What to Wear to Work During Heat Waves

Easing into yet another workweek, we’re faced with the promise of more freakish humidity and lengthy commutes “ only to freeze following eight-hour air conditioning and its corresponding sweater-weather. Luckily, we’ve got your back when it comes to adapting to heat waves and office wear, so instead of persuading your boss to let you work poolside, here’s some survival tips.

Keep Layers Handy
Anything but a tunic may seem preposterous in 30-degree temperatures, so instead of weighing yourself down with a cardigan or any unnecessary fabric, keep a few layers at the office to throw on from 9-5. Basics like blazers and sweaters are perfect go-to pieces regardless of ensemble “ and if you’re wearing something that would look too much with either, keep a pashmina handy for a makeshift wrap.

Stay Light and Bright 
While some of us have an affinity for darker shades (like this writer), heat waves call for a move to the light side, since black and navy tones tend to absorb heat and speed up the warming process. Thus, crisp white blouses, light grey skirts and bright, summery tones will prevent any unnecessary sweltering, while also keeping you in-step with some of the summer’s hottest (coolest?) summer styles.

Roam Tight-Free
Since office dress codes usually enforce a skirt or dress length minimum, scrapping tights on a warm day will not only be workplace-appropriate, but will help prevent a literal meltdown on the afternoon coffee run. Provided your skirt’s not of the scandal variety (ex. wear it slightly above the knee or not past your finger tips if keeping your hands at your sides), you can pair it with oxfords, wedges or heels to make for a doable alternative to the typical tight regimen. (Just save your mini skirts for the weekend.)

Dress Code Appropriate
While pantsuits have dictated certain aspects of 2011, the return of full dresses and skirts have given an out to those of us roasting in pants and button-ups. Whether as pencil dresses or A-line skirts, the ultra-feminine aesthetic re-introduced by Mad Men is ideal for the heat wave-meets-office, as air circulation is allowed and thoughts of don’t you hate pants? melt away with after-work ice cream cones. 


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Tags: dresses, Fashion, heat waves, Mad Men, office wear, summer 2011 style, sweaters, what to wear on hot days

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