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A Guide to Appropriate Business Attire During the Hot Summer Months

August 1, 2022

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Recent trends have shifted what is considered acceptable for business attire. Some workplaces even draw a thin line between business professional and casual attire. However, with this year’s harsh summer heat waves, it is important to be comfortable in the workplace. Here are a few ways to remain in business attire without overheating during the hot summer. 

Options for the Summer Heat 

Many consider appearance to be an essential piece to your professional brand. Furthermore, for better or worse, the way a business associate views your attire significantly impacts how that interaction will transpire. Light neutral colors such as white, tan, or pale gray are all great business professional choices for the summer. If your office does not allow you to go sleeveless, try to find a three-quarters jacket or cardigan that is breezy for the heat. Suits or dresses that are wrinkle-free and lightweight are other great options.

If your workplace allows for business casual attire, you may have a few more options. For men, opt for khaki slacks or dark jeans with appropriate trim. These are far more comfortable than wearing baggy or loose-fitting jeans that may trap heat. Collared or button-down shirts may also be more comfortable than t-shirts. Again, try on different combinations to see what is the right fit for you. For women, one of the most comfortable options is summer dresses if they abide by your company’s business casual attire code. Make sure they are of appropriate length, color, and material. Overall, dresses may be the ideal choice for summer. 

Putting Comfort First

If you need to change your business attire due to the summer heat, chances are you want to do so while prioritizing comfort. This can be difficult if you work for a company that requires business attire year-round. Try leaving off the heavy business jacket until you officially step into the workplace. You can avoid being outside in the summer heat with all those layers. If your workplace allows business casual attire, try something more breezy that will enable you to prioritize comfort. Maybe you have a button-down or collared shirt that you have been hesitant to wear during the spring that is ideal for summer. 

Overall, your summer business attire choices will come down to a few factors—one of the foremost being transportation. When commuting by foot, bicycle, or public transportation in a city, you must provide yourself with a few options. Consider packing different outfits to make your commute more accessible, especially during scorching temperatures. If this is not possible, consider an outfit that is ideal and comfortable when walking. As always, personal and lifestyle choices should be prioritized when choosing your business attire. Your selection should put your health and well-being first.

New ideas for Business Attire

Across different industries, there has been a recent cultural shift in what is considered business attire. The technology industry has been at the forefront of redefining business attire. Many technology executives wear casual jeans, t-shirts, and sneakers. However, this does not mean you need to wear exactly what your colleagues are. You can take these ideas as inspiration and put your own summer twist on them. 

Business attire gives your first impression to colleagues, partners, and clients. Whether it be professional business attire or business casual attire, your summer workplace clothing options should ensure you are comfortable and leave an impression. For more on business attire, visit the American Society of Administrative Professionals (ASAP). ASAP has expert education and training resources to help your career excel. 


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