One of the main problems with professional dress codes is that they are not always mindful of workplace conditions. The traditional three-piece suit might be fine all year round if you live in London; Arizona summers, on the other hand, are not as forgiving of such attire.
Dressing in professional clothes offers many benefits; not only is it a likely requirement of your workplace, but such clothing is designed to make you appear confident, clean, and polished. The problem is that the heat of the summer works against such aims. It’s rare to find someone who, dressed to the nines, isn’t also drowning in sweat.
Tips For Staying Cool In The Office
But fear not! There are still options available to keep men cool in the summer without sacrificing their professional wardrobes. Here are some tips:
Wear Light Colors
A black suit is death in the summer. The color absorbs light and heats up very quickly under direct (or even indirect) sun. The only way to logically counter this is to opt for lighter-colored suits. While some men might feel uncomfortable wearing flamboyant colors, most will find that gray or even a lighter blue to be agreeable options. White slacks or dress pants are also a good idea, so long as they have a looser fit. Tight white pants rarely look good on people.
Wear Light Fabrics
Just as important, if not more so, is the kind of fabric you wear. Polyester and rayon trap heat in your body more than nearly any other material, so knowing which fabrics will keep you cool can make all the difference. Cotton is a great option due to its natural drying properties, strength, and durability – though it should be noted that cotton does tend to wrinkle. Another good summer fabric is seersucker, which has cotton in it, and forms a very breathable fabric. Linen suits are also known for being light and airy, though expensive.
Consider A Deconstructed Jacket
Lining is only a hindrance in the summer and is sure to add to your sweaty discomfort. Therefore, opt for coats with minimal or no lining whatsoever. Without an added layer of fabric, jackets breath better and are less unpleasant to wear in the office. The problem with unlined jackets is that they can lose their shape without the lining, so half-lined might be a preferable middle ground. These jackets only have half lining in the top, enough to keep their shape, but none in the bottom, making their chest and abdomen less confined.
Choose The Right Footwear
When the heat starts to mount, men generally don’t have as many footwear options as women, who can wear open-toed sandals in the workplace (so long as they are work appropriate). Men are generally discouraged from wearing sandals in the workplace, so those who want to keep cool have to investigate other options. Sockless shoes actually tend to be best in these situations, so boat shoes, moccasins, and Italian loafers are your best bets.
Have A Change Of Clothes On Hand
If you’re worried about keeping a clean, professional look, it’s always a good idea to invest in a backup set of clothes. This is particularly important if you tend to sweat a lot, even when not sitting under the sun. A handy change of clothes will ensure you have something to fall back on if you end up drenched in a puddle of perspiration. Be sure your backup outfit is made out of the same breathable, lightweight material as your original outfit to ensure maximum comfort.
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