Dariaux's headed to India for a business trip, and is looking for help:
it's bloody hot in India - 110 average during the day and 85 at night. I can't wear skirts - trousers are preferred. I can go sleeveless, however.
Well, my dear, funny you should ask, because there's a flurry of "warm weather" clothing discussions going on in chats around the region. DC's a terrible place to try and stay stylish in the summer - humidity is ridiculous. And I'm going to take a stab and assume India will be the same.
But the "no skirts" thing does throw a wrench into the deal. Skirts and flowy dresses are the au currant method of dealing with the heat.
That being said, I think you have a couple of points to consider...
1) Gut instinct? Avoid the sleeveless tops. Sun protection is probably going to be as important to you as heat beating coolness. Instead? Go tunic-y. Linen or cotton. Maybe something fun like this belted top from - yup! - Kohl's.
2) Stock up on blousy peasant tops. These first came out a couple of seasons ago, but are still relatively easy to find. Try Gap's version - a little colonial, but it still works. I fondly remember my first trip to Romania - I traipsed around monasteries in a similar top I still miss.
3) Given the "safari" look that's now made it off the runways and into our stores, you should be able to find some "heat appropriate" (after all, aren't safaris usually in Very Hot Places?) looks. All you need for that look is a little epaulet-inspired buttoning, like on this lightweight cotton buttondown at The Gap.
3) Pants - let's see. I don't think it needs to be said that linen doesn't travel that well. On the other hand, it's linen, and who expects it to be neatly pressed. So you'll have to pick your own Wrinkle Comfort Level there.
I'm seeing white pants and colored tops, but again, I'm not so sure white is the way to go on the road. I'll be practical and advise navy, black, brown, or khaki. Navy'll be your best bet for not feeling boring, I think. Try staple stores like Banana for a good linen pant. The versions they're showing on their site now are linen/silk, though, which might be too sticky in the end. Fitted but wide leg I think are your keys to staying cool.
And please, no capris. I don't care what Marie Claire says in their latest spread. I don't like cropped pants.
Oh, and a hat. Wear a hat.