Summer Professional Wear – Staying Cool & Current in the Office
The Bank Holiday weekend has finally given us hope of having a British summer this year. Last season’s paltry week of sunshine put paid to all of our hopeful fashion ideas with a drab and mild August, but the outlook is looking much fairer this year. Our last blog post covered the fun we can all expect to be able to have with florals in SS13, but what do we have in store when it comes to professional wear?
The office can be a warm and stuffy place over the summer months, so staying cool is (almost) as important as looking good! Whilst it’s always important to keep one eye on the catwalks and runways to keep on top of your style, there are a number of rules that don’t fade with the seasons and that will always help you stay looking fabulous in the office.
Depending on how flexible your boss is, relaxing your look can be the key to staying comfortable during your 9 to 5. Lighter fabrics help you stay cool whilst still looking professional, cottons and linens in neutral colours are fabulous; creams and khakis being your best friends. Try wearing a looser t-shirt under a blazer for a ‘floatier’ and breezier effect. Be careful if you’re being inventive with your casuals though! Shorts are almost always a no-no, whilst wearing a bikini underneath your clothes might feel a lot more comfortable and summery; but if you look like you’re ready for the beach then you don’t belong at the office!
If you’re more of a blazer or trouser suit kind of girl, then now might be the time to familiarise yourself with the classic summer dress. Keeping you cool on the more humid days can help you feel more productive at work; keep an eye out for dresses which move well in the sunlight and the brighter shades with minimal patterns. However be careful of under-dressing and wearing clothes that reveal a little too much. Thin straps, or no straps at all, that show off your shoulders and backs should be saved for Saturday. Also be wary of the thinner material of sun-dresses.
It’s worth thinking about what sector you work on, when choosing a professional summer outfit. If you’re in the creative industries, the dress code is normally a little more relaxed so you can likely get away with sleeveless tops. But even if you work in the most liberal of offices, you should always have a jacket nearby that you can use when the area manager or an important client walks in.
If your options for creativity in your outfit are limited, then your footwear is probably going to be your best outlet. Wearing some stylish chunky heels or wedges can help you to feel summery and comfortable in an otherwise oppressive outfit. Just make sure that your feet are clean and your toenails well-manicured if you’re wearing open toes!
And no, flip-flops are never acceptable in the office if you want to be taken seriously!
If you’re looking for a style icon to give you some inspiration, Kate Middleton has excellent taste in professional, comfortable summer wear.