We all know the story: you get dressed for work, put on your makeup, open the front door and it feels like you’ve stepped off the plane in Thailand. Suddenly that polyester shirt is feeling like a really bad idea and your makeup is already sliding down your face.
I think we can all agree that getting dressed for work when it’s hot as f*ck is no picnic. The 30+ degree temperatures make your nice, crisp button-ups stick to your back and your pencil skirts make your thighs stick to each other.
Unfortunately, wearing absolutely nothing at all to work is still frowned upon, so it’s kind of imperative that you have these six pieces in your wardrobe to fall back on, for those extra balmy days.
The longline vest / sleeveless jacket was invented purely for this reason. I mean, at the end of the day, it’s a long blazer with arms cut off.
If you work in an office-y environment that won’t budge on its dress code, a longline vest will be your absolute best friend. It can literally make everything look professional: work dress? Tick. Mini skirt? Tick. Bikini? Tick tick tick.
Linen dresses… pants… tops… actually, anything linen
I know I said a longline vest will be your best friend, but that was before I remembered linen. LINEN WILL DEFINITELY BE YOUR BEST FRIEND.
It’s by far the coolest fabric going around (both climate-wise and fashion-wise) and should be worn head-to-toe if possible. Or, at the very least, as a slip dress styled with minimal accessories.
Button-ups are a work wardrobe staple you really can’t avoid – they manage to look all fancy and polished without even trying.
However, when the mercury soars so high you can’t even touch your steering wheel, it’s time to make the switch to looser shapes, fabrics that *breathe* and lighter colours, so the heat doesn’t beat down on you with the force of a thousand suns.
Shift dresses that don’t touch you
The next best thing to being completely naked has gotta be wearing clothes that don’t touch your body. This is what you want when it’s really f*cking hot.
Invest in a selection of shift dresses of an office-appropriate length and throw the rest of your wardrobe out because this is all you really need in your life at this moment.
Bonus points if said dresses are linen – you will literally feel like you’re on holiday, sipping a cocktail while a light breeze blows past, while everyone else dies.
I get it, we can’t get around every day wearing skirts and dresses and bikinis with longline vests over the top. Sometimes we just need to wear a damn pair of pants. Enter the wide-leg culotte, the only pant your legs will allow in summer.
They’re shorter than other pants, so your ankles get a bit of the breezy action and they’re wide in the leg, so they won’t touch you (see item #4).
What’s more, they can be paired with shell tops, dressy tanks and cropped shirts, and still look chic AF for work.
Pencil skirts are great and all – very work-approps – but on a hot day, I personally could think of nothing worse. Luckily, we have another, less steamy option in the form of A-line skirts.
Like our BFF the loose-fitting shift dress, A-line skirts know better than to touch your body, making them a must in any summer work wardrobe. And for extra breezy goodness, all you have to do is close your eyes and twirl.
Illustration by Twylamae who also makes work-inappropriate T-shirts.