Let’s face it. Working at the height of summer is a pain. You’re covering for colleagues on holiday and you’d much rather be having a drink outside with your friends.
But you keep going, proud that you have side-stepped the sweaty armpit trap by wearing a short-sleeved shirt.
Hold that thought.
Have they told you about that office rule? The one that says that the amount of skin on show is inversely proportional to the authority you’ll project? In other words, if you want to impress your colleagues at the next meeting, best to avoid short-sleeved shirts and ankle socks.
What?! No short sleeves?
Relax. We’re here to solve your summer problems. Here are 5 tips on how to look impressively professional even when temperatures reach Saharan levels.
1 – Be smart about colour
If it’s too hot to wear a jacket, choose a shirt in a deeper colour from your season. Darker shades Can give you greater authority and some of your brights will have good impact. Different parts of our season can also effect the messages we send in business wear for example.
On the other hand, if you feel you’ve got to wear a suit, go for one in a lighter fabric and deeper colour. The suit itself will give you the right level of gravitas. It also means you won’t fall victim to Shiny Seat Syndrome. (Technical term.) You know, when the trouser part of your suit has been working overtime during the winter and is looking the worse for wear. Give it a well-earned break.
2 – Look after your collar
If your collar is crisp, you don’t necessarily need to wear a tie. But if it’s a bit worn or grey, someone will notice. Knowing your luck, that someone will be your boss or a client. You want your clothes to be on side, so be brutal if necessary and ditch the shirt.
As for going collarless, save the grandad and T-shirts for downtime and your date with that beer.
3 – Invest in a belt
Buy a top-quality one, with a professional looking buckle. It will lift your shirt and trouser combo, especially if you decide to leave your tie and/or jacket at home.
4 – Don’t forget your shoes
Swap your dark heavier winter shoes for something in a lighter leather. You can go for brogues or loafers – but just make sure they’re great quality and work for the office.
5 – Stay cool from 9 to 5
Man-made fabrics won’t do you any favours when it’s hot. Head for natural fibres like cotton, light weight wool and linen. Watch thin fabric shirts, if they’re too fine, you could be giving too much away. (Chest hair? Okay for the beach… but in the boardroom? Well, not so much. You get our drift.)
Oh, and here’s some science. It’s worth changing your antiperspirant occasionally. Once your body gets used to the chemicals in a particular brand, the deodorant becomes less effective over time. We don’t want you to get caught out.
If it’s too hot to think about all of this, get one of our personal stylists do it for you at a men’s colour and style class. And if you already know your colour stuff, you could get a business rating – your toolkit for choosing the work clothes that give you an air of authority, whatever the weather.
August 2017 NewsSian's story - my decision to go grey
January 2017 NewsUsing a pyramid structure in your wardrobe.... and why you need it.
October 2015 NewsFrom Met Police to Personal Stylist - Judi's Story