With spring in full swing and summer just around the corner, many of us are thinking, What work outfits can I wear this summer? According to an article by nationally recognized wardrobe, dress code, and corporate image consultant, Mary Lou Andre, after Memorial Day, “offices all over the country tend to get a little more casual" in their business wear. However, at times it is difficult to determine what works and what doesn't. Here are five quick tips for summer fashion in the office:
Make Sure It Fits
In an interview with certified image consultant, author, and motivational speaker, Milena Joy, the fashion expert advises all office workers to wear clothing that fits to their size. “Fit is key, no matter what you wear," said Joy. “Anything that is too big looks sloppy and anything too tight is unprofessional and may look too sexy."
Depending on your work environment, if it's casual, Joy advises to balance professional pieces of an outfit with casual ones, such as colored skinny jeans and with a silky blouse for women, and light summer colors such as a light khaki colored suit with a lavender shirt for men.
Keep It Cool
When it comes to fabrics, “lighter weight fabrics like linen blends and cotton fabrics" are your friend, said Joy.
Cooler fabrics are also better to wear during the summer to help with perspiration. It's not that heavier fabrics aren't stylish for the summer, they simply just aren't practical for the weather. Heavier fabrics like lined wool can make you sweat and affect your comfort and hygiene levels at work.
Though it's tempting to wear cooler clothing at the office, it's also best to keep in mind that most office buildings turn on air conditioners and leave them running for the hotter months, so be sure to use layers.
“Layer your outfit with a jacket, blazer, or cardigan that you can easily take off when you step outside," said Joy.
“This summer is all about bright colors like Emerald Green, Lemon Zest, and African Violet," said Joy. According to the Pantone 2013 summer fashion color report trends, Joy is correct. In addition to the colors mentioned above, Pantone reports that Dusk Blue, Poppy Red, and Nectarine are also some other color trends we will see this summer.
But why does color matter?
“Color gives your outfit personality," said Joy. “Make sure you balance all the 'fun' colors with neutrals like tan, grey, and black to keep the look professional."
We don't always have the money to keep up with the latest trends or buy a complete wardrobe for the workplace. For instances where you lack more clothes, using some accessories can definitely make an outfit stand out. Wearing jewelry, ties, scarves, or different shoes can definitely make all the difference while simultaneously keeping you fashionable for the workplace.
“A statement necklace or eye catching tie can differentiate you from all the other black suits in the office," said Joy. “It's a great way to express yourself while keeping with company culture and dress code."