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5 Ways to Dress for Work in the Summer, Even When It’s Hotter Than the Surface of the Sun

Even if your company doesn't have a dress code, you know you can't get away with wearing what you'd really like to wear to work during the hot summer months. (Example: bathing suit, flip-flops, permanent look of longing for vacation.) Here's how to look professional, without feeling like you just stepped out of a sauna.

Even if your company doesn’t have a dress code, you know you can’t get away with wearing what you’d really like to wear to work during the hot summer months. (Example: bathing suit, flip-flops, permanent look of longing for vacation.) Here’s how to look professional, without feeling like you just stepped out of a sauna.

summer clothes 

(Photo Credit: LaPrimaDonna/Flickr)

1. Wear layers.

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When you think of layers, you probably think of the fall, when keeping warm is the goal, not keeping cool. But light summer cardigans and jackets are the difference between getting away with a sundress or short sleeves and being stuck in warmer attire.

2. Bring a bag.

If you’re lucky enough to bike or walk to work, you’re probably used to bringing a change of clothes. For everyone else who commutes without reliable air conditioning, carrying a bag with a few extra items of clothing can help you avoid being the sweaty one at the morning meeting. Put some deodorant in there, while you’re at it.

3. Look at how your boss dresses.

If your employer doesn’t spell out the limits of summer casual in the office, look to your manager for a model. If she’s wearing tailored shifts and cardigans, or he’s wearing a business suit, your beach cover-up or board shorts definitely will not pass as business casual.

4. Groom anything that shows.

If you can get away with sandals, great. Just make sure your post-winter feet don’t look more like hooves. This goes for guys, too. Even if you’re not the pedicure type, make sure your feet are neat and clean. Not only will the opposite gross out your co-workers, but it might give the impression that you’re not exactly a detail person.

5. Carry a handkerchief.

Here’s an old-timey fad that we could use in the modern world: the handkerchief. Maybe you’re not down with blowing your nose in a cloth you keep, but as a discreet means of taking care of sweat, hankies can’t be beat. Try that with Kleenex, and you’ll look like you had a horrible shaving accident … right before your weekly check-in with the boss.

Tell Us What You Think

How do you dress for work in the summer? We want to hear from you! Leave a comment or join the discussion on Twitter.

Jen Hubley Luckwaldt
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