(Original story published on Monday May 4th, 2015 on Slice.ca.)
It’s that awkward time of year when it’s sunny, cool and refreshing outside, yet sweaty, stuffy and uncomfortable in the office. While we’re always prepared for that transitional period between blasting heat and cooling air conditioning, we’re left feeling completely dumbfounded when it comes to dressing appropriately (and comfortably) at work.
To help you look and feel your best, we’re highlighting the dos and don’ts of warm weather dressing at your nine-to-five.
Rule #1: Wear the right fabrics
In a warm office, it’s natural to want to dress light, just make sure you don’t pull a Bridget Jones and don a completely see-through blouse. Watch out for sheer fabrics, and opt for cottons and linens which are thick enough to be opaque, and light enough to keep you cool.
For a lightweight, yet totally professional blouse, try Club Monaco’s Claudia Shirt ($160).
Rule #2: Wear loose, flowy pieces
Wearing tight pieces will prevent your skin from getting air, and will result in you feeling even warmer. Instead, go for loose, boxy and flowy silhouettes.
The perfect skirt? Babaton’s Tory Skirt, available at Aritzia ($175).
Rule #3: Looking professional is key
When you’re feeling hot, you’ll probably want to strip off some layers, which can result in you showing a little too much skin than you should at the office. Avoid feeling like you need to bare it all by wearing breathable, professional pieces. Our favourite look? Pairing a pencil skirt with a simple, loose-fitting cotton tee.
Go for J.Crew’s No. 2 Pencil Skirt in Cotton Twill (US $128).
Rule #4: Mix and match separates
It’s common to have work suits made out of a wool blend, which can clearly pack some serious heat. You don’t have to ditch those pieces altogether, just don’t wear them together. Try pairing the pants of a wool suit with a lightweight blazer in a bold hue to keep it cool.
Zara’s Long Blazer ($100) is made of lightweight fabric to keep you cool through the summer sun.
Rule #5: Wear sophisticated shoes
You may be tempted to bust out the strappy kicks, but we both know that won’t go over well. Opt for a style that features a classic pointed toe, but is a little strappier (read: breathable) in the back.
Our pick? Club Monaco’s Lula Lizard-Effect Pump ($269).
Keep it subtle by opting for a bag in a natural light moss hue, like Madewell’s The Transport Tote (US $168).
Rule #7: Be aware of what you’re wearing underneath a blazer
Whether you’re simply sitting at your desk or entering the office after a long commute, you’ll probably be tempted to remove your blazer. Pay attention to what you wear underneath it so you’re able to take it off without a worry. Avoid wearing straps that are too thin, and go for a sleeveless, flowy blouse instead.
Try Joe Fresh’s Silk Ruffle Blouse ($30).
Rule #8: Go for seasonless looks
No, it’s not appropriate to bust out those summer sundresses just yet. Instead, go for seasonless dressing and mix your light winter pieces with summer pieces. Our favourite way to rock this look? Team a loose-knit sweater with a pair of light trousers.
French Connection showed off the look perfectly, with thisSummer Quilted Jumper ($78).
We’re loving All Saints’ Fleet Haze Dress ($340).
Rule #10: Layer the right way
You’re probably going to need a layer or two on your commute, especially in the early morning. Wear light pieces you can easily take off, like a simple jacket and a light scarf if needed.
For the perfect breezy, summer scarf, go for Ted Baker’s Blossy Long Window Blossom Scarf($130).