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Life of Colleen: Office clothes for hot weather

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Office clothes for hot weather
posted by Colleen Shirazi on Thursday, September 4, 2008 at 12:01 AM (Pacific)

It's a bit tricky, figuring out what to wear to work when it's hot. You can't just show up in shorts, right? So you have to be more tactical.

It's well to have a few items on hand specifically for really hot days. You can still use the items when it's cool; just layer a cardigan or shirt on top, or the like. But these hot-weather items are key; they have to be able to work alone, and they can't look too casual--which can be a problem with many otherwise perfectly good summer garments.

I have this and it has served me well:

sleeveless white top

It's just a sleeveless, thin rayon, cream-colored top. Without the lace detail, it would look too casual for an office setting. I wear a camisole underneath it, but it's so lightweight it hardly matters.

I have a white linen 3/4 sleeve shirt that also works. It has a nifty picot detail which amounts to strategic rows of tiny holes. Again, with a camisole beneath it, you need not worry about the holes being "NSFW."

Airy cotton or linen skirts are pretty easy to find. The cotton ones can be wash-and-wear, particularly those made of gauze, or with a crinkled texture.

Lessee...I have a light-colored cotton cardigan. It's the color that's key. Anything deeper in color would appear hot, would make me feel hot, yet the light color works psychologically. A long-sleeved light-colored garment can feel cooler than a shorter-sleeved dark-colored one.

But I do have a sleeveless black linen dress...the sleeveless-ness, thin linen, and relatively short length make it practical, but the black color makes it seem more formal and office-friendly.


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