When it’s hot in the city, it’s hard to feel professional when you’re over heating in your work clothes.
No matter how hard you try, and even if you work in a building with air-conditioning, as soon as you step outside into the summer heat to get to work or out for lunch for that much welcomed breath of fresh air and a few rays of sunshine you can soon feel hot and bothered, and uncomfortably sweaty and stressed.
Working in offices where there’s a lot of IT doesn’t help, as the heat from servers, networks and other equipment just adds to the discomfort. Dressing for the heat and wearing cool, comfortable summer clothing is one way of keeping your cool over the summer months.
When the temperature starts to rise, treat yourself to some loose fitting outfits in natural fabrics. You can work the smart casual office look just by wearing cooler natural textiles like cottons and linens, in neutral shades of cream and khaki which look great without making you feel constricted.
Loose casual trousers and dresses look fine at this time of year and will keep you from overheating without making you look sloppy or too casual. If you feel a bit bland in neutrals, dress them up with statement jewellery, pretty scarf or a funky pair of shoes that show your unique style. I have a wonderful one to one client that always looks amazing, even though it’s often her shoes that catch your attention first.
Even if your office is really relaxed on the fashion front, try to avoid going over the top with the chilled out summer looks – skimpy vests/dresses are usually a no-no in a business setting, unless you work in fashion or a creative industry where most fashion rules are disregarded anyway. Sleeveless tops are fine when it’s hot indoors and outside.
CAREER BYTE. Always keep a cardigan or light jacket to hand just in case you’re called into a client meeting or lunch at short notice!
CULTURE BYTE. Remember that some of your international colleagues or clients might find bare skin offensive or distracting.
If you are a fan of summer dresses, a casual shirt dress is incredibly flattering and on-trend for summer 2015. Try wearing one with a pair of wedges for comfort and style that can be dressed up for office meetings or dressed down for really hot afternoons when all you want to do is go to the park and enjoy an after work ice cream with friends or your kids. Zara and H&M have a great range of office appropriate summer fashion that won’t break the bank but bridge the gap between keeping cool on hot days and dressing in a way that’s going to get you taken seriously!
One final hint I have if you feel nervous about the impact that hot weather will have on the power of your deodorant, is to invest in some breathable women’s blouses. You will find them in the sportswear department but they’re not all checked and colourful any more and many are fitted now without an ‘in your face’ or obvious logo. Remember to look for ones with long sleeves too,in case it is cool when you leave for work in the mornings.
Add a scarf or jacket to personalise your look for body confidence all day. Try stores like Globetrotter or Jack Wolfskin. One of my favourites is from Scott, which I found at TKMaxx, cos every girl loves a bargain, it’s the same brand as my MTB, so as you can imagine, it is more colourful, but I always feel great wearing it and it looks great with a jacket to cover the logo on the shoulder.
Ultimately, it comes down to finding a comfortable and professional look that makes you feel good.
• Do bare your arms – but remember a cover-up just in case
• Wear loose fitting styles
• Opt for natural fabrics in neutral colours for a classy look
• Avoid being over-casual in spaghetti straps
• Brighten up with accessories and keep the fashion simple.
#fashion #summer #smartcasual