It’s mid-August, the sun is scorching the pavement and your skin, and it’s reached 96 degrees outside. And you’re expected to show up to work everyday in business attire. You never thought you’d find yourself turning down coffee, but your body temperature has already risen unbearably high under your layers of clothes during that short walk from your car to the front doors of the office building. You thought you were excited for the summer heat. You even brought summer to your cubicle as you eagerly awaited these warmer months. But let’s face it, fall can arrive at any time now.
I have some good news for you; you can hang up those blazers and pant suits because I have a few business attire alternatives that are one hundred percent appropriate for both the office and the outdoors.
Women Summer Business Attire
Before I get started with my list of summer business attire suggestions, remember, “summer attire” does not mean “casual attire.” You’re still dressing for a business environment and your workplace attire should give off an appropriate impression. Keep it professional and avoid shorts, cargo pants, leggings, spaghetti straps, flip flops and tennis shoes.
- Avoid heavy hosiery. Although it’s a great addition to your outfit in the fall and winter, during these warm months it’s just added and unnecessary layers.
- Show off bright colors and bold patterns. If you’re waiting to strut into the office in that brand-new yellow dress or navy striped skirt, now is the time to do so. My personal favorite summer pattern…floral.
- ACCESSORIZE! A statement necklace or bracelet and watch set is the perfect stand-out addition to that new yellow dress. Don’t be afraid to add a touch of flare to your ensemble, especially if your outfit lacks patterns. However, don’t go overboard. One statement accessory is plenty.
- Bring out the skirts and lightweight, button-up blouses.
- If your workspace is slightly less than business professional (business casual), peep-toed shoes and sandals with a heel strap are perfectly acceptable for the season if they are for your workplace as well.
Men Summer Business Attire
Although men have a smaller wardrobe selection than women, I have a few recommendations for dressing for the season for you all as well. Similarly, please avoid flip flops and running shoes. And of course, don’t forget a watch and nice leather belt.
- Lightweight, button-up, collared shirts are your go-to for the summer season. Like women’s business attire, don’t be afraid to show off bright colors and fun patterns.
- Avoid wearing shorts. This is still a workplace, after all. Slacks and trousers are acceptable for this environment.
- If you must wear a suit, opt for lighter colors, avoiding black and navy blue.
- Like your button-up shirts, reach for bright, colorful ties as a bold accessory to your attire. If you’re wearing a solid color button-up shirt, a patterned tie would make the perfect addition. However, if your shirt already displays a unique pattern, a solid tie will suffice just fine.
Summer doesn’t have to mean sweating through your blazers every day. A simple wardrobe alteration is all it takes to show off a stylish, seasonal, and business appropriate attire every day. Strut into work comfortable and confident! Enjoy these summer months while you can, fall will be here before you know it. Which means, it’s almost time for another wardrobe change! Choose an outfit that will stand out from behind those tall office cubicle walls.