How to dress for the office when temperatures soar


We all want to look well-turned out at work, but with the mercury pushing thirty degrees in some parts of the UK, finding a professional outfit that won’t make you melt at your desk is no easy task. And, if you’re unlucky enough to be stuck in a building without air conditioning, surviving a day at the office with your style credentials in tact can seem almost impossible.

But, there’s no need to let the weather get you all hot under the collar. With soaring temperatures set to stay with us for the next couple of weeks, the smartest way to beat the heat is to update your wardrobe with some summer-proof clothes, accessories and grooming products. Keep reading to learn our four top tips for looking — and feeling — cool when the office is hot. 

Invest in a linen suit jacket

Linen has long been the material of choice for men who need to keep cool while also looking classy. So, next time you’ve got an important meeting on your schedule, don’t sweat it out under a wool or polyester suit: go for a linen suit, instead. This sort of fabric has an open weave, which allows for better air circulation and gives your skin a chance to breathe, and the super-absorbent material helps to wick sweat away from the body. It also dries very quickly, so you won’t need to worry about getting caught out with embarrassing sweat patches.

When it comes to looking smart in linen, the fit of your clothes is key. Loose-fitting pieces can look quite relaxed and beachy, so if you want a look that’s more boardroom than boardwalk, you’ll need make sure that your jacket and trousers are sharply tailored. This collection of suits from Joseph Turner are made from 100% Italian linen, and are elegantly cut for an smart, streamlined silhouette — perfect for when you want to impress without breaking a sweat. 

  

Swap your dress shoes for loafers

Traditional dress shoes and brogues may look smart, but, as they're made of heavy leather, they can also be pretty suffocating during the height of summer. If your office dress code allows for it, then swap your everyday shoes for a pair of loafers or deck shoes: these don’t need to be worn with socks, so your feet and ankles will be much cooler. If the dress code won’t allow for this, then make sure you’re wearing very thin socks made from a bamboo-blend fabric, to help your skin breathe as much as possible.

Whatever you do, don’t give in to the temptation to wear flips-flops or beachy sandals to the office: this will completely let down the rest of your outfit. If you really can’t bear to wear leather or suede shoes in this heat, then go for a pair of canvas slip-ons or espadrilles in a smart black or navy shade, instead. 

Pick your shirts with care

On unbearably hot days, long sleeved shirts are a no-go, especially if you’ll need to layer up in a blazer for an important meeting at some point. So, stock up short sleeved styles in lightweight fabrics, like cotton, linen, seersucker, or even thin chambray denim, if your dress code will allow for it. If you have bit more flexibility in terms of what colours you can wear to work, it’s both smart and stylish to opt for a patterned short-sleeve shirt. Dark patterns — like plaid, paisley, or floral prints— will help to camouflage any sweat patches, and they’re sure to make your outfit pop, too. 

Keep your cool with some luxurious grooming products

Unless you want to incur the wrath of everyone else in the office, a good deodorant is a must during this heatwave. A top-quality antiperspirant deodorant can make a huge difference, so instead of just grabbing whatever is on currently offer in the supermarket, spend a little extra and invest in something that will actually keep you fresh and dry. After all, you’ve made an effort with your outfit, so why let it become a sweaty mess by before lunchtime?

A high-end roll-on deodorant will last much longer than an aerosol, so start the day with one of these antiperspirant sticks from Tom Ford, which are luxuriously scented for maximum effect. Don’t forget to keep a small aerosol in your desk, in case you need to touch up during the day: go for something with a classic scent, like Chanel’s Allure Homme deodorant — perfect if you need to freshen up before after work drinks.

If this weather has got you wilting at your desk or simmering on a busy commuter train, then don’t worry: there are lots of ways to look professional without overheating. By updating your wardrobe with some sharp new summer styles, accessories, and grooming products, you can still look great and feel fresh all day long.

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