3 Tips to Stay Cool and Dress Like a Pro This Summer

By Deanne Katz, Esq. on July 05, 2012 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

It's hot. If you're unlucky it's also humid and your clothes are probably not made for summer weather. Your pants stick to your legs, your socks squish in your shoes. It's not a good time to have to wear a suit to the office.

It also doesn't look like most law firms are lifting the business dress code anytime soon. The answer is to change your wardrobe.

That doesn't mean ditch the suit. Just update it for summer with these three easy tips, so you don't have to sweat your way through another day at the office.

1. Switch to Lightweight Fabrics.

Business attire means a jacket, shirt, and slacks or a skirt so there's not a lot of room to wear fewer layers. Instead, make sure every piece you wear is as light as possible.

Cotton is a good option since it's breathable and professional. Linen will also keep you cool though it is prone to wrinkle, so it's a better choice on top than on bottom.

One fabric that might surprise you is wool. Lightweight worsted wool is actually designed to keep you cool so it's worth investing in some pieces in this breezy fabric.

Stay aware from polyester and poly/cotton blends. They don't breathe well so you'll end up trapping the heat all day.

2. Consider an Unlined Jacket.

Lining is the layer between the outside and inside of your jacket and it's generally invisible. It gives structure to the garment and keeps it from losing its shape.

Unlined or skeleton lined jackets are much more lightweight and comfortable for summer.

The problem is that the lining also hides imperfections in the cut and construction of a jacket. A cheap unlined jacket will look like what it is -- cheap. But a well-made unlined jacket, while more expensive, will look good and keep you cool all summer long.

3. Keep an Extra Layer at Work.

When temperatures go up, office buildings crank up the air conditioning. Indoors is essentially a different season than outdoors. You could just shiver through the day in your lightweight clothes.

A better choice might be to store a nice sweater or a heavier suit jacket in your office.

Chances are good you won't be tempted to wear it outside and an extra layer will keep you warm in the AC chill. Plus, in a few months the weather will break and you'll be glad for the extra warmth.

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