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.
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.
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.
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.