This is the introduction post in my Summer Work Attire series. Learn how to dress for the heat and still look professional!
Today I’m starting off a series on Summer work-attire with a few shopping guidelines. Dressing professionally in the heat can be challenging but with preparation you can ensure that you stay cool. As you shop for Summer office items, keep these tips in mind to stay on track:
- Choose your fabrics carefully – This is critical to keeping cool. You’ll want breezy fabrics that aren’t constrictive. Cotton, linen, and satin are your friend.
- Avoid visible sweat spots – Consider buying undershirts to hide sweat spots, but make sure the undershirt is not too tight as it will make you sweat more! Keep an eye out for sleeveless items.
- Don’t show too much skin – This depends on the formality of your office, but it’s important to keep skin exposure in check, especially in conservative environments. You can look at your boss and upper management for examples. Pay attention whether you see the following worn:
- Sleeveless tops
- Opened-toe shoes or sandals
- Cropped pants
- Knee-length shorts
- Consider whether you run hot or cold – Do you tend to get cold easily? or overheated easily? Keep this in mind, not only when shopping for Summer items, but any clothing! If you sweat easily, you may want to stock up on Summer items to stay cool year round. And if you run cold, don’t force yourself to buy sleeveless tops and breezy clothing. There’s no need to spend money on items that you won’t wear.
- Hide underwear lines – With the wearing of thinner fabrics in the Summer, underwear lines can become visible if you’re not careful. Stock up on boy-shorts or seamless underwear to hide those lines.
- Plan for air-conditioning – You may need a lightweight sweater or blazer for chilled offices despite it being hot outside. I see a lot of women have black cardigans in their office in case they get cold, but in the summer I suggest having a lightweight blazer. Blazers tend to be more flattering, look more professional and a lighter color will suit the season better than a heavy-looking black cardigan.
- Consider the length of your Summer season – Seattle summers are mostly mild with high temperatures only lasting about 2 months. That means Seattlelites should look for cheaper Summer items and make sure they are versatile. This way you’ll get more bang for your buck. Those of you in hot climates most of the year will need to stock up on quality Summer items and it will be worth it to spend more.
Armed with these guidelines, you’re ready to go shopping for Summer office-wear! In upcoming posts I’ll provide more examples of Summer work outfits and suggestions on how to beat the heat. Stay tuned.