How To Stay (And Look) Cool At The Office

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A linen blazer is essential. A textured fabric will add a layer of interest and mask wrinkles.

4 / 5
Linen and cotton tend to be sporty, which is why a denim shirt is a great match.

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Accent classic colors like brown and blue with green, a seasonally appropriate color.

Do it with texture, do it with fabric, do it with color

Warm weather presents a challenge when dressing for an office environment. This is especially true if your workplace requires you to wear a suit and tie or sport coat and slacks. Suddenly you realize why we like to put scare quotes around “four season” when we talk about certain fabrics.

However, fabric is the key to staying cool all summer long. And the right pieces will have you looking your best as well. As the second installment of how to style our June capsule wardrobe, here’s one way to stay (and look) cool at the office.

stay cool at office

Nothing is more critical to a professional separates outfit than your jacket. I like a light tan for the summer. It’s just as versatile as a navy blazer but a little more seasonal and easier to dress down. A textured linen not only adds a layer interest, but also masks wrinkles.

Navy trousers are a staple of your office wardrobe. It’s essential to have them at least two fabrics for different seasons. A wool pair will get you through fall and winter, while linen, cotton or a blend of the two will keep you taken care of during the warmer months. I feel sorry for the guy who sweats through his wool pants during the summer.

stay cool at work

| WEARING | Suitsupply blazer, Peter Millar shirt, Incotex pants, Seaward & Stearn tie, Drake’s pocket square, Oliver Peoples sunglasses, Piaget watch, Filson briefcase, To Boot New York loafers | PHOTOGRAPHY | by Rob McIver Photo

I’d heard a lot about the quality and fit of Incotex trousers over the past couple of years. They’re certainly not inexpensive, but I finally decided to try on a pair to see what the fuss was about for myself. I fully intended to send them straight back if they didn’t live up to the hype, but as you can see, this linen-cotton pair are staying in my permanent wardrobe. What started as a gamble became an investment in quality.

Linen and cotton fabrics always feel a bit sporty to me, which is why I like the addition of a denim shirt. Not all denim is heavy or thick and you can find a range of options appropriate for summer. Green is a great accent color for blues and browns and I especially like it against some texture.

stay cool at work

Finally, it’s time to open up our socks or no socks debate once again. While we fully support the no socks look, we realize that it is not appropriate for every office environment. And sometimes, like with particular outfit, if you decide to show some ankle, you’ll end up looking like you forgot to put your socks on. As always, use your best judgement – if it looks wrong, it probably is – and make sure you’re wearing lighter weight socks that aren’t over the calf length.

stay cool at work

Thanks for reading.

Stylishly Yours,

Brian Sacawa
He Spoke Style

Chime In

  • Mark Johnson

    I love that tie, especially as a Michigan State grad.

    • http://hespokestyle.com/ Brian Sacawa

      You know you’re talking to a UM grad here, don’t you?…

      • Mark Johnson

        I did not know that. You look good in The Only Colors though.

  • Catherine Sullivan

    This is such a great look, Brian! I’m really digging that particular pocket square/linen blazer combo. My husband just started a new suit-and-tie job, and even here in Alaska it can get awfully hot in an office; this is going to come in so handy. Thanks much!

    • http://hespokestyle.com/ Brian Sacawa

      Appreciate the comment, Catherine. Congrats to your husband!

  • OldManJoe

    I followed the link to the trousers at mrporter.com and I agree they are not inexpensive. But it’s not shockingly high if they are good material and workmanship. The only dilemma I’d have is the same one I had when I was looking for gray flannel trousers last fall/winter. When you are going to spend upwards of $400 for off-the-rack (and in some cases still have to get them hemmed) isn’t it better to just let my tailor make them and know they are exactly right in all respects as well as being supported by him if anything needs fixing or adjusting? I went to him and told him what I was looking for and what prices I was seeing. He showed me some much better quality fabric and said he would make them to my pattern for half-again what I was seeing for ready-made… and I get bespoke with all that goes with it for that. Some people would say $400 vs $600 is a huge difference. But then ready-made vs bespoke is also huge, and not as huge of a price difference as the benefit could command. (Like perfect fit and free reasonable adjustments and repairs for the life of the garment.) It’s a different ball game if you are talking a $150-200 pair of trousers vs tailor-made, of course. Once I see prices going much north of $300, I go to my guy instead.

    Now that Jacket! Wow!!!

    • http://hespokestyle.com/ Brian Sacawa

      That is definitely a fair question. It’s a matter of convenience, in my opinion. If I’d thought ahead a couple months back, I could definitely have gotten a pair made to measure that would have been just like I wanted. (I have a couple of MTM linen slacks from Saks that are absolutely perfect.) But, due to poor planning on my part and really wanting/needing a pair now, I decided to bite the bullet and give the Incotex pants a go. It’s nice to find a brand that does fit the way I want off the rack when you’re looking for something immediately (other than needing to be hemmed since they come unfinished). J.Crew 484 fit is like that for me.

      • OldManJoe

        Yep, I can completely understand the “oops!” factor and needing them now. Being a more rotund, misshapen bodied soul, I can sometimes find trousers that are a reasonable fit but they have to fall below that cost threshold where they make sense. :-)

  • http://markuskonow.se Markus Konow

    Absolutely terrific outfit, as always!

    • http://hespokestyle.com/ Brian Sacawa

      Appreciate the comment, Markus! Have a great weekend.

  • Tony Gorga

    Is that a MTM or OTR Suitsupply blazer?