“Dress how you want to be addressed.”―
Once it hits 100 degrees outside, staying work and weather appropriate quickly becomes a fashion feat. Keeping cool without being a hot mess can be tricky, but totally doable. Follow these guidelines to keep it professional in the Summer without looking inappropriate or over casual at work.
Achieve a more relaxed business casual look in the summer by wearing lighter fabrics like cotton and linens in creams and khakis. You can also work casual pieces into your normal work attire, by pairing a nice t-shirt and blazer or dark-wash jeans and professional top for casual Friday.
Flip flops are just a no-no. Save those for the beach and opt instead for a leather slide, which is equally as relaxed and comfortable.
Have fun with your footwear and go for flashy flats, open-toed heels, or wedges with bold and bright summery patterns. With bare shoes, consider these three C’s: clean, clipped, and chip-free. Manicured toes are essential for exposing your bare feet in the office.
Shorts are difficult to pull off in the workplace, so it’s generally best to stay away from them. Golf shirts and bathing suits under your clothes are also not ideal. If you look like you’re ready for the beach, you do not belong at the office.
Summer dresses are a great way to help keep you cool on sticky days. Opt for those with some structure in light or bright colors and soft, friendly patterns.
As temperatures rise, so too do hemlines. So what’s acceptable in terms of length? The general consensus is no more than a couple of inches above the knee; short shorts, miniskirts, and clingy fabrics aren’t appropriate.
Avoid spaghetti-strapped and strapless dresses and those that reveal too much of the chest, shoulders, and back. Also, be careful about the fabric choice. Thin, barely-there sundresses should be saved for the weekend.
Keep in mind the hotter it is outside, the cooler the office will be, so always keep a light blazer or cardigan within reach for when you’ve had enough of the arctic blast. Keeping a blazer or a tie on hand is also convenient for when you have client meetings.
Depending on the formality of your workplace, sleeveless dresses and blouses could be an option in areas with scorching temps. Open backs, plunging necklines, rising hems, and peeking midriffs are always inappropriate at work. Also, be careful not to show too much skin at once. If you opt for a sleeveless top, for example, pair it with pants instead of a shorter skirt.
For men, short-sleeved button downs and polos with a nice pair of khakis or chinos is a great way to stay cool and look cool, too. A rolled up long sleeve can be a stylish way to stay comfortable. Also consider no-show socks to give the ankles some air while rocking the classic sockless look, paired with a loafer or oxford shoe.
Whether you go with short sleeves, lightweight materials, or slightly more casual outfits, there are plenty of ways to stay cool and comfortable while still looking office-appropriate.