From Stress To Success in the City: Dressing Professional During the Summer Swelter

Dressing well is not about being stylish or fashion forward (though that is a temptation) so don't wear your mini-skirt and tank top to the office. Your office attire is about communicating your professional personal brand. Though brains and hard work are what get the job done, dressing professionally is important for developing a career brand. When you dress appropriately for your profession, your superiors and colleagues will take you seriously. This is why your professional wardrobe is critical for continued career success

Professional attire

Summer can be hot, humid, and down right uncomfortable. Remember these tips for planning your professional wardrobe during the “fry your eggs on the sidewalk” kind of days.

Haley's 4 Tips for Dressing Professionally During the Summer

  1. Invest in Breathable Materials: Linen and all types of cotton are great alternatives to the traditional polyester suit.  Many types of dresses and suits are made out of cotton and linen for a light summer style. Breathable materials allow you to look professional without sweltering on your morning commute.
  2. Dress for Your Shape: Women come in all shapes and sizes. Dressing professionally for your shape will give you confidence and flatter your body. Rather than comparing yourself to other women, figure out what YOU look best in. If you try to dress for someone else, chances are you will not look your best.
  3. Wear Clothing that Fits: Leave the sparkles, studs, and tight dresses for the weekend. Go for a sophisticated summer look. Find clothing that fits loosely and looks classy without appearing frumpy. Be careful of outfits being too tight. For one thing, it makes for an extremely uncomfortable day at work and more importantly, leaves you vulnerable for criticism from your colleagues.
  4. Find a Love for Dresses and Skirts: Skirts and dresses are a great way to feel feminine while still looking professional plus they are breathable. A dress is a one stop shop. No matching or tucking in, just put it on and you are ready for work.

Remember to reference your corporate culture when establishing your summer closet. Professionals in the fashion industry may dress further out of the box than someone in finance. Some offices have eliminated dress codes (think startups). Know the expectations of your office to dress appropriately for your job.

Dressing for success in the summertime can be a challenge. When planning summer outfits, remember that looking neat and put together is key to career success. Use these tips to stay cool at work so that other professionals look at you and think: “She can get the job done and look good while doing it!”

HaleyFulford-TheWiseLatinaClubA food enthusiast and native Georgia Peach, Haley recently graduated from Appalachian State University with a Bachelors of Science in Sustainable Development. Currently working at the United States House of Representatives, she is passionate about the outdoors, improved access to quality education for all, public policy, and documenting “from stress to success in the city.” Click here to read more about and connect with Haley. 

Edited by Viviana Hurtado, Ph.D.

How you dress professionally during the summer months?