While we love the glow of summer skin, I think we could all do without the sweat of summer heat. Even though we pack the weekends full of BBQs, beach days, and concerts, Monday through Friday require us to stay just as busy with meetings, reports, and presentation. So how do you keep from melting when you have to ditch your bathing suit for your tailored one? Or replace “tailored one” with “three piece one”. This week we talk about dressing in the heat of the season and keeping cool and comfortable in the office without sacrificing professionalism.
First let’s talk office wardrobe staples. There’s nothing more standard than a well fitting three-piece suit. And while you unfortunately can’t hang this away for the summer, you can swap out your everyday black for lighter fare. Colors hues such as blues and greys are great alternative choices that still remain neutral, acceptable, and professional.
Ralph Lauretta, co-owner of luxury men’s store Sal Lauretta in New Jersey, comments in the company’s blog that the linen suit is back for men and it is perfect for staying cool. (Cotton suits too – below linen on left, cotton on right.)
Fortunately for ladies, one of the easiest swaps you can make for staying cool is trading in your pants for skirts and dresses. Skirts are a wardrobe essential and can easily be worn in both casual and professional environments. A-line and pencil skirts are great for jobs that require more traditional dress, and if you work in a more casual environment try a circle or paneled skirt.
Lavender, pale pink, and shades of green are great hues that can be both fashionable but not too over powering for work wear. Check out the official Pantone Spring 2015 palette to see the season’s popular colors.
Dresses are also a personal favorite of mine as it only takes one article of clothing to make the outfit. Of course, just as with skirts, to remain appropriate they should hit the knee. Aim for dresses that have built in structure such as a sheath dress, or at least given the comfortable illusion of structure such as with a wrap dress.
The dresses above are from Mary Orton’s blog Memorandum. She offers great fashion forward advice for the workplace and even divides her blog into category types of office dress: conservative, creative, casual, interview attire. Although her looks are fresh, the prices of some outfits ($100 – $200 for one piece) are out of league for most young professionals. Another fashion blog I want to mention is J’s Everyday Fashion. The aim of her blog is to inspire fashion for everyday women, specifically with a focus on lower-budget shopping. J has great how-to guides and outfit albums showing how to get the looks you see on celebrities and in magazines in real life.
For men looking for ways to get out of the black suit and tie regime, or when khaki’s and Polo just won’t cut it, check out Articles of Style. As we are two women, we don’t often search for men’s fashion, but in my research for this post I found their website to have the most appropriate content and best tips for men’s professional attire.
We hope these tips will help you battle the extreme heat – as we in NC have already experienced 100-degree temperatures.
-Caroline Robinson and Savannah Valade
We also have an update on our blog. Savannah is starting her grand European adventure that she mentioned in our “A Year Into Post Grad Life” reflection. She officially embarked yesterday, and will be train hopping until October. (Just kidding on the train hopping part.) As she will be backpacking, she will not have regular access to Internet. Therefore, I (Caroline) will be handling the blog until October. We have decided the best thing to do to keep quality content, and not wear me out, is to pull back a little bit and post every other week until Savannah returns. I am extremely excited for her, and will try and keep you updated on her adventures. So, next post will be July 15th!