I’m an attorney, and I wear conservative work outfits. I’m in DC, and I have to make it through the hot and humid summer weather. Therefore, I’m picky about my office outfits in the summer, and I’ve perfected my clean-looking and not-swealtering-to-death fashion choices.
Legend has it that DC was built on a swamp, but no matter where you live, if the temperature goes above a balmy 75 degrees, you have to be prepared in terms of your wardrobe. If you work in a conservative setting, the clothing options are even less present, and you absolutely must balance your personal comfort with the office dress code. So, for all my fellow women, from partners to interns, I’ve put together a style guide for weathering (eh!) the summer.
Sunny Pastel - For shift dresses, I transition my dark navy and black dresses to lighter colors that do not attract the heat (these types of dresses have a snug fit, and I prefer to not feel like I’m in a sauna). Pastel blue is one of my favorite colors because it is summer-appropriate and also works with any color blazer.
Taupe Everything - I know there’s some rule out there about wearing white but whoever came up with it probably wasn’t commuting for 20 minutes in 90 degrees while carrying a laptop and workout gear. For a stylish, yet appropriate outfit, I love pairing khaki pants with a crisp white shirt.
Lace Details - Lace is an easy way to wear flowy, light, white tops without worrying about a see-through faux pax (no undershirt is needed). You can’t go wrong with a lace blouse, and you can’t go wrong with white.
Chiffon Pleats - I tend to wear all my chiffon during the summer months - a pleated chiffon dress is demure, comfortable, and office-appropriate (just make sure the length is at the knees as many stores carry shorter pleated dresses).
Light Florals - I feel most comfortable wearing floral prints during the warmer months (and by floral, think soft, minimalist imprints and not realistic roses kind-of florals). Although I may be inside under fluorescent lights for 8-plus hours, floral prints are my way of celebrating spring and summer while still being office appropriate.
Simple Stripes - The easiest way to add flair to a taupe and white ensemble is by wearing a strong geometric pattern. I love stripes, with the occasional polka dots, for those casual fridays when casual means be somewhat comfortable but still presentable. A striped jacket (which is very much popular right now and thus available at all price points), can mean business without sacrificing personal style. And if your office is not that daring, wear a striped top or light grey striped dress, the possibilities are endless!
For all office-worker-bees and cubicle-dwellers, the summer season can be a bit tricky in the outfit department but that doesn’t mean we can’t be fabulous and professional.
What are some of your personal tips and tricks for enduring the hot weather and wearing more conservative outfits? Share some of your advice and I’ll be sure to include it in this post.