I live and work in Washington, DC. In the summer it is hot. Humid. Sticky. Gross.
Just getting from my front door to the office can be a boot camp class in bodily maintenance.
I will admit that there are days – as when the 95 degree day will be the coolest day all week – that I don’t care about looking professional I just want to be comfortable. Sadly, I have to buck up little camper and power through…professionally and fashionably.
Here is how I do it.
Caveat: This post is likely not going to resonate with the law firm/finance crowd. Your professional attire is a whole different animal so look here tomorrow for your tips!
You will note that other than the shoes, my items are in a pretty low price point. I have found that by the end of the summer, my work clothes have taken a beating so I tend to not invest too heavily there.
You will also note that flip-flops are nowhere to be found in this post. Nowhere.
1. Sleeveless dresses are your friend. I prefer dresses with a blazer in the heat to skirts / pants and a shirt and a blazer. All that tucking leads to wrinkles fast and thhe cinching of the waist can chafe when your metro commute turns into a series of delayed trains. You can slip off your blazer while commuting and when chugging away at your desk.
It is important to remember to still keep your dress tailored or at least looking tailored – sleeveless dresses can easily slide in to the casual category depending on the fabric and the cut. The fabric should not be clingy and the cut should be A-line (read: not fitted) and the sleeve holes should not be cut in to much.
Merona Side Tab Dress – Target $21
Charter Club Sleeveless Geo-print Sheath – Macy’s $39.99 (on sale!)
If sleeveless pushes the envelope for your business casual office, a shirt dress is a great, cool yet professional option.
Charter Club Three-quarter Sleeve Printed Shirt Dress – Macy’s $54.99 (on sale)
2. Linen blazers are the best – there is a reason linen is the material of the deep south; they know their humidity! Find a solid color that you can mix and match with all of your sleeveless dresses. Navy, beige and black are good go to colors.
Essential Linen Blend Blazer – Forever21 $29.80
3. I like to keep my shoes neutral and fairly tame. The neutral color helps downplay the fact that I am not wearing stockings.
Stuart Weitzman Nouveau – Piperlime $340
MICHAEL Michael Kors MK Flex Open Toe – Zappos $99
But remember to commute in these….
Patent Perforated Flats – Gap $35.95
4. And then there is the actuality of me looking like I just might have survived the heat. My hair gets oilier in the summer so I swear by Oribe Dry Testurizing Spray.
Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray – Birchbox $39
5. My summer secret weapon – aerosol deoderant! Underarms it dries fast, feels cool not gloppy and has minimal capacity for marking my sleeveless dresses. Spray it on your inner thighs for less chafing and sweating. I don’t care how fit and taut your thighs are – humidity will find you!
Suave Aerosol Anti-perspirant & Deoderant – Drugstore.com $2.89
6. I hate the fact that I put on make-up — even my minimal summer routine – and halfway through the day I look like a shiny bobble-head. I have become a believer in facial mists. I cannot speak to how one is better than the other but I love how the African Red Tea Face Mist dries without a film, absorbs to make my skin look plump and juicy – dewy not oily!
Ole Henriksen African Red Tea Face Mist – Sephora $28
All hints that are coming from a Pro……talking with my husband last night about just hot and muggy it will get and how to deal with it! Thanks.
I still follow you regularly, though comment infrequently. Where were these tips when I lived in DC?! The worst was the pregnant law clerk summer – ugh. By the way, came across THE BEST dress website, for casual and professional looks alike. Outstanding quality and also the ability to customize hem line, sleeve type, even cut! http://www.eshakti.com. I am loving it. Order one size up from your usual.