Ultimate summer workwear: how to take the heat out of your summer office wardrobe
Baring vast quantities of flesh doesn’t usually come easy to us Brits (unless it’s a Friday night in January and you’re out in Newcastle). That’s because out of every 12 months, nine of those are best tackled in a cardigan. Or a sweater. Or perhaps a poncho if you’re that way inclined.
So when summer hits and we’ve got to make that schlep to work, scale the staircase, and survive the broken air-con, we need summer work clothes that are going to keep us from a major meltdown. Here we go.
Keep it natural
No one wants to look like they’ve just run the 100m, when actually it was a trip to the corner shop for a well-deserved almond Magnum. So avoid the sweaty Betty look and opt for clothes made from natural fibres. We’re talking cotton and linen as opposed to wool here (for obvious reasons). Viscose may kid you into thinking it’s light and airy but there’s no way it would beat its cotton counterparts.
So for tops, vests, and trousers keep it as natural as possible and let your skin breathe.
If you can only cope with exposing 25% of your skin at any one time, you’ll need to figure out the layering thing. Forget structured work classics like jackets and suits, and add one (or two) of this season’s kimono-style jackets to your summer workwear collection. They’re super light and floaty, great for layering over more revealing items, and they’ll make you look like you made an effort.
Culottes are back so get used to it. Yes, they may well remind you of the late ’80s, but don’t worry there’s no need to pair them with a perm. (Please don’t). The high street has some awesome styles around right now and we’ve got to admit we love that airy ‘set your legs free’ feeling they give. Plus you needn’t worry about any freak gusts of wind, because though they look like a skirt, there’ll be no knicker exposés with trusty culottes. Allelujah.
Midi and maxi skirts are ideal summer workwear classics. The mini isn’t – sorry. Maxi skirts are great for those days when you have five minutes to get out of the house and no razor in sight. Midis are perfect if your pins are prepped, it’s hit 30°c by 9am, and you’ve got a waist belt to finish it off with.
In summer, workwear has to destress a bit. Structure can take a side seat because when the mercury’s soaring, there’s really no place for suits and ties.
Pictured: Embellished paisley print kimono – new at M&Co (£45). Price correct on 12 August 2014.