It’s finally time for Megan Thee Stallion’s favorite time of year: hot girl summer. Our Instagrams and TikToks are filled with influencers lounging on pool floats in trendy bikinis and sipping cocktails on beach vacations. And while I love summer as much as the next girl, I’m not sure I’ve ever experienced a true “hot girl summer” because I’ve never been fully confident or lived the hottest season of the year to the fullest. This year, I’m prepping now to make sure I have my happiest, most confident, and fullest summer ever.
BTW, that’s what hot girl summer is all about: being your happiest self and making the most out of the season in a way that’s meaningful to you—not about fitting into a certain bathing suit size or looking a certain way in your denim shorts. To quote the Hot Girl Queen herself, “Being a hot girl is about being unapologetically you, having fun, being confident, living your truth, being the life of the party, etc.” So whatever hot girl summer means to you, read on for seven easy tips to start manifesting it now.
1. Feel confident in your bikini body
Summertime can bring up a lot of emotions when it comes to preparing for bathing suit season, but let’s get one thing straight: Every body is a bikini body (say it again for the people in the back!). So whether you’re into trendy suits or more classic options, focus on wearing what you like and what makes you feel good. After all, confidence stems from owning your body and loving yourself just the way you are, and that’s the kind of energy we’re taking into the summer months. That being said, I know it can be tricky to find the right bathing suit, but luckily, there are brands creating swimwear for a variety of body types to help you feel like the hot girl you already are.
2. Practice safe sun exposure
At the risk of sounding like a mom, don’t forget your SPF. It’s one of the most (if not the most) important skincare considerations year-round, but especially when we’re spending more time outdoors in the summer. Aim for at least SPF 15 on an everyday basis and at least SPF 30 if you’re planning to go outside. Apply sunscreen 30 minutes prior to sun exposure, and then reapply every two hours or immediately after swimming or sweating. For more info on the best protocol to protect your skin, talk to your dermatologist. It might seem tempting to forego sun protection to achieve that bronzed glow many of us are after this time of year, but you can always faux a glow (more on that below), and your future self will thank you for taking care of your skin now.
3. Give yourself a glow-up
With the weather heating up, it’s time for shorts, dresses, and swimsuits. You’ll be showing off more skin, so why not give yourself some hot girl self-care beforehand? Kick things off by exfoliating with a body polish to slough off dry skin (this also helps prep skin for hair removal if smooth legs and a hair-free bikini line are a part of your hot girl routine or reduces the risk of in-grown hairs and coarse hair if shaving isn’t), and apply a self-tanner or a brightening lotion for that summer glow. The goal is to pamper yourself in whatever ways you enjoy so you can look and feel your best from the inside out.
4. Take time off
If you’re looking for a sign to use your PTO, this is it. Summer is usually when families and couples take trips, but don’t be afraid to plan your own hot girl summer vacation with friends or even solo. Research shows that taking time off can help us feel more mindful and present, improve heart health and sleep, and reduce stress levels. Bonus if you’re vacationing solo: Spending time alone can help you take time to reflect and reconnect with yourself, improve your sense of self-confidence and empowerment, and allow you to enjoy your freedom to spend your vacay exactly how you want. Whether you can get away for a long weekend, take a whole week off, or plan a staycation on an off day, plan your own mini vacay with whatever budget and time work for you. Alexa, play Work Hard, Play Hard.
5. Update your fitness routine
Hot girl summer is the perfect time to reevaluate your workout routine and revamp what feels boring, stale, or exhausting. Thanks to more energy due to extra sunlight and more options due to the nice weather, you can revamp your exercise routine to whatever workouts make you feel most empowered. Whether it’s a power yoga flow in the sunlight to tap into your inner goddess, a pole dancing class to unleash your sexy side, or a classic hot girl walk (a go-to, if you will), get rid of any part of your fitness routine that feels habitual or draining, and opt for workouts that make you feel connected to your body, sensuality, and confidence.
6. Use hacks to stay hydrated
Sure, summer is practically synonymous with sipping on rosé poolside, but alcohol is dehydrating (you already knew this), so be sure to keep up with your daily water goal of drinking half of your body weight (in pounds) in ounces of water as a general rule of thumb. And you may want to up that H2O intake considering the sweltering heat and the sweat sessions you’re getting after. If you’re struggling to stay hydrated, here are some simple tricks: always have a reusable water bottle on hand (Owala, Stanley, Hydro Flask, whatever makes you keep the water coming), nosh on water-rich foods (think: cucumbers, strawberries, watermelon), and throw electrolytes into the mix (literally) for added flavor and hydration (just beware of added sugars and other unnecessary ingredients).
7. Date yourself
With picnic and dining alfresco season in full swing, there’s no shortage of ideal date spots to take yourself for a meal or journaling sesh or to simply people-watch or just be. In other words, summer is the perfect time to set aside time and energy to nurture the relationship with your most authentic, best self. Expose yourself to novel experiences: hit up a new restaurant or coffee shop, explore a neighborhood you haven’t been to, or take up a new hobby. And while you’re at it, experiment with your date ‘fits. Get out of your comfort zone and try a summer fashion trend (Barbiecore, anyone?)—you might find the one summer piece that you can’t live without.