One of the most difficult times of year to get dressed for work is the summer. It’s so hot outside, and you’re already sweating by the time you get to the subway. You feel totally gross by the time you get to the office…and then the AC is on full blast! Dealing with these extremes and still looking professional is definitely a challenge, but we still have a month of summer to go, so I’m sharing a few summer work style tips to make getting dressed the least of your worries for the next few weeks.
- Layer: Wear something sleeveless or short sleeve and stick a cardigan, denim jacket or blazer in your bag. You’ll be happier when you’re outside and you can easily transition to a more modest, warmer look when we get to work. I also keep a sweater on my chair just in case I forget one. It’s a good idea for the guys to keep an extra sport jacket and shirt at the office, and carry your suit jacket on especially hot days.
- Focus on Fabrics: I generally try to stay away from synthetic fabrics when I can, checking tags before I buy things to make sure there’s at least a little cotton. This is especially important in the summer, since certain fabrics are much more breathable than others. Linen is a great choice too, but be warned that it also wrinkles easily. For guys, look for “summer weight” shirts and opt for chinos instead of slacks. These are designed to keep you cool in warmer months.
- Dress Up Casual Pieces: One of my favorite things to do is take what I call a “fancy t-shirt” and dress it up with a dressier skirt. You can totally change the tone of a piece by what you pair it with, so think about how versatile your basics can be with dressier shoes or statement earrings.
- Be Prepared for Touchups: Keep a travel-sized deodorant in your bag or your desk. Always have an extra hair tie and comb, and carry blotting papers and/or mattifying powder. A handkerchief is a must-have for the guys, and of course, it’s important to stay hydrated too.
- Keep Accessories and Makeup Minimal: I shy away from statement necklaces and other heavy jewelry in the summer, opting instead for lighter, more delicate pieces. I also switch from foundation to a tinted moisturizer or CC cream (with SPF) so there’s less on my face and it’s more protected from strong rays.
This post was written in partnership with Bonobos.