What to Wear for a Weekend Trip During a Heat Wave

Pennsylvania Macaroni on the Strip

This July weekend H and I drove to Pittsburgh to visit family friends and surprise my parents, who were visiting that weekend as well. We were looking forward to quality time with family and friends and a chance to explore a new city, since neither of us have spent much time in Pittsburgh! Packing for the weekend, we knew Pittsburgh was due for a major heat wave, so I brought light clothing to stay cool and comfortable.

The Drive and Dinner at Lidia’s

We left for Pittsburgh on Friday after a morning of packing and last-minute hostess present shopping with an hour and a half of buffer time, but of course we promptly hit two hours of traffic in Maryland that we knew would make us late for dinner. Since my parents didn’t know we were coming, they thought that everyone was waiting at the restaurant for another (extremely rude) couple from Pittsburgh! When we finally showed up, my parents were so happy and surprised to see us, and we all enjoyed delicious homemade pasta at Lidia’s.

I had packed a dress to wear for dinner on Friday, but since we went straight from the car to dinner, I was still in my travel outfit—high-waisted denim shorts, a lacy white camisole top, Sperrys, and a big leather tote. I was just glad I hadn’t decided to wear running shorts and sneakers for the drive!

The Strip

Saturday morning we went to the Strip, the main drag in downtown Pittsburgh. It’s like a farmer’s market on steroids, with stores where you can buy everything from specialty popcorn to fresh seafood, people with tables on the sidewalk selling souvenirs and Steelers t-shirts, and street musicians. We walked up and down Penn Avenue, checking out different stores and soaking in the vibe. My favorite spot was Pennsylvania Macaroni, a huge Italian grocery with a giant sandwich counter and shelves of pasta and biscotti. We went straight from the Strip to lunch with one of H’s friends who lives in Pittsburgh.

Pennsylvania Macaroni on the Strip

To explore the Strip on Saturday, I wore this loose pink-and-white striped peplum top, white shorts, and gold sandals. I carried the essentials in a rattan crossbody bag, so I had my hands free to browse (or hold my nose against the strong smell in Wholey’s Fish Market). This outfit was comfortable for walking around the Strip and put-together and cute for lunch.

Saturday Night Cookout

We grilled burgers for dinner Saturday night, which gave us ample opportunity to enjoy our hosts’ beautiful patio and lush backyard. Since we had a church event that night after dinner, I wore this denim dress (one of my all-time favorites!), which I had originally planned to wear to the restaurant on Friday night. This light chambray dress was perfect for a barbecue on a hot summer day! (We didn’t take any pictures, so here’s an old picture of me wearing the same dress.)

Chambray dress for summer

Sunday Morning

For church on Sunday morning, I wore a white eyelet dress with the same rattan bag and gold sandals from Saturday. I have a low-key obsession with white sundresses, and this eyelet one has a relaxed silhouette that kept me cool in the summer heat. For weekend trips, I don’t like to pack a lot of accessories, so I chose shoes and a bag that would work with most of the outfits I brought.

What to wear for a weekend trip during a heat wave

The Duquesne Incline

After church on Sunday, H and I wanted to ride the incline before we left town. The incline is across the river from downtown, and the line was already out the door. We enjoyed the view of downtown Pittsburgh as we waited outside, then groaned once we got to the “front” of the line and realized it snaked through the (not air-conditioned) building like a roller coaster line.

View of Pittsburgh from the Duquesne Incline

Finally, we hopped into the incline car suspended from an overhead cable and rode up the side of the mountain, looking down on the buildings and bridges of downtown Pittsburgh. We walked around at the top and pointed out different Pittsburgh landmarks (mostly stadiums) from the observation deck, before we were ready to ride back down. For the incline ride and drive home, I wore this super-light Swiss dotted light pink blouse, tucked into my denim shorts from Friday, and Sperrys.

What I wore for a day in Pittsburgh

This was such a fun weekend! Pittsburgh is a great city and there was so much to do. I would definitely come back and go to a Pittsburgh Pirates game or visit the art museums downtown. Even though we went during a notable heat wave, I stayed cool by packing loose clothing made of light fabrics like chambray and eyelet.

Have you ever been to Pittsburgh? What are some of the things you did there? Tell me about it in the comments!


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