Striking a balance between feeling cool and looking stylish for work during summer is easier said than done. With the recent spate of hot weather, travelling on the Underground and other railway networks at this time of year can be a laborious, uncomfortable affair. Many of us reach the office feeling anything but fresh-faced and squeaky-clean.
The real dilemma lies in dressing for warm weather without showing too much skin. As a result, we can end up staring blankly and bewildered at our wardrobe’s contents because nothing seems to fulfil that criterion. Most of us will splurge on a few key summer wardrobe items, but there are a few basic tips you can follow in a bid to dress both comfortably and stylishly this summer.
Read on for a few pieces of summer wardrobe advice inspired by presenter Emma Willis’ new clothing collection with Next.
Tip 1: Choose light colours and lightweight materials
Summer is the time to banish black garments to the back of your wardrobe. These will absorb light and heat and end up making you feel warmer than necessary.
Instead, opt for lighter colours to keep cool. Neutral coloured jumpsuits, dresses and shirts (such as those featured in Emma Willis’ new collection) are great additions to your work wardrobe – adding style and comfort at the same time.
And it’s not just colours that are important; make sure the materials you’re wearing are lightweight and airy too. Heavy denim and sweat-inducing polyester are not particularly apt additions to your summer wardrobe, while chambray, linen and cotton are. Emma’s tailoring range consists of lightweight materials, characterised by neutral, earthy tones with subtle utility detailing on the dresses.
Long or midi dresses are ideal for your summer wardrobe, particularly if you work in quite a corporate environment as they’ll keep you cool and covered.
Tip 2: Wear loose clothing
Tight clothes can restrict your circulation, which is why loose, airy clothing is a firm summer must-have for office workers.
Loose fitting tops and shirts will help keep you cool and comfortable when you’re stuck in long meetings or interviews. Loose clothing also tends to look more professional than tight-fitted tops or skinny trousers.
Finding the right size doesn’t have to be a chore either; Emma’s new range is available in sizes 6-22, meaning there’s something for every woman in every office.
Tip 3: Invest in day-to-night clothing
The summer months call for post-work drinks and early finishes – which makes finding an outfit that can make the transition from day to night an important task. But it’s not always easy; office-appropriate and event-friendly don’t always go hand in hand.
Try teaming smart trousers with a casual t-shirt and pumps or sandals. The pumps/sandals can then be swapped for heels, and placing a blazer or smarter-looking cardigan over the top of the t-shirt dresses the outfit up, making it more evening-appropriate.
The versatility of clothes has always been at the forefront of Emma’s mind when designing both of her collections; that is why her pieces can be jazzed up or dressed down to suit virtually any occasion. This radiant red suit from her new collection is a perfect example; the addition of the blazer makes for a smart office outfit or chic evening outfit, but it can easily be taken away to create a more casual look.
It is also better to sort out what you’re going to wear the night before, so as to avoid the morning pre-work wardrobe rush.
Dressing for work in summer can be difficult, but investing in a few staple wardrobe items can make it a lot more manageable.
If you’re a flexible worker, try and take advantage of working from home as much as possible during the summer months, but if you do head into the office a lot, make sure to opt for clothing that you feel cool, comfortable and professional in.