The weather is blazing hot and you still have to go to work. What are you going to wear? Sure, a maxi dress will keep you cool but it's not professional. Shorts are a no-go. Same as thong sandals and flip-flops. If your professional life requires a more corporate dress code, knowing how to dress for the high temps can be a conundrum. Summer dressing was created with vacations in mind and contradicts the formality of corporate dress. How do you get it right?
It's all about wearing structured clothing in breathable fabrics. Here's some fabrics to look for to keep you cool:
Soft and light, you will want to update all your go-to cotton clothing in this fabric for hot temps. Look for silk blends for a slight-sheen and more dressed-up vibe.
AKA Summer Denim, chambray is soft and light and not at dense as denim. It looks dressy enough for denim-free work environments...seriously!
White linen is the official look of summer, but it's usually celebrated in more festive environments. Not to worry, linen blazers WILL become your summer version of wool in the winter. Look for linen blended with cotton to decrease wrinkling.
Cotton with holes! Eyelet dresses under a linen blazer will be your favorite summer look.
TIP: Stay away (far away!) from synthetic fabrics in hot weather. The key to keeping and feeling cool is for your clothing to absorb perspiration and not wick. Have you ever lounged in your polyester and spandex yoga pants after a workout? EXACTLY.
And because you may want to keep with the casual vibe of summer dressing, here are some work appropriate shoes that aren't pumps:
Need help keeping your cool? Let's connect for a Personal Shopping Experience to update your summer wardrobe just before the weather changes! I'll select some transitional pieces that you can wear into October. Click here to complete your Style Assessment.
As the days get longer and the sun shines brighter, it's now the perfect time to plan your Spring Wardrobe. Here's how to do it:
1. Take Inventory of your Fall/Winter Wardrobe.
If you've read or watched Marie Kondo's book or Netflix series then you know how to rid yourself of clothing items that do not Spark Joy. If an item brings up a negative feeling (makes you feel fat, old, dated); and shows visible signs of wear, get rid of it. Outside of weather challenges, if you didn't wear it at all this season, get rid of it.
2. Determine what items can be worn into Spring.
White cotton blouses, black poplin pants, navy hues, and black and white prints on mid-weight fabrics should be included in your Spring Wardrobe. Any other year-around items that are not dependent of weather can be kept out, too.
3. Determine what items to store way.
Velvet, corduroy, thick sweaters, cashmere in deep hues, herringbones, and christmas plaids should be set aside for storage. Knee high boots should also be stored if you Spring Wardrobe doesn't style well to that look.
4. Take inventory of your Spring/Summer Wardrobe.
Eyelet fabrics, wispy dresses, linen pants and bright pastels should be reserved for their wardrobe debut in May. Bring out anything in navy nauticals, jacquard florals, stripes, and tissue weight cashmere. Keep out your twill trench if you have it. If you are not on a weight loss plan and an item doesn't fit, get rid of it. It will take up space in your closet and cause a negative emotion because you can not wear it.
5. Create 5 favorite outfits.
Now is the time to have fun! Once you have your wardrobe organized by item and color, it's time to shop your closet. With an idea of your upcoming activities and the weather, create 5 distinct outfits. Coordinate a dress with a blazer and heels; jeans and blouse with booties and a trench; skirt with a knit sweater, blazer and sandals; and anything that works for your lifestyle.
6. Create a shopping list (if needed) .
If you are have difficulty shopping your closet or wishing you had a particular item to complete an outfit, take note of it. If you see something in a magazine or on the internet that works for your Style Personality and current wardrobe, add it to the list. Once you've determined your shopping budget , go get it!
Too many of one and not enough of another. It's a common dichotomy. Often, this scenario is present in many closets I enter before a Wardrobe Audit.
"Elegance is usually confused with superficiality, fashion, lack of depth. This is a serious mistake: human beings need to have elegance in their actions and in their posture because this word is synonymous with good taste, amiability, equilibrium, and harmony." - Paulo Coelho
What's the secret to a harmonious wardrobe? It begins with purposeful shopping which leads to a wardrobe of coordinated pieces. Here's how to become a shopper with purpose:
1. Go Explore
Put on a comfortable outfit and shoes and visit 2 of your favorite stores for 2 hours. Browse the racks and select whatever catches your eye. Do this without judgment of fit or appropriateness. The goal is to learn what you like and dislike and what textures, colors, and silhouettes naturally draw you in. Take notes of how you feel. Snap a picture of the items you like. Most of all, do not purchase anything!
2. Take Inventory
Remove any items that do not make you feel great from your wardrobe. This includes items that are not a great fit and do not serve a purpose in the current stage of your life. Using the pictures and notes from your shopping trip as a guide, match up all the items aligned with your likes and dislikes.
3. Split it
Create 3 separate piles of your clothes. One for dresses, another for skirts/shorts/pants, and the last for tops. Count how many you have of each. If you can, match up at least 4 outfits that coordinate with your tops and bottoms. If you have any orphan tops or bottoms (you have already established that you like/love these items) that you find impossible to coordinate, place these in the front of your closet.
Take the orphan items shopping to find their match! At your designated favorite store, pull tops that you feel will look fantastic with your current bottoms. Do the same for your current tops. Goal yourself to create at least 3 outfits in the fitting room. Note how you feel and think about the accessories and shoes your currently own that will complete the look.
The timeline works best over a two week period. Dedicate a Saturday or Sunday to Explore the shops if your professional life keeps you busy during the week. You want to feel refreshed and not rushed while you Explore. Remember: the goal is balance!
Here's to a closet styled in harmony!
Jana Coke is the founder and principal wardrobe consultant of Jana Coke Style. This is the place to be to get your style tips and wardrobe advice!