Dakotas for contributing nearly 13% of our country’s agricultural market value. So, it’s time to pay it forward, and give you guys some future fashion tips.

The Northern Great Plains will be facing warmer winters, less precipitation and forests dying due to mountain pine beetle attacks (they come out to play in warmer weather). Since the Northern Great Plains are far from any body of water, they rely on snowpack and glaciers to provide freshwater. But don’t forget the number one rule of climate change: we can’t have nice things. With warmer weather comes less snow, meaning less water. This means less thriving agriculture. It also means the 27 federally recognized tribes residing there are already facing climate threats.

Yellow 108 “Stevie Raffia Straw” hat. $104.

Yellow 108 “Stevie Raffia Straw” hat. $104.

I’m sure those of you from the Northern Great Plains are lacking cute summer accessories. Don’t worry, I got you. Brands like Yellow 108 and Reformation have really cute and sustainable summer hats that will protect you from burning up under newfound UV rays. Since there won’t be many trees left to protect you from the sun either, I recommend investing in sunscreen as well for double the protection.

Southern Great Plains

Texas plays by its own rules, even when it comes to weather. Those of you from the Southern Great Plains area know this well by now. Heat waves, ice storms, drought, hurricanes, tornadoes and hail are the most common natural extremities the SGP faces. These things will only get worse. Except the ice storms and hail, be prepared to say good riddance to those. This region will have longer and hotter summers, and more frequent droughts because of it. Sea-levels will rise, hurricanes will become stronger, and mosquito-borne diseases will make their debut in America right here. Bright side: for all the dryness that the Southern Great Plains will face, when it rains it pours. Intense flooding is incoming.

“But Dani, how do you dress for constantly changing weather on two opposite ends of the climate spectrum?” I’m so glad you asked. Really, I am.

You’re going to find it more than useful to subscribe to a clothes rental service. Rent The Runway is a popular one, where you pay monthly and they send you clothes weekly or bi-weekly. You can exchange your clothes at a moment’s notice. This will be a good life hack for you Southern Great Plains citizens; it could be summer on Monday and fall on Friday.


Similar to the Northern Great Plains, the Northwest will be seeing warmer days. It’s already a wet region, but snowy days will be replaced with more rainy days. Why is this a problem? Because the Northwest relies on melted snow to be a water source in the summer. Flooding and landslides are also predicted. Things are about to get muddy.

Shower Toga. $34.95.

Shower Toga. $34.95.

My fashion medicine for this is some nice sustainable rain boots made by Fortress of Inca. Fortress of Inca is a sustainable brand with fair labor practices making boots from locally-sourced leather, rubber and wood. They only use leather when it comes from the meat byproduct so as to reduce wasteful practices. Oh, also, get a Shower Toga for flood season. Things could get messy, and you want to be able to clean yourself up wherever, whenever. You’re welcome.


One of the only places where there’s endless stretches of desert followed-up by snow-capped mountains: the Southwest. Grist calls this landscape “beautiful ecological diversity,” and I couldn’t agree more. This is also home to one of America’s most beautiful coastal states, California. Home to more than just beauty, but 60 million people (including 182 tribal nations). Simply enough, the Southwest is running out of water. Wildfires are running, well, wild. Earthquakes continue to quake. Crops are burning. It’s a mess out there. The biggest problem the Southwest is quite obviously dealing with already is a temperature increase that they can’t actually withstand.

But with every problem comes a solution. A company called HauteWork has given us women the option of having fire-resistant clothing in style. No oversized jumpsuits for us, ladies. We get that fitted and tailored now.

HauteWork “Limited Edition Striped Flex Suit.” $198.

HauteWork “Limited Edition Striped Flex Suit.” $198.


Okay, there’s good news and bad news with Alaska. Good news first: Alaska’s not going to be so damn cold anymore! Bad news: because of the aforementioned good news, Alaska’s permafrost is melting. Worse news: because of the aforementioned bad news contingent on the good news, Alaska is literally sinking.

In terms of fashion advice, I’d recommend Patagonia wetsuits so you can swim to the airport and get the hell out of Alaska before its entire infrastructure collapses. Expedia has good flight deals.

Hawaii and the Pacific Islands

Lastly, but surely not least, we have our most beautiful region of land. Hawaii and the Pacific Islands, vast, broad and stunning as she is, will be learning the trials and tribulations of climate change quite soon. Rising sea-levels, weird rainfall patterns, drought, flooding and extreme temperatures is what Grist writer Zoya Teirstein claims. From all sides, Pacific Islanders will be seeing less freshwater, but more wet land. Basically, more rainfall where it’s already wet and less rainfall where it’s already dry. Super helpful.

Time to trade in your leis for something that will be far more useful: A TacMed Drop Leg Kit! This nifty hip accessory will not only having you looking like a badass, but it’s functional, too. You can keep your desalination device in it so you can have your own personal supply of freshwater any time, any place. Since the TacMed kit can be kind of pricey, Amazon also provides pretty solid alternatives as well.

Etsy Tactical Leg Holster. $54.

Etsy Tactical Leg Holster. $54.

As ludicrous as some of this may seem, I hope I did a decent job illustrating the bigger issue. We are very deep into this. Instead of trying to colonize other planets, we should be trying to fix our own. This may seem like an impossible hill to climb, but it isn’t too late to fix what’s left. I highly encourage you to read Grist’s article, and to also read this National Geographic article that proposes ways to curb climate change.

Anyway, if in the end humankind inevitably meets its maker, these are all still great buys. Prepare now, prepare later, or maybe you’re just a heavy spender. Reader’s choice, pals.