One of the biggest style dilemmas many of us will come across during the Summer will be dressing appropriately for work when the temperatures sore.
With the mercury rising once again in the UK this week, many of us will be wondering what is and isn’t appropriate for the office. With more and more workplaces adopting a smart/casual dress code it is important to dress for the weather whilst still looking professional.
Here are some of our top tips to help you navigate this style dilemma!
DO choose your fabrics wisely
Natural fabrics like cotton, will be more lightweight and crease less after a long day sitting down; meaning you’ll look more put together and well presented, even after a hard day of meetings and calls. If you are in a smart/casual environment you could opt for a shirt dress or linen trousers, which tend have a more relaxed cut and therefore are cooler to wear. Ensure that the material you choose isn’t too lightweight, as this can look too casual and reveal more than you may have intended.
DON’T show too much
It may be hot, but this doesn’t mean your hemline can be high. A skirt is a great choice for keeping cool in the heat and midi-length skirts are fabulously flattering on many body shapes (just be sure yours cuts at a flattering point on the leg). You’ll be able to move around with ease and look professional at the same time. If midi isn’t your thing just be sure not to go any higher than just above the knee.
There is a huge trend for off-the-shoulder tops and dresses at the moment, but keep this look for the weekend – it exposes too much flesh, even for a casual workplace. Similarly, leave your backless, asymmetric, spaghetti straps and batwings tops at home. Sleeveless is fine, but cover up by wearing trousers on your bottom half to balance the exposure of your arms (and keep a cardigan or jacket to hand for meetings).
DO dress up
A dress is a great option during the Summer. Choose a cut that is flattering for your body shape and it will help to keep you cool and comfortable on hot, sticky days. Opt for one of the lighter, brighter shades from your colour palette if you can, ensuring you balance the tone of shades you’re wearing, depending on your dominant colour category.
DON’T forget footwear
Leave your flip-flops and gladiator sandals at home! Thanks to Chanel, classic, ladylike sling-backs are making something of a comeback at the moment and these are an elegant option for the office during the Summer. Open toed shoes are fine in most workplaces now, but make sure your toes are immaculate if you decide to go down this route (a great excuse to book in for that pedicure!)
Most offices now have air-conditioning, meaning you may be going from sweltering heat to icy conditions at the touch of an elevator button. If this is the case you will need to cleverly layer your look to keep you warm. The danger here can be that you end up looking too casual (if you choose a loose-fitting cardigan for example). Invest in a lightweight jacket that is cut to suit your figure and, if needed, a lightweight scarf in your best colours. This will keep you warm but still looking smart and both are easy to remove once you leave the office to embrace the glorious sunshine!
Get some office chic inspiration over on our Pinterest board here.
Find your local colour me beautiful consultant here.
As you know from previous blogs I am a great fan of the sleeve. How many of us feel their arms need to be slimmed down or have bingo wings? How many of us have gone to a dinner dance during the winter and have frozen or had to invest in a pashmina to cover our arms and keep us warm? I can see you all putting your hands up, me too.
In the past there have been campaigns by well known magazines, asking manufacturers to put sleeves in garments – and are they? No they are not. I was out personal shopping with a client recently and I could only find one evening dress with sleeves.
So, this season is no exception and it is not only relevant to dresses and tops, we see the return of the Gilet in the fashion stakes and the sleeveless coat! (It reminds me of a recent genius piece of marketing I saw in a sandwich chain – the breadless sandwich – isn’t that a salad I thought to myself? They were selling like hot cakes!)
Both are an anomaly to me. Jackets and coats should have sleeves just by their very nature – right?
The Gilet is often seen as a garment worn to give extra warmth to the core of your body leaving your arms free for practical tasks. Forget practical, this is now to be a core fashion item in your wardrobe.
This season you can choose denim style or be a biker babe. The dedicated denim lovers can ‘rock’ their jean jackets without sleeves. They can be thrown over anything and worn with white shirts to sequinned pencil skirts. The biker babes are wearing theirs to toughen up summer frocks or layering with winter knits. The best bit though is you can DIY the look and cut off the sleeves of an old worn jacket.
OK, I’ve been won over on the Gilet front!
So what about the long sleeveless jacket? Long lines, fluid tailoring and premium fabrics are essential for a chic sleeveless jacket. Style with a super-slim polo top and skinnies to keep it current and casual. Top tip: if you buy one in neutral colours you can mix and match for work to achieve a tailored, sophisticated look.
Sleeveless jackets and coats may not deliver in terms of warmth but they are certainly this Autumn/Winter’s hottest trend!
Written by Shan Williams, Personal Stylist.
To find out about the best style coats for you, contact one of our consultants to book a style consultation. Click here www.colourmebeautiful.co.uk/consultant/search/ and just pop in your postcode to find out who is nearest you and send them an email. We are a friendly and knowledgeable team!
Check out our Pinterest board for some more inspiration https://uk.pinterest.com/colourmebeautuk/to-sleeve-or-not-to-sleeve-that-is-the-question/
Image courtesy of Pinterest.