Tag Archives: casual attire

The Business Woman’s Wardrobe When It Sizzles

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What to wear to work is challenging enough during the year, but when temperatures rise, it is even more confusing, especially for the business woman. In last week’s blog, I talked in general terms of how to approach your workplace wardrobe in the summer.  This week I want to focus on the business woman’s wardrobe. The business woman faces more options than her male counterpart, and therefore has more room for error.

If a woman works in a strictly formal office, there is not much seasonal variation.  However I can offer a few tips for staying cool  and conservative.

  1. Choose suits of lighter colors and materials.  There are lots of cottons and cotton blends available.  Linen is cool, but not a good choice for the office since it wrinkles if you even look at it.
  2. Wear sling-back heels rather than the traditional pump.  Sandals and open-toed shoes are never acceptable in a formal office.
  3. Skirts that come to the knee are cooler than pants, but require stockings. I know that’s not good news for many women, but it is the professional look and stockings are now being made in lighter weights.

If the office environment is informal or casual, here are my suggestions and cautions.

  1. Wear short sleeves or cap sleeves.  Resist the urge to bare your skin and stay away from sleeveless.
  2. Skirts that are more than an inch above the knee are not acceptable. Go for the knee but you can forgo the stockings.
  3. Cropped pants of good quality and preferably with a cuff will work, especially when paired with a short-sleeve jacket.
  4. Dresses are comfortable summer attire.  However, sleeveless dresses and sundresses are not appropriate for the office.
  5. Lightweight or loose-weave sweaters are always good to wear over sleeveless.
  6. Sandals are controversial.  It really depends on how casual your workplace is. Just keep in mind that when you wear an open-toe shoe, your feet need to look well-cared for.
  7. If you are considering flip-flops, don’t . They are a definite  no-no.

A final suggestion for the business woman’s wardrobe:  Consider loose-fitting, but not baggy, clothes for relief from the heat. 

In general, stay away from sheer, sloppy or revealing. Remember that you are still in the office and not at the beach.

Here’s to summer survival!

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Hire Lydia to work with your staff to improve customer service and employee relations through the use of those priceless and often over-looked soft skills called manners. Lydia is the “unstuffy” business etiquette expert who helps individuals and organizations add the polish that builds profits. We’re talking about your bottom line here.

Since 1996, countless people have benefited from her wisdom through keynotes, seminars and conference breakout sessions.  Her Southern charm and sense of humor have made her a sought-after speaker and consultant.

Based in Savannah, Georgia, Lydia is available for national, regional and local speaking and training engagements. She has suitcase; will travel.

Contact her via email at lydia@lydiaramsey.com or call 912-604-0080. Sign up for her free monthly newsletter and visit her website, lydiaramsey.com.