Beating the Heat: Five Tips on How to Stay Polished and Professional This Summer

Now that summer is in full swing, it’s time to give some serious thought to your summer work wardrobe.  As the days get longer (actually they’re getting shorter now, aren't they?)...and hotter...and more humid… and our thoughts drift to barbeques, beaches and bikinis, that’s no excuse to let your professional image suffer!

It can be such a challenge to to keep your look fresh and polished when all you want to do is stay cool and comfortable. Well, we’re here to help!   

We have five easy tips that will take you through Labor Day and beyond, stylishly! We’ve also added a shoppable page to our website. It will feature some of our favorites pieces and will be updated with each blog post!

  1. Fabrics:  Try to stick with natural breathable fibers when you can. Fabrics like cotton and linen are always great choices because they wick moisture away and are breathable. A blend of natural fibers with some man made fibers is also a good option. Look for garments with a blend of cotton or linen, combined with a small percentage of nylon, rayon & spandex. Garments made with a blend will also detract moisture, plus they’re so easy to maintain - they’re machine washable and wrinkle resistant. What’s not lot love about that?

Now that you know the fabrics to look for, here are some tips on how to incorporate them into your work wardrobe. 

Cotton is typically a more casual fabric, but you can wear a high quality cotton tee to the office under a lightweight blazer for a professional look, and you can’t go wrong with a cotton button down and a pencil skirt. If you’re choosing linen, the obvious concern is wrinkling. We recommend a structured linen in the form of a shift dress or a blazer. A blend is a great choice for a new, easy to wear summer work dress.

2.  Fit:  On the hottest of hot days, loose is best! Take your sheath dresses and set them aside in favor of a looser fitting shift dress (try one in linen, as mentioned above), or an a-line dress in a blend.  Give your slim fitting trousers a break and incorporate a flowy wide leg pant.  A midi skirt in a breezy fabrication is also an item to consider. Looser fitting garments allow for air to circulate and flow over your body giving moisture the opportunity dry up and provide you with a cooling sensation. 

3.  Color:  We all know that light colors reflect the sun, while darker colors absorb those warming rays. Use the summer as an opportunity to explore lighter colors and prints. If you don’t already have one, it's time to invest in a great white or off white blazer.  You’ll find yourself reaching for it all season long. The same goes for dresses; if you’re in a business formal environment and your black sheath dress is a go-to, consider purchasing one in white or a pale shade.  It makes for a super sophisticated and fresh look.

4.  Hair:  Don’t let your hair weigh you down and heat you up. Use a dab of styling gel and pull your locks into a sleek ponytail or chic chignon. Keeping your hair off your neck and away from your face will go a long way in helping you keep your cool this summer. 

5. Layers:  This last tip may seem counterintuitive. You alway hear people talk about layering up to keep warm, not cool. Layers actually work really well in the heat too. Consider the fact that there can be a 40 plus degree temperature shift from outside on the street to in your office or on the train. You can go from sweaty to freezing in a matter of minutes. Choose layers that are lightweight and easy to take on and off. Incorporate some of the earlier tips when you choose your layers:  breathable fabrics, lighter colors and a looser fit. We love taking the layer and simply draping over our shoulders for coverage with a bit of a cool factor sprinkled in.

Enjoy the summer and embrace the heat...we only have it for a few short months. Use the change of seasons as an opportunity to refresh your work style by incorporating a few of these tips.  Don’t forget to shop our curated selection of summer must haves!