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Maintaining Your Professional Look in the Summer

As the temperature heats up and the sun begins to shine more often, we can start relegating our peacoats and cashmere scarves to the back of the wardrobe and start dressing for the nicer weather. 

However, this isn't a signal to start walking around the office with shirts untucked and sandals on; it's important to retain the utmost decorum as what you wear still has a significant impact on how you're perceived, rain or shine. 

While every workplace has different dress code expectations and policies, it is still advisable for men working in a corporate, professional arena to keep their short-shorts, flip-flops and tank tops for the weekend. 

Important meetings, client lunches and conference calls can still happen out of nowhere and it is integral for men to still dress to impress despite the heat.

Nicole Williams, a LinkedIn career expert speaking to forbes.com, agrees: "Dressing for your career is very important no matter what the temperature is outside. You want to be taken seriously at all costs...remember that you are dressing for the job, raise and promotion." 

It's not just looking good in the office that men have to contend with, either. Walking down the street dressed as if you're going to an open-air bar or a weekend break in Tenerife is a huge offence for men looking to retain a professional aesthetic.

T.I for Men Spring/Summer 2014
T.I for Men Spring/Summer 2014

Summer breeze, makes me feel fine 

For a "man about town" appearance, it's important to retain a polished look in spite of the heat. Think about casual blazers, 100 percent cotton shirts with pastel colours and loafers, like this suede tassel option by H by Hudson, as part of your go-to sharp summer attire. 

Cotton is an ideal material for short and long-sleeve shirts as it allows air to pass through, cooling your body down. Cotton is also a good absorber of sweat, helping the evaporation process take place much quicker and avoiding dreadful sweat patches from impacting your look. 

Try wearing a 100 percent cotton, two-fold poplin shirt with a pastel colour (baby blue or light, peachy pink for instance) to keep a crisp appearance around the office and on the town. 

Alternatively, white remains a classic shirt colour for summer and continues to be a best-seller to this day. You can pair the shirt with a tie if you wish or opt for an open-collar look depending on the circumstance and the office rules.

"Remember that you are dressing for the job, raise and promotion"
"Remember that you are dressing for the job, raise and promotion"

Down below, men should be looking for a pair of cotton trousers to take advantage of the light, airy properties that cotton provides. 

On the other side of the spectrum, summer is the perfect time to experiment with different permutations - lightweight, versatile linen trousers or chinos to name but a few - to match the upper half of their uniform. 

Different weights and weaves can have a significant effect on your overall look so purchase a number of different trouser types to cover all bases. 

Evening soirées 

When the sun begins to drop and the temperature becomes cooler, you will need to start layering appropriately. It does get deceptively chilly during those summer evenings which can be a bane for those mingling on champagne terraces after work. 

Start to cover up with a cotton, wool or canvas blazer, making sure to match the colour of the shirt with the jacket. Wool is the quintessential cold-weather insulator as it retains heat extremely well, providing a shield against the evening chill whilst maintaining a credible look.

Without Prejudice Spring/Summer 2014
Without Prejudice Spring/Summer 2014

Jonathan Evans, a fashion writer for esquire.com, argues the case for lightweight wool jackets: "Wool is able to be woven less densely than, say, cotton and still look professional. You get a fabric that's very thin, very breathable, and still presentable." 

From May to September, it's important to continue making a good impression and presenting a professional image at all times. The warm summer sun does provide some challenges for us and it's important to style appropriately for the temperature, but with the right outfit we can still enjoy the sun's blazing rays.

H by Hudson Florio Tassel Loafer
H by Hudson Florio Tassel Loafer
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