As if waking up every morning and schlepping to work isn’t enough of a pain, summer months seem to make the process even more difficult. And if you poke your head outside in the morning and think, “Dear God, the only thing I can even fathom putting on before I go outside is a string bikini top and formal shorts!” perhaps it’s time to reconsider your summer work wardrobe.
Rising temperatures do not necessarily mean rising hemlines. It is still work, after all. But how on earth can you possibly get to and from the office in ungodly summer heat without passing out or totally ruining your clothes? Thankfully, there are ways to dress for work that won’t make your co-workers change their water cooler conversations from Top Chef Miami to whether or not you moonlight as a cocktail waitress at Scores.
One of the simplest, and most tolerable ways to make it to October without going to the drycleaner everyday is layering. Just think of Marni’s spring 2007 show, which was rife with layering. Now it may seem counterintuitive to put on more items when the weather is warmer, but this follows a ‘more is less’ philosophy. Why wear a long-sleeved blouse for the whole day when you can wear a tank for part of it? By wearing a sleeveless top and a jacket you can get away with going barer during your commute or lunch
hour. Odds are most offices have the luxury of air conditioning during those intolerable summer months. So to combat the issue of commuting in long sleeves, if that is an office expectation or just an indoor necessity, layer a lightweight tank with a summer cardigan or jacket for those hours at your desk.
Even though layering provides the loophole to office dress codes, the bottom layer should still respect the work environment. Many tanks and summer tops that seem perfect for happy hour patio drinks or walking around in the heat may still be a problem when layered. If most of your warmer weather tops are quite bare make sure that your top layer makes up for that. For a low cut tank look for a trapeze jacket with high button placement like those from Trina Turk or Adam + Eve. When wearing a top that barely skims the
top of your skirt, try and find a longer belted cardigan in a lightweight cotton. Retailers from J. Crew to Miu Miu offer variations on this office staple. There is no point in layering during the summer if your outfit is still revealing.
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