We are barely entering what is officially summer and already we are breaking record temperatures; at least it feels that way when you step outside. While the weekends are filled with BBQs, freshly squeezed lemonade, and the blessings of Sunday afternoon hammock naps, Monday is slowly creeping up. Sure, Monday really isn’t so bad, unless it’s 90 degrees outside, your makeup is melting off by 10am, and in an effort to look professional, you’re wearing a black blazer. But guess what? There are other ways to look work-appropriate while still looking professional. Here are a few tips on how to dress cool when the weather gets warm for you office-bound gals.
skirt, H&M, $40
1. Tea-Length Skirts
The temperature rises, but don’t think that makes it OK for your hemline to rise as well. It is never OK. The same applies to our favorite summertime length: the maxi. Yes, you are fully covered but you also run the risk of looking beach-bound and in some occasions, sloppy. Try a tea-length skirt instead, and to stay cool, try a flare. When fabrics stick to your body, things get heated fairly quickly.
shoes, Dune London, $110
2. Cut-Out Kitten Heels
I used to think only women in their 60s should wear kitten heels. My personal dislike of said-heels quickly changed when I discovered just how comfortable they were and how great they looked with skinny jeans. With two kids, running from the office to Starbucks, to the office, and back to the sitter without once changing out of my heels is quite the accomplishment. This laser cut-out and slingback keeps you cool without having to sacrifice on a professional-looking shoe.
pants, Forever 21, $18
3. Loose, Lightweight Pants
I don’t mean for you to bring that hammock napping mentality to work (though that may not be a bad idea), but you don’t need to be so structured. A woven pant is great, but sometimes even in a lighter weight fabric, these pants still feel too warm. This looser fit style provides the perfect balance of comfort, coolness, and chicness with a monotone pattern. You may want to skip on the camisole unless you plan on wearing a lightweight knit over it.
jacket, H&M, $40
4. Three-Quarter Sleeve Jackets
I love … love … L-O-V-E a good black blazer. But with the blaring sun, black doesn’t sound cool and a blazer sounds too restricting. Try something a bit looser like a satin three-quarter sleeve jacket in a nude color over camisoles, blouses, and dresses. This still looks professional, as the satin dresses up this casual style, and the color, just like black, goes with everything.
dress, H&M, $35
5. Bright, Bold Fit-and-Flare Dresses
Add a little color to your wardrobe. Sure black, grey, and beige are professional, but most places no longer frown upon prints and colors as long as the cut of the garment is still work-appropriate and you aren’t too out there. Go head to toe with a fit-and-flare dress, or try accent pieces like a necklace or a shoe.
shoes, Nine West, $89
6. Nude Peep-Toe Heels
Loud and funky styles are all the rage in footwear this season, but try to limit that to the evening and the weekends. At work you still want to keep it professional. Most sandals are also frowned upon, so a safe yet fun alternative would be a peep-toe in a soft blush or nude color to keep things fresh.
tunic, Zara, $36
7. Cotton Tunics
Stripes are huge this season and fairly common in the workplace. Keep it fun by being unconventional, like with this mini dress in a sequin stripe. Since the length is not work-friendly and tights are too hot for the summer, wear with a fitted, straight-leg skimmer and a black kitten heel for a ’60s vibe. Best part? It is made from 100% cotton, making the garment breathable and cool.
What ways do you keep cool at work during the summer?