Anyone who has been burned bad by the sun knows that a sunburn is the worst thing to accommodate in the following couple of days. One of the trickier things is figuring out what to wear to not make the pain worse. You don't have to reach for the sweatpants just yet! For those painful times your sunscreen didn't quite have your back, I've got yours. Thanks to @allischaaff for the idea! @LizArnone you may want to check this one out.
If your shoulders are burned... wear a soft tee or silk top with sleeves.
You need to keep your shoulders covered, because worrying about burning on top of a burn is awful and unnecessary, not to mention you probably don't want people seeing your lobster skin. Anything crisp, with lace or heavy embellishments, will rub against your skin and irritate the burn further. A soft cotton tee is great because the lightweight fabric will keep you comfortable.
If your back or stomach is burned... wear a billowy top or dress.
Today is a good day to wear something that will barely touch your skin. Anything that fits close to the body, as flattering as it might be, can rub and irritate the burn. Now is a great time for a drop waist, or no waist at all. A top with fitted sleeves that hangs straight over your bust will keep your back and stomach mainly untouched.
If your back or shoulders are burned... don't wear a strappy bra.
If your shoulders are burned, wear a strapless bra so you don't have the straps digging into the burn all day. Strapless bras might not be ideal, but they'll save you serious pain today. If your flatter chested, try a bandeau for a softer, comfier fit. Straps are not your friend today.
If your legs are burned... wear culottes or a full skirt.
Once again, you don't want your burned skin showing for its own good, not just to spare yourself the humiliation. Avoid denim at all costs! Any heavy fabric, whether or not it has a skinny fit, will inevitably chafe your burn. Looser is obviously better, so something with a fitted waist that flares out, whether culottes or a voluminous skirt, will slide over your legs without hugging them.
If your arms are burned... wear a long sleeved tee with shorts.
I know it's the summer, and you're trying to wear minimal fabric to keep cool, but your arms shouldn't be exposed. A lightweight soft fabric that just skims over your skin will be comfortable while offering the protection you need. Balance out the sleeves with with shorts on the bottom so you don't look inappropriate for the season.
And if you're burned all over... wear a jumpsuit or a soft shirtdress.
You want to be as covered up as possible but it's also summer, and you also don't want much fabric sticking to your hot, burned limbs. Poor you. A super soft jumpsuit that only has one point of gathering, ideally at the waist, should skim over your skin and keep you comfortable. A shirtdress is totally office appropriate and summer-ready. It can skim straight over your body, or like the jumpsuit, have a tie at the waist, but should otherwise be loose. For both the dress and jumpsuit, pick a soft cotton or silk if it needs to be dressier.
* White fabric is a great choice because it will keep you cool, and burned skin produces extra heat, so this is important! That being said, make sure the fabric isn't too sheer, or your tomato-red skin will show right through it. Embarrassing and uncomfortable.
* Avoid embellishments like zippers, lace, and beading, which can all rub against your skin to emphasize the irritation.
* The looser the better! Wear something loose on the part of you that's burned, and balance it out with fitted bottoms. For example, with burned arms and shoulders, wear a top with soft bell sleeves, and balance it with skinny jeans or shorts.
Now take some advil, put on some aloe, and be more diligent with your sunscreen next time!