When you’re working in any corporate environment, it’s important that you always look the part at every time of year – even if your company doesn’t have a set uniform in place. Your choice of summer work clothes should be based on your own judgement about what is and isn’t acceptable in your industry. If you arrive at work or meetings dressed inappropriately, not only could this harm your career prospects, but it doesn’t reflect well on your company either.
Choosing your summer work clothes
When the weather gets warmer and you start to feel a little uncomfortable in your standard shirts and pants, maintaining a professional appearance can sometimes be difficult. But that doesn’t have to be the case.
We’ve picked out a few essential summer clothing categories that can be just the thing for keeping your cool during the hotter months – and some summer wardrobe mistakes that should be avoided at all costs.
Some corporate environments frown on shorts for men and women, so you should check your office’s policy or use your own judgement here.Even in offices that do permit shorts, there are usually rules about the length and style of shorts that are acceptable. Formal dress styles such as Bermuda shorts and tailored shorts that end just above the knee can look great while still having a corporate look. Anything else risks looking too causal, and getting any shorter can be inappropriate for an office environment.
As the weather gets warmer, sleeves get shorter or non-existent – though not usually in the office. Most companies have a dress policy that does not allow sleeveless or thin strapped tops of any kind. Even if your company is open to sleeveless tops, a singlet is still not the recommended way to go for a corporate environment. Instead, you should look for tops that have a cap sleeve, or try a sleeveless dress over a top or shirt.
A summer top and skirt in one that will keep you cool and looks the part in the office, shirt dresses offer plenty of creative possibilities, especially when you break up the flow with a belt.
If you prefer to keep things separate, a light cotton blouse pairs just as nicely with a summer skirt as with pants.
If you don’t like wearing heels, then closed flats could be ideal. Sandals and thongs should not be worn to work as they are not appropriate footwear for offices and are not compliant with OH&S in some workplaces. The chances are, if you’re wearing sandals or thongs to work, the rest of your outfit isn’t fit for work either.
Denim jeans, shorts, skirts and tops are a great fit for the summer, whether you’re a fan of the white-washed look or ripped denim... but never at the office!
Denim has always been perceived as casual wear, and although it may be considered corporate-casual if it’s teamed up with a business shirt, it’s still a no-no for the corporate environment. Yes, even black denim.
Designing a summer uniform
If your workplace doesn’t set its own corporate uniform, you can still create your own uniform range to ensure a consistent look in every season. If you run your own business or franchise, we can even add your logo and other touches for a personalised finish.
Whatever industry you work in, make sure your summer uniform includes essentials like:
Basic bottoms – mix up knee-length skirts and tailored or wide-leg pants made from light and breezy cotton to keep you cool behind your desk, even on the warmest days of the year.
Shirts and tops – short-sleeved shirts and capped-sleeve easy care shirts are all you’ll need to stay professional in the summer. Ladies may prefer the feminine alternatives of a silky blouse or versatile shirt dress.
Comfortable footwear – for the ladies, a pair of black heels and a couple of pairs of flats. Pointy flats always look more corporate then round ones.
Light cardigans – it’s easy to overlook cardigans in your summer wardrobe, but there’s nothing better than a light knit if you’re working in an air-conditioned office with the temperature cranked down low or when you’re heading home on cool summer nights.
Let TIG help you with your corporate summer look
Speak to our friendly team to find out more about designing your perfect work wardrobe for every season with Total Image Group.
Browse our corporate uniform range to find the summer tops, pants, skirts and accessories that match your style and your office’s dress code.