How To Stay Appropriately Dressed In The Heat
The UK has recently been blessed – or doomed, depending on how you view it – with a heat wave of over 30 degrees Celsius on some days. Whilst this would be nice if we could spend all day by the beach, most of us have to stay in an office environment of some sort. Whilst some offices might have air conditioning, making it quite a bit easier to endure the heat and keep cool, the commute to and from work, spending your lunch outside or having to sit in a hot meeting room can still be a challenge when it comes to dressing appropriately. In terms of dress codes, women are a bit luckier in summer but in temperatures beyond 25 degrees Celsius, even the ladies start struggling a little bit. Here are some useful (and unisex!) tips on how to stay professionally and appropriately dressed when all you want to do is hop into a pool.
This is how you stay appropriately dressed in the heat
Choose light fabric. Linen and silk, with parts of cotton, are your best friends in this weather. They are very light, comfortable and permeable to air. Tightly knit fabric will hold the heat and moisture in whereas finer threads and more loosely weaved clothing will allow air circulation and add breathability. If you can, wear trousers which are a bit wider or a shirt that is not skin-tight – you’ll be thankful for every breeze that can cool you down a little bit!
Choose quality pieces. Hand in hand with the above, high quality pieces will not only guarantee that the fabric really is well made but as you may try to stretch the business dress code a little bit, you want the items you are wearing to look superb and of good quality. Choose your pieces wisely and they’ll see you through many summers (and are great for layering in the autumn/winter time!).
Wear light colours. Whilst darker colours are classic, this is not the time for a head-to-toe black outfit. Go for white, cream or beige as well as light blue or grey. Black attracts the heat and adds to it whereas lighter colours reflect the light off of you, therefore keeping you cooler. By choosing high quality pieces, you’ll ensure that the white or cream is not too see-through and still appropriate for office wear.
Show as much skin as you can. This does not mean that you should ignore all dress code rules and just wear a tank top and shorts. But even if you can take your blazer off whenever you’re not in a meeting or with a client, or wear ankle socks rather than knee-high ones, it will give your body a chance to cool down and regulate its temperature.
Wear your hair up. Choose a simple and professional style such as a sleek ponytail or an elegant up-do. If you’re a man with longer hair, you most likely wear your hair up at work anyway; if not, make sure to put it up into a somewhat neat bun or ponytail. Either way, nobody needs a sweaty neck with hair stuck to it!
Other tips. An obvious one but make sure you drink enough water. If your body is dehydrated, you will not only feel dizzy but also hotter as your body is trying to cope with the lack of liquids. Always keep water by your desk, ideally not ice cold as it takes the body a lot longer to digest cold drinks than lukewarm ones.
Every once in a while, take a break and let some cold water run over your underarms. It will help to cool your body temperature down and will keep you refreshed and rejuvenated for a while.
Having to sit in an office, a meeting or on the Central Line in this weather is never going to be comfortable but with little adjustments and tricks, you can make the time until you can have a cold shower and sip a refreshing drink much more bearable.