Help Desk: Warm Weather Work Attire


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The Stir reader Tina writes:


Can you do a post on work appropriate wear for hot weather? I have the pleasure of working in Central and South America but cannot find fashion that is professional and keeps me cool.


Tina, I practically lived in your climate when I spent a few years working in Columbia, South Carolina, where the temps were often upward of 100 and the humidity was awful. They don't call that city the Armpit of the South for nothing!


In other words? I've got you covered. Take a look at my summer work "uniform" for hot, humid climates.





Red dress
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This look has been my go-to look in the workplace for as long as I can remember. I don't know how conservative your workplace is, but for television news reporting, I pretty much lived during the summer months in conservative sleeveless dresses and slingback heels. I always kept a well-fitted blazer handy to throw on when the occasion called for it. Pictured here are a Tahari by A.S.L. dress (Zappos, $142), a Pins and Needles Tuxedo Blazer (Urban Outfitters, $68) which comes in black and white, and Apt. 9 Arden Peep-Toe Dress Heels (Kohls, $32.99).



Work Attire
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Another great summer work look for warm weather is a pretty short or three-quarter length-sleeved cardigan and pencil skirt. I'm loving this Only Mine Ribbed Trim Cardigan (Nordstrom, $39), which comes in lots of different colors. Underneath it, the lightest-weight cami I've found is the tissue-thin Perfect Fit Tank ($18, J Crew). I love this Sateen Pencil Skirt (Kenneth Cole, $79) and these Etienne Aigner Vivica Pumps ($62.10) look both comfortable and professional.



Work Attire
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And finally, if you're budget conscious, check out this Mossimo Black Women's Ponte Sleeveless Dress w/Pockets dress from Target ($24.99!) paired with this Chiffon-trimmed short sleeve cardigan (Talbots, $25.49 on sale!). You'll save so much money on this outfit, you could splurge a bit on shoes- These Enzo Angiolini Murray pumps ($79.50) are perfect for work.

Yes, these looks are conservative, but I think they'd work for just about any type of workplace and they're the lightest-weight clothing I could come up with in my office days. These days, I might even skip the jacket altogether in favor of a light scarf over my sleeveless dresses.

For more ideas, check out this post I wrote a few months ago, featuring J. Crew's take on office wear. Some of these looks may work for you and they're certainly stylish!

What are your suggestions for warm weather work attire?

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