Summer Style: Dressing for Work in the Heat 

YAY! Summer is here. It's that time of year when I share my 'one stop shop for summer stuff' blog. 
 
Here are a few tips around how to dress for the heat without stripping off, how to adapt your make up for humid weather, PLUS a few tips to consider when choosing your shades and swimwear. 
 
Despite the post covid shift to slightly less formal/business wear you still might have to think about looking the part – whatever that means to you. 
 
If you need to remain “professional” with your work clothes in the summer you might want to remember that warm weather does not change the fact that what you wear has an impact on how you are perceived. You still want to maintain your professional credibility. 
 
Remember the A, B, C of dress codes 
 
A – APPROPRIATE – consider your environment and audience 
 
B – BOUNDARIES – if you can see up it, down it or through it you may be crossing them! 
 
C – CONSISTENT – if you want to keep your brand and professional credibility intact it could be essential 
 
For most of us self-employed women in business we are lucky and get to choose how we want to present ourselves. 
 
For others, there may be dress codes/expected standards etc. And if course, you might also need to think about curating those all important first impressions. We struggle a bit in the UK with heat and smart dressing. On very hot days, I’ve seen people dressed as if they’ve just come off the beach, with undies on view through flimsy dresses – it might NOT be the image you want to leave John from accounts or a new client with. 
 
Tips on what to wear for work when it's hot 
 
What to wear when it’s hot – for some of us shorts, a vest top and no bra are ok for lazing around in the garden of a weekend and we can wear the same for working, but for others they might not be quite so appropriate in a work setting (even on Zoom). Here are a few tips regardless, take what you need: 
 
• keep your fabrics light weight but not too lightweight or floaty if you have a more formal dress code 
 
• cotton, bamboo, viscose, linen and silk are good, linen blended with something will crease less 
 
• think light layers if you are going from heat outside to cool air con (nippy is not good) 
 
• soft and wide clothes are cooler than fitted - think wide legged palazzo pants, worn with wrap style and tie front tops to stop you looking shapeless 
 
• wear lighter neutrals- white, tan, taupe, grey or a crisp white and navy combo 
 
• wear nude underwear if you are wearing light colours - it does not show through clothes as much as white 
 
• white or dense patterned fabrics are best for not showing damp patches around the armpits 
 
• the more skin you show, the more casual you will look 
 
• sleeveless may not be appropriate in your profession but try a short sleeve or cap sleeve 
 
• try and find an unlined jacket if you have to wear one = one less layer 
 
• a collared shirt will dial things up a level if you don’t wear a jacket 
 
• only go without tights if it's appropriate (you’ll know if it’s frowned upon) 
 
• try anti chafe long legged knickers if you get chub rub when wearing dresses 
 
• those little sock things inside your shoes will stop your feet rubbing 
 
• try a hair up style to keep neck cooler 
 
• omit the necklace and wear statement earrings instead 
 
• cotton, canvas or perforated leather shoes will keep your feet cool if your dress code does not allow sandals 
 
• keep a handheld fan in your bag for emergencies (you might already have discovered this if you’re at *that* stage of life 
 
• use a plant spray water mist thingummyjig over your face too - lovely! 

Makeup Must-Haves for Hot Weather 

Make Up tips for hot weather 
 
• less is more as it can slide off in the heat 
 
• use a hydrating, oil-free moisturiser that is at least SPF30 
 
• light-weight bb creams provide radiance and minimise imperfections and often contain spf 
 
• gel/cream blushers are more lightweight than powder and sit better on top of bb cream 
 
• for oily or shiny skin try blotting face papers rather than powder that might go claggy 
 
• look for products with ‘long-lasting’, ‘waterproof’ and ‘water-resistant’ on the packaging 
 
• waterproof mascaras are essential as normal ones can melt, flake and smudge in the heat 
 
• gel eyeshadows in glass pots or as eye crayons are long lasting 
 
• avoid gloss, heavy creams, powders and soft eye pencils – they can melt 
 
• lip stains are a great alternative to lipstick as is a coloured lip balm which will keep your lips hydrated too 
 
• a light spritz of water is lovely and refreshing and can be used over make-up, it will actually help set it as long as you’re not too heavy handed 

Finding the Perfect Swimsuit  

Swimwear to suit your body shape 
 
How to get a bikini body for summer. Buy a bikini, wear it on your body. This is all well and good but if you’re a tad self conscious and want to feel more confident about strutting your stuff poolside here are a few tips that might be useful… 
 
• invest in bra sized swimwear if you are well endowed and want more support 
 
• solid colour side panels give the illusion of a smaller middle 
 
• mix and match tops and bottoms to suit your body shape and make you feel comfortable 
 
• shorts styles can make your legs look shorter/wider 
 
• strapless and bandeau styles create width if you are concerned about balancing your hips with your smaller boobs and shoulders 
 
• wide straps will make your shoulders appear smaller 
 
• heavily patterned tankini tops disguise lumps and bumps 
 
• swim dresses are good for creating balance and covering your tummy/bum 
 
• triangle bikini tops and halter necks are good for making you appear more curvy 
 
• brief skirts (all in one) are a good cover up if you are conscious of your hips/thighs 
 
• there are SO many mix and match options available these days create your bespoke set that works perfectly for you 

Selecting Sunglasses to Flatter Your Face Shape 

Choosing sunglasses to suit you 
 
Sunglasses are like any other accessory - they are going to look better and finish off your look if they actually suit you, reflecting your personality and unique style. Your sunglasses are an extension of your style personality, admittedly it is an opportunity to really go for a fun dopamine dressing hit break the mode a little because they can be cheap and fun but still make sure they fit with your usual 'look'. No point getting a pair that wouldn't look out of place on Jackie Collins if you're more the John Lennon type as you’ll feel self conscious and never wear them. 
 
• If you have a rounder face with soft features go for curved, rounded frames. Angular features look best with straight angular frames – mirror your natural face shape 
 
• Choose a colour that is in harmony with your complexion, an easy way to do this is to pick out the colour of your eyes 
 
• Choose silver frames or cool colours if your skin has cool undertones (pinkish hue), pair with blue/black or grey lenses. Gold, tortoiseshell or warm colours with brown lenses if you have warm undertones to your skin 
 
• Think about the type of clothes you like to wear, do you prefer bright, bold colours or soft muted shades in your wardrobe? Your specs will look better if they are harmonious and follow suit. 
 
• Also, consider light or dark frames, when you try them on are you wearing them or is the frame wearing you? If you have delicate, pretty features and light hair, a pair of Harry Hill style glasses like mine could be far too overpowering or you might like the idea of making a statement. 
 
Hope you've found some of these tips useful - I'm off to eat a Solero 
FAB Business Club : female authentic ballsy 
This community is really special. It's got the most amazing vibe going on. It’s a safe space where you can metaphorically fling off your bra. It’s women empowering women and providing a circle of support because being in business can be a lonely place. 
 
It's a supportive business network with personal development and a heart centred vibe at the core of the community – no pressured referrals or other stuff you don’t like about networking. It’s birds of a feather networking and growing their businesses together, sharing collective wisdom, a place to thrive and celebrate camaraderie. It’s a space where you feel like you have come home. 
 
We have monthly meetings, online and face to face events. Your first meeting is free, hit me up for a complimentary 'Golden Ticket' to see if we're a good fit. 
The paid membership includes an option to upgrade your networking to include personal style and brand mentoring with me. There's also free FB group if you’re not ready to invest just yet. Come and join in the conversation. 
Tagged as: Confidence, How to..., Style
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