As soon as extreme hot weather approaches, the basic rules of work appropriate dresses quickly become unbearable, right? I know how you feel, because living in the very south of Italy I’m used to experience high temperatures all year round. That’s why I thought I had to write a quick and actionable Business Casual For Women Summer Guide, and share some advice on what to wear in 90+ degrees weather to stay fresh and level up you office dress code game!

Look at this:

Actually, you likely waited all winter in your dark working attire to get that hot ray of sun on your face, and when it finally comes you will change your mood,  stove away your flannel sheets, and say bye-bye to the fleece blanket on your sofa.

But one thing is always boringly there that it seems impossible to handle: your business casual dress code!

One of the things that I noticed while browsing socials, is the sense of frustration many business casual women go through.

Especially during the hot season, you feel tied to those unnecessary old clothing rules and you can’t really understand why you have to follow them. Well, there’s a simple answer to this question, it’s because as a professional you are representing your company and its core values.

But, let’s leave the whys  behind and have a look at the hows.

How To Rock Your Office Dress Code When It’s 100 Degrees Outside

Wearing work appropriate dresses when the weather is extremely hot is a real challenge.

Most of the time you’re probably suffering the hot temperature, sweating in your year-round dark suit, just trying to add some splash of color to remember yourself it’s summer.

Unfortunately, the truth is that popping out some colors won’t change the warmth you actually feel on your body, and the frozen-sweat effect when going in and outside of conditioned buildings and offices can really be unhealthy.

And what about the annoying and recurring doubt of being “stinky” just ten minutes after you morning shower?

If you just don’t want to pass another summer like this, follow the next 5 simple and super-actionable tips to revive your hot weather clothing options and feel fresh like a rosebud all day long.  😉

business casual for women summer

The Business Casual For Women Summer Guide: 5 Simple Rules


#1 Get Unlined Outerwear


Ok, you surely can’t give up your office blazer, and I wouldn’t give it up anyway,  but this is a simple trick to make your office dress code more comfortable and dry during summer.

In fact, chances are the fabric of your blazer lining has a high percentage of acrylic tissue. So, wearing lined clothes is like wearing two additional layers on your top, thus making a total of 3 layers on your bust and arms instead of two.

Business casual women of the world, would you call it hot weather clothing?

Unlined blazers generally have softer lines, due to their lighter weight, and they’ll help you keep a fresher and yet polished style under the midday heat.

Another great alternative to wearing and unlined blazer are lace tops and cardigans. In this case you’ll wear a softer fabric that’ll leave more room to your skin and keep your look office appropriate at the same time!

Unlike outerwear, make sure your unlined dresses and skirts are not transparent under the sun. In this case you can always opt for unlined items and wear a light high quality slip on your underwear.

Here’s a selection of great unlined blazers and lace cardigans under $100 to wear at the office the summer:

business casual for women summer guide

Yoox • $77  /  Shoptiques• $58  / Rosè à pois • $81  / Macy’s • $99.99  / Dorothy Perkins • $15  / Alfani • $64.99   
Yoox • $66  / August Silk • $36.98  /  Liu Jo • $85


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#2 Opt For Natural Fabrics


While the most hi-tech sportswear garments keep your body cool with special fabrics, they’re a sure failure to your business casual dress code.

So forget all those glossy magazines with absurd suggestions of wearing your swimsuit under a blazer. It may be original, but it’s certainly not to the benefit of your professional reputation.

Imagine you’re in the boardroom with other business casual women presenting your project to the management, wearing your super-chic-bath-suit under your blazer. What would everyone think? Maybe that you are planning to leave it all to follow the job of your dreams: lifeguard!

The takeaway here is simple, when you have to simultaneously face dress code and hot weather, opt for natural, breathable fabrics like cotton, linen, silk, summer cashmere and natural woven fabrics.

In some cases, like for linen clothes which tend to wrinkle easily, a good blend of natural and acrylic will make them more enjoyable and polished.

