For me, one of the most fun parts of preparing for a new job is shopping for some new clothing and shoes that are appropriate for the current season and the particular office atmosphere and style where I’ll be spending most of my time. However, I know that many people would disagree with me, and consider shopping one of the absolute worst ways to spend time. I’ve given you some hints on what to wear (and what NOT to wear) to interviews, but figuring out to wear five days a week, every week, can be even more overwhelming than finding a ride-or-die interview outfit. If you live in a climate where the temperature climbs over 70 degrees in the summer, it can seem impossible to pry yourself out of your cool, air-conditioned home to hit the hot and humid streets wearing anything other than a bikini and 80s-style sweatband. Here are some tips (with Polyvore boards!) for rocking some cool clothing this summer without being inappropriate, under-dressed or uncomfortable. Keep in mind that GOOD FIT is the most important element of style and comfort. Buy what fits you and ignore the size. You’ll feel and look so much better!
Remember: Check with your HR department to make sure you know what is considered acceptable work attire in your workplace. Some offices, especially on the East Coast, don’t tolerate open-toed shoes, bare shoulders, visible tattoos, etc. Generally speaking, the West Coast is more casual year-round (just go to one of the best, Michelin-starred restaurants in San Francisco for proof; some folks will be wearing cargo shorts and sandals)!
Also – these collages are meant to be used as inspiration. I can’t afford a $1000 handbag, either.
My friends know me as having a flair from the dramatic when it comes to style, but what many people don’t know is that I rarely leave the house in anything that isn’t as comfortable as my pajamas. I’m not talking about the ubiquitous, loose-fitting, jersey frock/bathing suit cover-up that everyone from Jennifer Lawrence to your Aunt Helen was spotted wearing in 2013 (although these dresses can still be worn well when accessorized properly). There IS a place for jersey, especially in the summer, but the trick is to dress up that lightweight fabric! For example, these jersey trousers feature the hardware of traditional trousers without sacrificing the flexible, cool fit of jersey.
Just make sure they are the right size or, even better, one size bigger than what you might usually wear. This will prevent your pants from revealing the lumps and bumps that every body has, and won’t make you paranoid about sitting or standing in certain positions. Notice that I included low-waisted, boy short underwear here. You don’t have to wear a thong to avoid panty-lines, boy shorts will do the same job. But please make sure your underwear doesn’t extend above your pants. It’s not a bad idea to try on your outfit the night before and do some lunges, just to make sure. You’ll see that I included a long-sleeved blouse and a blue blouse – my suggestion is to wear the long-sleeved blouse beneath the light blue blouse. This will not only cover your shoulders, but will also give you a chic, fitted look that won’t require your pulling and adjusting all day, like a cardigan might!
Many offices tolerate a more relaxed dress code on Fridays, but that doesn’t mean you should roll in wearing your shredded jorts and #IDGAF tank top (especially if you are planning on hitting up a happy hour or have a hot date after work). Take advantage of the chill atmosphere to let your summer style shine, and choose a bold color or lacy look you might not wear during the weekday. Accessorise a sundress with a blazer or sweater and simple necklace paired with some edgy flats or, if you’d prefer a more traditional look, classic heels.
Why did I include bike shorts in this collage? Despite the summer heat, random gusts of wind during the day can give the world a peek at your underoos, so sporting a pair of bike shorts beneath your short dress can make you feel less exposed. An added bonus is that these shorts tend to flatten your tummy and hips so that you have a smooth foundation beneath your clothing (paying closer attention to your undergarments in this way can really boost your confidence level – try it)!
Hey guys – I didn’t forget about you! Despite the fact that it’s 2015, many men are still intimidated by their fashion options and opt for very simple office clothing that they immediately change out of after work (usually into the same cargo shorts and band tshirt they’ve been wearing since senior year). The good news is that there are more options for men’s officewear than ever before; you’re no longer limited to the three-piece suit or alligator shirt.
This collage features a pretty basic, Casual Friday outfit that would be suitable for wearing to dinner or drinks in the evening. The undershirt is to help you avoid visible sweat-through during hot summer days and, much like the bike shorts I included in the previous collage for the ladies, this shirt can help “smooth out” any bumps or lines you might not want peeking through the smooth plain of your lightweight shirt. Some offices require all employees to wear socks so, even though you might not typically wear them with these boat shoes, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Finally, the patriotically colored belt might be a little controversial, but it’s almost the 4th of July, and isn’t it time you had a little fun with your accessories?