With the spike of summer heat comes an opportunity to adjust your summer office attire for the rising temperature. Keep in mind that every work environment has a different definition of what’s appropriate, so the first rule of thumb is to check your office policy.
When in doubt, look at what fellow executives are wearing and follow their example. Above all, use your own best judgment. Here are a few more tips:
- Jewelry is a great way to add a splash of summer color without going overboard. Think about one colorful piece; too many bangles or distracting drop earrings are not professional.
- Strapless is not a good office option. While you may have good intentions of layering a sweater or jacket over your dress, the tendency is to pull the top of the dress up throughout the day. It’s also very tempting to take off the
layered piece when the temperature in your office starts to rise.
- A sheath dress is a good choice. If your office does not allow visible shoulders, simply add a jacket or light weight cardigan. Take off the extra layer when in the car, and slip it back on when you arrive at your meeting. Here is a nice example; however the gold purse and shoes would be “too much” for the office:
- Add a bit of color and shine. Infuse color into your wardrobe in measured ways, like a colorful cardigan or a bright colored blouse layered under your jacket. Also, a
gold or silver link bracelet can be a cheery addition to your summer look. I really like this bracelet because it lays flat and doesn’t jingle when you move:
- Use summer prints in moderation. Avoid floral dresses or frilly blouses as they may come across as too informal, and not professional.
- Accessorize with a bag. Switch out your purse to a lighter shade of leather or a brighter color as an accent to your professional wardrobe. Here’s a great example (but lose the thumb and index ring).
- Reach for a lightweight skirt. You have a multitude of options and your choice will depend on your particular body style. Worn with a silk blouse, a bright tee or a button-down shirt, you will stay cool and look professional.
- There is no one correct answer when it comes to hosiery. For some companies, panty hose are a must; others leave it up to the employee. Take along hard look in the mirror and decide on your best look. If you’re going bare-legged, don’t forget to apply lotion and consider a careful application of self-tanner. Jergens is my all-time favorite:
- Do a front and back mirror-check before you leave for the office. Dress pants that look great in front may leave something to be desired from the back view.
- Flip flops never belong in the corporate corridor. Never wear shoes constructed of plastic or foam. If it slides between your toe, it’s not work day appropriate. Here’s a fab pair of Tory Burch flips, great for the streets or the beach, but not 8-5.
- Peep toe shoes fall in the pump category; dress code permitting, they’re perfectly fine if your toes are manicured.
- A wrap-dress with a 3/4 sleeve.
- A sleeveless dress, worn with a light sweater or jacket — if you have the arms for it.
- Linen. It’s too informal for the office and wrinkles too easily.
- Gauzy, bohemian skirts and maxi dresses. Save them for the weekend.