Here’s some other shopping ideas from the business casual for women summer guide:

business casual for women summer dress

Tahari Linen Dress @ Nordstrom,  $118

business casual for women summer style linen

Eileen Fisher Gingerpink Dress @ Neiman Marcus, $101

business casual for women summer linen dress

Kenzie Linen Dress @6pm,  $35.70

Read: 14 Powerful Designer Suits For Women To Boost Your Style In 2016


#3 Wear Light Colors


The business casual for women summer wardrobe is not supposed to be built around only black or deep blue clothes. Unless your company dress code is so strict, unleash your fantasy!

Opt for lighter colors, since their surface reflects the sunlight heat instead of absorbing it. Choose neutral colors for your outerwear so you can play with the colors of shirts and tops. Two to three neutral blazers or suits are enough to allow you to create many different outfits.

For example, imagine you have 3 mismatchable suits in your wardrobe, you’ll have 9 basic combinations to play with adding different tops, shoes and accessories. Isn’t it cool?

business casual for women summer clothing

📸 @StyleMeGrasie

business casual for women summer outfit

📸 @PinkPeonies

business casual for women summer style ideas

📸 @WithLoveFromKat


#4 Wear Soft and Wide Clothes


Warning! The advice here is not for the uber-used boho style or gipsy fashion. I’m talking about high waist, sleek and polished palazzo pants, wide leg pants or straight leg pants that look amazing on business casual for women summer outfits.

If they’re made of fine cotton blends or crepe de chine, they’re the perfect representation of what fine hot weather clothing should be. They’re extremely wearable in different situations, and you can repurpose them for elegant, semi-formal or casual outfits.

business casual for women summer outfits to stay fresh

Missguided Crepe Wide Leg Trousers $40

business casual for women summer wide pants📸 @Memorandum


#5 Keep Your Feet Cool


Your office dress code is no peep-toe or sandals? Well don’t worry about the situation, you can always opt for exquisite perforated shoes, no matter if you love flats or heels, you’ll always have your feet breathing, and you’ll also be amazingly fashionable!

 

business casual for women summer perforated shoes

Sole Society • $37.04  / Karen Millen • $99.97  / Michael Kors • $150  / Vince Camuto • $119   / Sam Edelman • $150  / Louise et Cie • $89.99  / Frye • $124.60  / Sole Society • $69.95  / Topshop • $48

Business casual For Women Summer Guide: Little Extra-Tricks

I have two little extra-tricks that you can use to have a sudden boost of freshness.

  1. First thing is have your hair cut and refresh your head. If you are a “don’t touch my hair” woman, just like me, experiment different updoes hairstyles, like buns, beehives and simple ponytails. Not only they’ll make your head breathe, you’ll also have a cool mini-makeover!
  2. Trick number two is thermal water. How many times the weather is so baking hot that you feel like your face is trapped in an oven? Clearly you can’t simply go and wash your face when you’re wearing make up. So what to do? Always keep with you a little spray can of thermal water. It’s highly hydrating, irresistibly fresh and it dries in a moment without ruining your makeup.

Why Rocking Your Office Dress Code Is Important

Choosing the right fabrics, colors and styles for you can change your working experience, that is probably a big part of your life, at least in terms of time.

As humans we don’t have a big talent to filter feelings. If every working day you crush with a sense of frustration due to a dress code that you feel tied to with no choice, it’s automatic that at a certain point you start disliking your job or simply feeling irritable all of the time. And you end up lowing your productivity and your self-confidence.

On the other hand, dress code is not a synonym for condemn, and you shouldn’t feel it like an imposition. But if you do, just try to find your freedom of expression within the limits of it.

Go shopping on purpose for your office dress code, browse the internet first and make a list of the things you like that are also suitable for your office attire. Try things on and find new combinations.

The moment that you’ll look at the mirror and like your business casual figure, your mindset will change, and your “chains” will suddenly broke.

To make it simple, feel that you are a part of the business casual women’s world family!

Now tell me, do you feel tied or frustrated for your office dress code? Have you already experimented some personalizations? Please share your thoughts with other women of the jungle!

📸 Cover Via DamselInDior


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