Can You Dress Cool, Yet Professional in the Summer?
In Seattle, “business casual” is the mantra of most companies when it comes to dress, but what does that mean? If you’re like most professionals, the definition is unclear.
‘Business casual’ can mean a variety of things. However, it’s usually safest to focus the wardrobe on pants made of lite-weight wool, linen, or cotton and open-collared sport or polo shirts.
During the dot-com boom, work environments that encouraged casual dress became more prevalent. Sometimes this definition became extremely relaxed with jeans, shorts, and T-shirts becoming acceptable.
That type of casual work dress is losing popularity though. It’s been proven that workers are more productive when they dress more professional.
The summer months create their own challenges. As the temperature heats up, office workers, especially those in ultra-casual Seattle, have a tendency to trade in dress shoes for sandals, and pants for shorts. This is probably not the best choice for a business environment.
The truth is when you dress well, you feel good. The people you deal with are more likely to sense your confidence and treat you better. Dressing at work like it’s a day at the beach will not earn respect or credibility.
How to dress professional when it's hot:
When the mercury is high, here are some tips that will help you stay cool while maintaining a professional image in a business casual environment:
- Dress in all-natural fibers. Clothes made out of these materials are light and breathable, which will help keep you cool. Linen and microfiber pants are also good choices.
- Men: leave the tie at home. It’s amazing how much cooler you can feel by simply slipping off the tie and opening the collar.
- Play with colors. When you think of business attire, dark colors often come to mind. Delve into the color palette and find what works best for you. In the summer, wearing lighter colors can also keep you cooler.
- Cover up. Even in the summer, a jacket can be a professional’s best wardrobe friend. A light jacket can protect you from the sun and add an extra bit of polish to your image.
By applying these tips, you can keep it Cool, Casual and Professional during the summer months!
I have nearly two decades experience in the fashion industry, and I enjoy creating tailored, fashionable, and sophisticated looks for my clients.