How to Dress For Work During A Heatwave

When the temperature rises, most of us usually experience a fashion meltdown.

When you are experiencing 90-degree weather in July, all you want to do is to whip out your spaghetti-strap tank top and wear that to work. However, just because something is appropriate for the weather does mean you can wear it to work. Remember that you will still be dressing up for the office, regardless of how much you’d rather be jumping into a swimming pool.

Here are some things that can help you feel fresh and cool during the hot weather:

Choose Cool Fabrics

Have you ever seen those New York fashion editors? They always seem so cool and composed while dressed to the nines. Meanwhile, others are melting into a pile of goo in the heat. The trick is that they look for summer-smart fabrics.

Although suede suits, stiff leathers, and silks are certainly workwear staples, these fabrics do not make a good look for the summer.

The reason?

These fabrics will increase sweating and retain body odor — certainly not the appearance you want to give at your corporate meeting.

Additionally, silk repels water which can make your clothes stick to your body, give it a strange rippling effect and make it look like you have walked out of your house without bothering to turn on the steam iron. Similarly, fabrics like nylon and polyester are also a big no.

Instead, look for soft, flowing, lightweight, breathable fabrics, like muslin, linen and lightweight denim that are sweat-wicking. In fact, the best thing about these lightweight fabrics is that they are versatile and easy to style for work, while at the same time you can wear them to casual gatherings as well.

Crisp Linen Shirts

Crisp linen shirts can be your best summer buys as they are breezy and come in work-appropriate patterns and prints, like checks or stripes.

Black Slips

Even though black slips may seem way too casual for some offices, they can be the perfect office wear if you make sure the hemline is not too much above the knee and the neckline is not too low.

Shirt Dresses

Shirt dresses are the perfect blend of formal and casual and offer a great office look. What’s more, you can pair them with heels or barely-there sandals and wear them to formal and casual places alike.

Denim Culottes

Jeggings, skinny jeans, and tights are not your friend in the summer. Instead, you should opt for lightweight denim with wide legs and higher hems

Go One Size Up — or Even Two

We all know that loose clothing makes us feel cool. But do you know that wearing clothes a couple of sizes up also make it look more expensive and elegant? In contrast, wearing skin-tight clothing, especially in the summer, can make you look gaudy.

This summer, ignore the size tags; instead, look for brands that play with summer volume. A-line cuts, which fit loosely in the arm, waist and legs are top picks. You can also choose tops that are cropped just enough that they do not press against your stomach. This can help create a layer of air against your skin.

Yes, You Can Wear Shorts to the Office

Surprisingly, you can even wear shorts to the office — just not the Daisy Dukes kind. Instead, get yourself some nicely tailored shorts made of cotton or other breathable fabric and pair it up with a well-pressed classic shirt. This can help you avoid wearing pants and help your legs to breathe.

The Balancing Act

In summer, it can be all too easy to think that you can get away with wearing something barely more than a bikini at your desk. However, that’s hardly appropriate for an office environment. The best thing to do is to exercise balance.

If you wear a short skirt or shorts to the office, make sure they are not too tiny and pair them up with a long-sleeved breathable dress shirt. If you want your arms to be bear, make sure you don’t show too much skin on the leg.

A flowy maxi dress with classic geometrical prints is also a great outfit for the office in the summer season.

When it comes to balance, make sure your colors are muted too. Pastel tones absorb much less sun than bold colors like emeralds, rubies and royal blues. Avoid black clothes as they absorb the most light.
Additionally, wear colors that do not display your sweat stains to the maximum. That means a big non-no to light greys.

UV Protection

Lastly, don’t forget to wear sunscreen. Choose a lightly-tinted one that can go in place of heavy layers of foundation. Select a brand that offers a waterproof formula so that it doesn’t flow away with your sweat and reapply whenever you go out in the sun.

Dressing for work during the heatwave can be tricky. However, if you know a few basic summer rules, you can beat the heat with style.


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