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Summer Office Attire to Beat The Heat!

Filed under : Fashion 'n Beauty

With soaring temperatures, employees tend to favor dressing more casually and comfortably to stay cool. Wearing improper attire can hurt your image and cast doubt on your credibility and sense of judgment. You want to avoid the embarrassment and distractions that occur when you wear clothing that is too revealing, or send the message that comfort is more important to you than business.

If you think a piece of clothing would be inappropriate for the office, it probably is. While every workplace has its own guidelines, here are some basic tips to keep in mind when trying to dress professionally and still beat the heat!

Follow the Leader. Take your cues from your boss or other figureheads. The best guides for what to wear are the executives, middle-managers and authority figures where you work. If you’re not sure what your office style is, look to the most successful person and use the way he or she dresses as a guide to how you should dress. And remember, when meeting with clients, how you dress is an expression of respect. If you look like you just walked in off the beach, it may be interpreted as if meeting with them was an inconvenience or an aside. You want them to feel as though your entire day revolved around that meeting.

Remain professional. Even if your employer has an informal dress code, they still want you to look professional for the work environment and your duties. Make sure that your clothes are clean and pressed, that your shoes are polished and in good repair. Another thought to consider: keep a lightweight, neutral jacket/blazer at work so you can slip it on, and give your outfit that extra “professional” lift. This would also be a good idea for people who cannot handle freezing air-conditioners. If you really must, try wearing high quality, solid colored “tee shirts” or polo-necks instead of a collared shirt. (Women) try wearing a scarf with a tee for a more elegant, yet comfortable summer look.

Florals-brighten-up-your-work-space-pretty-full-skirtAvoid the “bare” look. No-nos for both men and women: tank tops, t-shirts with prints, anything sheer or form-fitting, midriff-baring outfits, shorts, flip-flops, slippers and tennis shoes. Unless your company’s dress code specifies otherwise, jeans are also inappropriate for the office. Ladies, here are a few things you want to avoid: halter and strapless tops, spaghetti-strap tops or dresses, low-cut blouses, skirts shorter than two to three inches above the knee, Capri pants, and anything see-through or too revealing.

Pay attention to footwear. For a top-notch polished look, shoes/socks for men; closed-toe, closed-heel shoes or closed-toe, sling-back shoes and hose for women are a must. If your company allows open-toe, strappy or backless shoes, please make sure your feet are well manicured. Poorly-cared-for legs, feet and toenails certainly will destroy your professional image.

Don’t Flash the Flesh. Women in all professions should know they’re not advancing their careers when they wear revealing clothing. Short shorts, mini-skirts, tank tops and low-cut or sheer blouses may get you attention, but not necessarily the raise or promotion you want. It’s a good idea to hold up garments to the light indoors, or outdoors to look at them in the sun. Tip: If you can “read” through the garment, don’t wear it to work. When choosing what to wear, think Hillary Clinton or Michelle Obama, not Lady Gaga or Pink.

Layer Light Fabrics. Stay cool in lightweight materials such as silk, cotton, linen, or summer-weight wool and cotton blends. Remember to dress in layers — the difference in temperature between the outdoors and your air-conditioned office can be 30 degrees or more. Avoid synthetic fabrics. NEVER wear synthetic clothes. If you are getting dressed up for the evening, it’s OK to wear something with a cotton/nylon blend; but for work wear at least cotton blouses or shirts. Synthetic fabrics don’t allow your skin to breath. This includes underwear! And no matter how much deodorant you use, you are going to be ‘smelly’.


Consider your undergarments. Gentlemen, I suggest that you wear a white undershirt with chemise or polo shirts because they help control perspiration. Make sure you purchase a properly-fitting undershirt, so it has as few wrinkles as possible, and your outer shirt drapes nicely. And, of course, undershorts are mandatory. Choose a style that is comfortable, and allows your slacks to fit properly. Ladies, bras, slips and panties are also mandatory; and they shouldn’t show through. We’re talking perception here! Remember, we’re about projecting professionalism, so dress the part — even underneath.

Since acceptable forms of summer office attire will vary from industry to industry, office to office, geographic location to geographic location, and situation to situation, it’s important to know your particular workplace. If there’s a dress code, be familiar with it; And remember, your image is also the image of the company you work for. 


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