Well, it’s (almost) officially summer! If you’re anything like me, you’ve been embracing the heat by wearing shorts, dresses and skirts any chance you get. However, when it comes to dressing for work (especially in a corporate setting), we can’t just throw on any dress or skirt with reckless abandon. It may be warm outside but when we’re inside the office, it’s imperative that we still maintain a professional image. So, how do we embrace the heat in a work-appropriate way?
My office dress code states that if you would wear it to the beach, don’t wear it to work. I couldn’t have said it better myself. I mean, really…does it make sense to be wearing something to the office that you would lounge around on the beach in? Save the flip flops, shorts and any other beachwear for weekends and vacations.
Here are 3 dresses that I picked up from H&M recently that I’ve found to be absolutely perfect for work. They are all made out of a great lightweight material, sleeveless and the hem reaches right below my knees:
I call these “easy-breezy” dresses because they are literally so easy to throw on and the lightweight material allows you to keep cool throughout the day. If you’re looking for a summer go-to outfit, I highly recommend picking up some of these dresses. I like to pair mine with a cardigan or blazer and of course, a statement necklace.
Another key piece of advice? As the temperature rises, don’t let the professionalism of your outfit drop. Why? I mean, not only will you look unprofessional (and that’s bad enough) but opportunity rarely comes with any notice. I’ll share a story with you – one summer I was searching for a job as my contract job at the time was unfortunately coming to an end. Like all desperate job seekers, I was sending out my resume left, right and centre to any job that caught my interest. One day, I received a call back and this is how the conversation went:
Company: Hi Chanele, we’ve just reviewed your resume and we’d love to have you in for an interview.
Me: Thank you very much for the opportunity. I’m definitely able to come in this week – please just let me know what day is best and I’ll accommodate to your schedule (or I said something along those lines…)
Company: Well, we were hoping you could come in right now.
Me: *looks at the phone like this person is crazy* Um, you mean, today? Wow, um, I don’t know what to say – I don’t have my portfolio on me and to be completely honest, I’m not exactly dressed for an interview.
Company: Don’t even worry about it. We like spontaneity! Just come as you are and let’s chat! See you in an hour.
Me: Okay, great, I’ll see you then!
There’s two things you should know: 1) This company could only suggest the idea of an interview on the same day because my current office was literally across the street from it and I could interview on my lunch break and 2) I really wasn’t badly dressed but definitely less casual than I would have liked. I was wearing a dress, sandals and a jeans jacket.
So did I actually go the interview? You bet I did. I wish I was wearing a more “formal” dress and heels, but hey? As I said, opportunity rarely comes with any notice! With this in mind, you always need to be dressed for opportunity because a job offer or a meeting could pop up out of nowhere and you need to be ready and look ready. I mean, thank goodness, my outfit was still acceptable to be interviewed in but can you just imagine how embarrassing it would be if I got called for a same-day interview and I was wearing…flip flops? I actually just cringed as I wrote that out.
Of course, everyone has different dress codes but remember, even if your workplace allows you to wear flip flops…that doesn’t mean you have to! There’s so many fun options to explore when it comes to summer dressing. From stripes to bold colours to floral print, you can use prints and colours to express your personality and embrace the essence of summer without compromising your professionalism.