With temperatures soaring as we head into the summer months, it brings the dilemma of how to strike a balance between dressing with summer in mind and looking professional at work. Hot weather doesn’t mean professional dress standards should slip, but at the same time it will undoubtedly impact how you approach your work wardrobe. This means that the colours and fabrics you wore in autumn/ winter may no longer work and you will need to make some changes to bring your workwear up to season.
Organise your Wardrobe for the Current Season
As you begin to make the transition into your summer wardrobe, the most important thing you can do is reorganise your wardrobe to prioritise the current season. I always advise my clients to separate their wardrobes into spring/summer and autumn/winter clothing. The advantage of doing this is that you immediately see what you have available to wear. When a wardrobe is a mixture of summer and winter clothes, you waste time looking through an entire wardrobe, when in actual fact; only a small selection of your clothes may be suitable. This also makes it easier to spot any missing items you will need to purchase to be able to create more outfits.
Out of season clothes should then be stored properly to ensure they remain in good condition for next season. The same rule applies to your accessories such as shoes, boots, winter scarves, hats and gloves.
Opt for Lighter Fabrics
Winter fabrics such as tweed and wool should give way to breathable and lighter ones such as cotton. Linen is a great fabric for summer but I don’t recommend wearing 100% linen fabrics to work because linen creases easily which looks really untidy. Choose blended fabrics like linen and cotton, wool and silk and stretch jersey fabrics instead. This is also the time to store your dark opaque tights and get light weight sheer ones instead.
Dress up for Summer
One of the easiest pieces to wear is a dress so if you rely heavily on a suit for work, now is the perfect time to add a selection to your wardrobe. Dresses give you more options in terms of colours and patterns when compared to traditional tailoring. While you can wear a dress in a bold colour, you can’t necessarily do the same in a suit. Steer away from dark colours however and opt for colour.
Colours and Patterns are in
Nothing says summer like colour and it should form a key part of your summer work wardrobe. You can take more risks and wear suits in lighter colours. Neutrals and soft colours like beige, lighter shades of blue and blush look smart and professional if you don’t want to go too bold. Otherwise, purples, violets and blues are great options for work. A monochrome look, wearing different tones of the same colour from head to toe, is a classy sophisticated look. Choose your best colours in neutrals and solids which you can mix and match to see you through summer.
Accessorise your Look
Accessories are a great way to experiment with colour if you don’t want to make a big splash. For example, if you love a particular colour, you can buy it in a handbag or a scarf.
If you own any suede accessories, now is the time to get them out. Nude and tan accessories are timeless classics and nude heels are a great alternative to black. This is a great time to examine your make-up bag and introduce spring/summer colours if you have been wearing darker shades for winter.
About the author
Esohe Ebohon is the Founder of Stylierge, a personal styling and shopping service based in London. With a background in luxury retail and editorial styling for fashion magazines, she has worked in the fashion industry for over 15 years. She used her fashion knowledge and expertise to create Stylierge which specialises in helping busy, time-poor professionals create a purposeful functioning wardrobe that caters for their lifestyle needs.