A Stylist’s Guide to Summer Business Attire

As the temperature climbs and the outdoors is calling to us to come out and play, it gets harder and harder to drag ourselves to the office, much less dress professional enough to conduct business. But the impressions you give still play a tremendous role in your success, even when it’s summer! You may be tempted to dress casually, but you can still look fabulous and professional while trying to keep your cool.

Ladies first:

1. Dress in layers: You can put on and take off layers depending on the current temperature. Start with a skirt and a short sleeve top and layer with a lightweight sweater that will take you from air-conditioned coolness to the sizzling sun outside. Treat yourself to some fun three-quarter sleeve sweaters in different colors!

2. Try an up-do: Here’s your perfect opportunity to try that new style you’ve been thinking about and the bonus is that it will make your summertime outfit look more dressy and show off your earrings!

3. Lighten up your make-up: If you feel like your make-up is running down your face, trust me, it is!  Wear a lightweight foundation with sunscreen in it and instead of putting it on the same way, wear less of it and just use a concealer on areas that need more coverage.

4. Buy something white: If you want to add something to visually lighten up your wardrobe for summer, make it white! This color will make you instantly look more cool and crisp and will tie in many other colors in your closet, instantly extending your summer wardrobe!  

5. Show some skin: Summertime is a great time to skip the pantyhose and tights, but if you’re unsure about the color or condition of your skin, try a self-tan cream and/or leg make-up. Sally Hansen’s Airbrush Legs is a great cosmetic choice that comes in many colors.  But be mindful of what you’re revealing. Don’t wear a skirts that are too short and don’t wear sleeveless tops to work. Wear at least cap sleeves as you still need to set the standard for professionalism. And remember that if you put something on and are questioning whether it’s okay for work, it likely isn’t!

Just for Men:

1. Khaki slacks: These are a summertime staple with classic coolness. Be sure these are made of a good cotton fabric and be double sure to iron them. To make them work-appropriate, they need to look neat and are best worn with a good leather belt.

2. Sportcoats: Even when the temperature soars, you can wear an unlined jacket. Choose a cotton or linen fabric for summertime wear. These are relatively new and are a fabulous alternative. The unlined jackets actually require more workmanship as their counterpart as the inside seams need to be finished. The result is that you can still wear a jacket that feels light enough to wear in the summer, yet still gives you that polished look.

3. The short-sleeved dress shirt: The key here is fit. With no jacket to cover up the imperfection in fit, it will be imperative to find the right sleeve length and fit to your midsection. The less bicep that is covered, the more casual the shirt becomes. A good rule of thumb is that the sleeve length should come down to just above your elbows for a professional look.

4. Undershirts: Always wear an undershirt underneath your dress shirts, preferably a V-neck. While it may seem too hot, this extra layer will actually absorb perspiration and prevent staining from antiperspirants.

5. Accessorizing: If you want to still look polished while wearing lightweight clothes, then upgrade your accessories! Buy a leather band watch that will go better with your Khakis and invest in a really great textured belt and shoes. If you normally wear a tie with your jacket, you can skip it and wear a colorful pocket square instead.

6. Grooming: When your clothes are less formal, you need to pay closer attention to your grooming details. Body tattoos should be hidden as well as piercings. All hair including moustaches and beards should be neatly trimmed and cologne should be kept to a minimal.

Regardless of how hot it gets, you will always represent yourself and you’ve worked hard to achieve your success, so don’t blow it with inappropriate attire. Tweak your summertime wardrobe the smart way and keep that competitive edge.

The choice is always yours, make it a good one!

~ Lani