It may be hot, but you want to look cool when everyone around is losing theirs!
Most of my clients find dressing in hot weather much more challenging than any other time of year and dressing for the office in the summer can be a minefield especially if you are a small business owner. What if we get amazing weather like last year? How can we keep our cool yet still be ready to deal with an important client.
You need to dress practically because, as we all know, you have to wear many hats when in a small business! But then you also need to be seen as professional by your staff and clients and what if you are going networking?! Aaagh, how on earth are you going to manage it?
Office dressing has relaxed greatly over the last few years but it is as important as ever to dress professionally and authentically.
Just because something is suitable for the weather does NOT make it appropriate for work.
Let’s face it, it is much harder to look business-like in a flimsy summer dress and flipflops so keep those for holidays and pub gardens. So what do we do?
Firstly, and I cannot stress this enough, grooming, grooming, grooming! Keep your make up and hair on point. Check your foundation is still the right shade if you have a bit of summer colour. You don’t want to be walking round looking washed out. A sweep of bronzer will add a sunkissed look. We tend to get a bit braver with colour in the sunshine so try a brighter lip to add impact.
As always, good underwear is key, it makes a big difference to how polished you look. Stick to flesh tone bras under light clothing, wear a cami under anything sheer and be careful with off the shoulder tops. You may look topless when someone sees you sitting down behind a computer screen!
No matter how relaxed your office flip flops are not okay, save them for the beach. And while we are on the subject of feet, if you are wearing sandals, get a pedicure! No one wants to see hard skin and chipped polish.
Watch the length of your skirts. Thigh high is not appropriate. This season sees a lot of midi skirts and culottes on the high street, they can be cool and you can usually get away without wearing tights too. Win win. Tailored shorts will also work – the key word here is tailored, denim shorts are not the way to go.
Our weather is notoriously changeable so layer up. A short cardi in a great colour over a dress takes you from the sunshine into icy air con. Add a belt to zhuzh it up. Or you may prefer to follow this season’s trend for a colourful blazer to sharpen up your look.
Use your accessories to add impact and authority. A great necklace in a wow colour or a statement bag add to your look.
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, make sure your clothes fit. Too much flesh into too little clothing is not a good business look plus can be seriously uncomfortable when the temperature rises.
With a bit of advance planning you can still look stylish and professional whatever the summer throws at us.
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