Summer may be filled with the promise of sunshine, good times, and more happy hours than you can fit into your agenda, but all that enjoyment doesn’t come without a price. Elevated temperatures can easily transform your once-stylish, sleek everyday look into the most uncomfortable sartorial experience of your life. Let’s face it: No one enjoys stepping out in a suit and tie when it’s pushing 90 degrees out there.
Fortunately, there are some key ways to make the most of this experience and stay comfortable without sacrificing your obvious sense of style. If you spend summer at the office daydreaming about sneaking into a pair of shorts and a T-shirt, you can breathe a sigh of relief. These tips make it easy to pull off that suit—even when you’d rather be at the beach.
Choose the Right Fabric
Ultimately, it all boils down to the choice of fabric. There are many fine suspects out there, of course. Who can resist a crisp wool suit for the most important meeting of the year? When hot weather rolls into town, though, you’ll need to place those far in the back of the closet and swap them for more lightweight materials, such as poplin, linen, or seersucker. These are easy-wear options that are more relaxed than the standard workwear options, yet they still convey the same sense of authority and sophistication.
True—these may not be the traditional fabrics you think of when you imagine yourself bigwigging at the main office, but there’s a certain je ne sais quoi about nonchalant materials like these. They may not be standard office-wear during the year, but when you find one in the right silhouette, cut, and color, you’ll feel just as polished as you do in that refined wool suit during the cooler months.
These may not be the traditional fabrics you think of when you imagine yourself bigwigging at the main office, but there’s a certain je ne sais quoi about nonchalant materials like these.
Don’t forget the shirt, either. It’s easy to stick with the tried-and-true tops made of polyester, but these won’t serve you very well when it’s hot. Instead of sweating bullets through your crisp button-down, opt for a few cotton tops that won’t wrinkle and that perform well in the heat. If you’re wearing a more relaxed suit, you could probably even get away with a simple cotton T-shirt instead of a button-down. Slip the blazer off during lunch for an instant cool-down session.
Experiment with Colors
If you work in a hyper-creative environment, luck is on your side in a big way. You probably already take great liberties with your color palette, and don’t think twice about throwing on, say, a turquoise sports coat or some sort of zany print on casual Fridays. But no matter what type of workplace you call home, it’s important to remember that color plays the biggest role when it’s hot outside. Dark hues essentially soak up heat like sponges, and it wouldn’t be unusual to sneak out during lunch to change into a lighter shade if you happened to commit this major warm-weather sin.
Keep cool by slipping into something light and airy. At the minimal end of the spectrum, colors such as tan, light gray, and taupe work well. If you can get away with something different, try something such as sage green, light blue, or sunny yellow.
Break Some Rules
Of course, you’ll have to break some rules within reason. If the boss insists upon a tie, you probably can’t get away with the undone-buttons look. That’s just as well, because it’s easy enough to slip into your tie just before you walk into the office instead of trooping through town during your seemingly endless commute feeling the wrath of it suffocating your neck. In other words—hang on to the tie, but put it on at the very last minute.
Don't let summer's oppressive heat have its way with your wardrobe. Remember that your sense of style is innate—and that means it provides you with a few sensible ideas when you need them the most.
More relaxed dress codes may allow you to get away with one of the ultimate rule-breaks of all: no socks! You may cringe imagining this, but if you work in an especially laid-back environment chances are this won’t be a big deal. You might choose a shorter pant hem if you want to air condition your ankles throughout the day. In that case, a pair of sporty boat shoes or even sneakers will work nicely with a casual summer suit. But if your office is more on the highbrow side, you’ll need to stick with longer hems, loafers, and possibly even a pair of invisible socks to prevent discomfort.
Don’t let summer’s oppressive heat have its way with your wardrobe. Remember that your sense of style is innate—and that means it provides you with a few sensible ideas when you need them the most. It’s safe to say that skyrocketing temperatures definitely call for a wardrobe swap. Make this the season you summerize your suit like a pro!