Dressing for the office in high temperatures can prove to be quite the challenge. Getting dressed during the hottest days of the year is hard enough; to then have to worry about looking presentable in the office, how can it be done?
There’s a fine line between cooling and inappropriate clothing; so if you don’t know what to wear to work and need a little extra help in dressing professionally for work this summer, here are some helpful tips:
1. Wear Linen & Light Fabrics
Professional attire is often made with heavy fabrics unsuited for warm weather. Try to opt for lightweight materials where you can. Linen, cotton and loose-fitting clothing are breathable and comfortable, leading to a sweat-free workday. Think shirts, linen pants, culottes and simple cotton tees. Lighter colours work best as they reflect the heat and don’t show sweat patches. You can always add a sweater in the winter, so making sure you have lighter, airy shirts and/or dresses will help your wardrobe remain comfortable in the summer.
2. Add a pop of colour
It is the summer—which is the perfect time to break out your boldest, brightest, and most neon attire. (Not quite ready to don a bright yellow skirt? Opt for pops of colour in your accessories!)
3. Wear layers
Wear layers to adjust to changing temperatures. It’s the easiest way to combat the high heat/high air conditioning combination that you’ll encounter as you go in and out of buildings. A short sleeve blouse or top and jacket or a summer sweater set gives you the jacket piece that lends authority with the short sleeve top to help regulate heat.
4. Think about your makeup
Opt for lighter makeup, especially if you’re in and out of the heat a lot. Hot weather and lots of makeup do not go well together. Not only does makeup tend to run, blotch, and wear off in the heat, it can also clog pores and lead to breakouts.
5. Start from the bottom and work your way up
Heat escapes through our heads and our feet, so dress from the feet up when it heats up. Opt for airy canvas espadrilles if you haven’t had a pedi and don’t fancy getting your toes out. Just be sure to wear silk-cotton, invisible “ballerina socks” underneath – they’re an essential insurance policy for any summer shoe.
Many HR departments have strict rules when it comes to dressing professionally for work in the summer; so be sure to always respect these. The best way to approach warm-weather dressing is to take a balanced approach to how you’re going to keep cool during the day.