uring the warm yet unpredictable climates of a city summer, it can be difficult to summon the energy to plan suitable outfits day to day for work. As the days grow longer and the air hotter, the rules concerning work wear can become as slippery as a seat on the London underground and twice as treacherous, leaving the risk of committing one of our 7 deadly fashion faux-pas greater than ever. Are open-toe shoes appropriate? Should I go sheer or sleeveless?
These are all valid questions when it comes to dressing for success; especially if you’re not fortunate enough to be familiar with warmer temperatures. However, to save breaking into a sweat over your summer work wardrobe this season, many fashion brands have opted to strip back in design, allowing you to stay cool and professionally chic all summer long. Summer is no longer a time to be held back from attaining your ideal office attire, as by investing in essential summer wardrobe staples that can be built upon in the cooler months, you are saving not only time but also money.
Lightweight materials enable you to maintain your professional look whilst beating the heat. To prevent perspiration on your way to work, or, as we polite dub it, the ‘summer glow’; choose light and airy fabrics like cotton, linen, and silk. You may also want to try some more contemporary materials that also leave you walking on air, such as chambray denim, individual ply tweed, and fine knits, which are all surprisingly comfortable and ideal for warm offices or lunches in the sun.
In typical British fashion, however, the weather is ever changeable and often you can find yourself shivering instead of sweating. For this, carrying a lightweight jacket or cardigan is always handy. For use as a shield from the blast of cool air from the office air-con, or to add a twist to a classic outfit in the boardroom; the job of a useful outer layer is never done, and doubles as a useful wardrobe investment piece. While balancing out proportion is important when layering, you also need to remember to have fun. For example, this classic monochrome look has been elevated to another level with Helou Design’s gorgeous rich toned pearl necklace and a clashing block heel.
By avoiding dark colours in the height of summer and choosing a light pastel print instead, you avoid the sticky office nightmare of soaking up the heat like a sponge. Lighter neutral tones will lift an outfit with their summery vibes and by pairing a floral pastel colour with a structured skirt and dynamic heels it will give the same effect of the power-suit; just with a touch of femininity. Sophia Cameron Davies shirts are known for this soft and delicate quality. Layered with a light Rose and Willard A-line skirt and a practical flat an effortless and relaxed look is created to keep you cool all summer long.
One Piece Wonders
Sometimes one piece is really all you need. Whether it is a retro dress, a sleek jumpsuit or a classic midi, the simplicity of a one piece outfit can keep you cool while remaining elegantly comfortable and sleekly professional. The wrap dress has been a staple since invented by Diane von Fustenburg and will always be renowned for being the one item that is flattering on every woman, regardless of age or size. For daily wear, the Hobbs Emilie dress is a perfect fit and if you’re feeling summery the Allegra dress allows you to look fresh and whilst remaining comfortable. To add extra dimension and height, pair with the black Chillerton snake heel.
Shop the look: Yani Lightweight Ice Blue Pencil Skirt by Reiss | Swift Blossom Pink Heels by Chillerton | Alea Cream Fitted Jacket by L.K. Bennett | White Halo Pearl Earrings by Ora Pearls | Silk Draped Peplum Top by Jaeger
Amid the panic over your spaghetti straps this summer remember to spare a thought for your footwear. It is proven that your feet have a big impact on your body temperature, so when hurrying from A to B swap your usual shoes for an open-toe heel or an elegant flat. By starting with a low heel Chillerton in a neutral colour, your outfit will flow well without drawing too much attention. By pairing them with subtle colours such as the ice blue of the Yani lightweight pencil skirt and the Alea fitted jacket, with an added touch of feminine glamour with the Halo pearl earrings, the whole look is carefully meshed together to make a seamless summer ensemble.
Do you have any other summer office style hacks that make the warmer months a breeze? Let us know on Twitter!
Words by Emily Freund