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Staying Cool for Summer

15 Jul 2019

Even in the most formal of offices, the rules unbend a little when the sunshine appears. However there are still some lines that can’t be crossed. We take you through the do’s and the don’ts of corporate dressing for summer.

Ah, yes, summer has finally arrived. And with it, the conundrum of what to wear during the week that will survive the hot sticky commute, the frigidity of modern air-conditioned offices and the unbearable heat of those without air.

1. Light weight fabrics: There are plenty of options for summer work-wear particularly with linen, silks, and lightweight cotton. Choose blazers and separates that are either partially or unlined. This applies to both women and men. Avoid anything synthetic or clingy. The less fabric physically touches you, the cooler you’ll be.  It doesn’t have to cost a fortune either or end up looking like a wrinkled heap of fabric at the end of the day. The high street offers plenty of quality options at reasonable prices.

2. Light colours: Wearing light or white colours will help keep you cool so avoid the dark colours, especially black unless it’s your sunglasses.

3. Layers: Layers are definitely your friend during the summer. While we may be enjoying the sunshine at the moment, who knows how fickle it can be. Remember to bring a blazer or light weight cardigan with you to fight both the uncertainty of a Northern hemisphere summer or the constant air conditioning.

4. Trends: For women, it’s slightly easier. Summer dresses in the form of shirt-dresses, tunic style or shift dresses can easily be dressed up with the addition  with a light weight jacket. Invest in high quality luxe t-shirts and wear them with a full skirt or slouchy tailored trousers for a cool yet still corporate look.  For men, losing the tie instantly brings down internal temperatures so that’s an option depending on the company’s dress code. Suits are available on the high street in non-crease linen or light weight cotton. Again, depending on the office, suits can be ditched in favour of light weight separates. Light coloured chinos with a blazer always looks smart but for some companies, that’s a step too far. If they do insist that suits and ties are non-optional, then make sure the suit is light weight and ask (politely) if you can ditch the tie when you’re not with clients.

5. Footwear: Again this varies from office to office. The general rule is that unless you’re a life guard and your office is the beach, flipflops and sliders are out. If open toed sandals are an option, then make sure you’ve got a pedicure. Men have really got the short end of the stick here as dress shoes are generally the only acceptable form of shoe-wear. Of course you may work in a casual work environment where it’s fine to wear runners, loafers or deck shoes.

Bonus Tip* Always check: The general rule of thumb is, if you have to think about it, it’s not generally a good idea to wear it. Always check your corporate dress code and ask if you’re not sure, just preferably the day before and not the day you wear it. And if you’re going for an interview, always go suited and booted! Once you get the job, you can wear outfits according to the individual organisation’s dress code and culture.

Whether it’s a casual work environment you’re looking for or a highly corporate culture, the Brightwater Group has multiple opportunities with a range of companies across a broad variety of disciplines that will suit your skills (and wardrobe). Just contact us on + 44 28 90 325 325