It’s officially melting season in New York City. While we all would love to wear as little as possible, even the most liberal of offices have some form of a dress code. So, how do you beat the heat and look office appropriate?
In the summer time I try to go sleeveless whenever possible. As soon it is 85 degrees and over even a t-shirt can be uncomfortable. The key is to make sure that your top/dress has a thick strap (at least two – three fingers). If you are in a more casual office you can definitely get away with a thinner strap/off-the-shoulder. If you office has a strict dress code though, use the finger rule.
Wear Light Fabrics
Go for linen, cotton, and other breathable fabrics. The last thing you want to do when you are on a crowded subway is wear a fabric that seals in all of the heat. It’s miserable
Avoid Low Necklines/Backless Items
A lot of summer pieces have a lower neckline/and or an open back. It is easy to gravitate towards them because those pieces are usually very cute. If you think its perfect for an unlimited boozy brunch with the girls, it’s probably not good for work! I can make minor exception for backless if your office is laid back. Even then, I’d say wear it only on Friday when offices are typically dead.
Be Mindful of Skirt/Dress Length
Again summer brings out more revealing styles and shorter lengths. You can get away with showing more skin than you would in the winter, but within reason. I won’t go as far as using the fingertip rule from grade school (I have long arms), but I would say no shorter than three to four inches above the knee. Also, if you feel a breeze when you bend over it’s too short.
Swap out your long pants for culottes/cropped pants. Personally I opt for culottes because they tend to have more air flow due to wide leg, but either is a valid choice! You would be surprised how much better it feels with even just a little nit of ankle exposed.
Carry a Blazer
If your office is very stringent with its dress code then bare shoulder may not be in an option. Do not, I repeat, do not wear a blazer on your commute. You’ll be a puddle by the time you get to your office. Carry a tote — fold it in half long ways (inside out) and then fold it if half again. This will avoid creases.
PS – even if you are not wearing the blazer for style purposes, it is great to have on hand if your office likes to pump the air-conditioning to frost bite levels.
Here are some office friendly summer pieces!
What do YOU wear to work when it’s hot out?