The summer months are here and with that comes warm weather. This means that maintaining a professional style of dress and staying cool can be extremely tricky. Though this may be a fine line to walk it can be done.
Here are a few tips for maintaining professional dress during the summer months.
Follow The Leader
The first and most important rule of thumb is to know the culture of the workplace. Model your style after those that set the tone for your surroundings. You should take your cues from your boss or your boss’ boss. If your boss is a man, look to the women in senior positions around the office. If your company has a casual Friday summer policy it is crucial to observe the dress selections of your superiors before you take advantage of these special days. Your interpretation of casual may be different from that of those around the office. If you are in a new work environment you may want to initially opt out casual days in order to get a strong sense of what casual means for your surroundings. You don’t have to look like your bosses’ mini me but you don’t want to be too far off either.
Dress it up, Dress it down
Sleeveless dresses and blouses are great option for keeping cool in the workplace. These can be paired with a blazer or light cardigan for a polished look inside the office and shed for lunch at the deli and after work social functions. Sleeveless should never mean spaghetti strap. A good rule of thumb is the straps should be at least three fingers wide. During the summer months many women opt for skirts. Skirts are great way to keep cool just make sure they aren’t too far above the knee. Sandals are never a good choice for professional settings but you can keep your feet cool with a chic pair of peep toes.
Summer is the time to embrace lighter fabrics such as silk and cotton. You should also embrace lighter colors as well and take a break from the drab navy blue and black of the winter months. Soft pinks, yellows, and white will not only keep you cool, but lighten your mood as well. As you are adding more color to your summer wardrobe stay away from neon and other loud colors that will look out of place in a professional environment.