Page 138 - South Mississippi Living - August, 2022
P. 138

   story Barbara Travis
Business Attttire foror a South Mississippi Summer
   Okay, ladies, it’s Mississippi summertime hot, hot, hot, but you still want to look good on the job. So, just how does one maintain a professional look while moving from sweltering 90-degree outside weather into a 65-degree air-conditioned office? Short answer: choose solid colors, three-piece outfits, and lightweight fabrics.
Solid colors are much easier to work with than prints. They are more professional and lend themselves to creative mixing and matching. Lean toward basic pants, skirts, and jackets in neutral shades of white, cream and beige; then spice things up with a dose of bright color in a companion blouse, tank, or tee. Brights are always a fun way to energize your summer wardrobe at work or at home. Another way to use color is with accessories. Jazz up your neutral staples with a surprising pop
of color whether it be in jewelry, belt, scarf, or shoes. Caution – choose just one or two of those items to spotlight, not all. Think small doses!
Learn to layer. Three pieces for summer office dressing are better than two. Here’s why. A sleeveless top or tank over pants or skirt duo may feel great outside, but the addition of a lightweight sweater, open blazer or denim jacket provides both professional polish and welcome warmth when there’s super cool AC inside. An oversize blazer works wonders over great-fitting jeans or a knee-length or maxi-dress. You choose; you coordinate.
And yes, you can wear shorts to
the office. The newest addition to workplace casual dressing is knee-length or just-above-the-knee tailored shorts topped by a long jacket. Done correctly and paired with a proper blouse or tank top, this is a great high-impact office look and quite fashion forward.
Lightweight fabrics in light colors like white, cream or pastels rule for hot weather. Linen, cotton, chambray, and rayon are the best choices for beating the heat. All are breathable and can help you stay cool, so let’s break it down. Linen is the coolest of the bunch, a natural fiber with the lightest weave and time-tested for centuries. Don’t fret the wrinkles; they’re inherent but can easily be removed with a slight water spray and hand-smoothing. Cotton is also a natural fiber and allows airflow and circulation. The thing to remember here is that cotton can easily shrink
in the dryer. Chambray is basically cotton with a higher thread count and finer weave. It’s akin to a lightweight denim, but more breathable. Rayon is not a natural fiber but ranks well in the stay-cool category and drapes nicely in design.
Bottom line: So, there you have it. Clean and effortless is what summer job dressing is all about. Workplace standards are much more relaxed these days, but we’re still expected to show up in the office or on Zoom looking like we’re ready to do our best job. Follow basic fashion rules, and you’ve got this!
 138 | August 2022 | SOUTH MISSISSIPPI Living

   136   137   138   139   140