Dressing Appropriately for the Office When the Weather Outside is Approximately the Temperature of the Sun

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I will start this out by saying that while I know not all office dress codes are the same, the icky, sticky feeling of dressing nicely and then setting out for work in 97-degree weather is universally awful.

I used to leave for the office in the summer in outfits that I thought looked pretty and polished, but was dismayed to see that when I arrived home 10 hours later, it appeared as though I had been dragged there by ill-tempered wolves. Disheveled doesn't even begin to cover it. With that in mind, I set out to streamline my summer office wardrobe plan, and I'm sharing it with you today:

1. NATURAL FABRICS, MAN.

There is nothing -- NOTHING -- worse than purchasing what seems to be a cute skirt, only to realize mid-sweltering subway ride that it's made out of polyester and POSSIBLY PLASTIC, given how much you're sweating through it. Linen and cotton are your friends this time of year.

2. THINK DRESSES AND SKIRTS.

I adore dresses during the summer. You slip one on and you're good to go -- just add shoes! They look good, there's no concern about matching up various pieces, or constantly adjusting them once they're on. A dress is the epitome of effortless style.This Cotton Lawn Dress from Shabby Apple ($88) is gorgeous, and balances a streamlined office silhouette with stunning color/design. Skirts are another option, because, well, once the temperature climbs above 80 or so, unless I have a meeting, I avoid pants. With so many pretty yet still office-appropriate skirt options out there, it's easy to keep cool AND professional. 

3. WE DON'T NEED NO STINKIN' SLEEVES.

Unless your office's dress code forbids it, sleeveless tops are great during sweltering weather. I love looking for structured, button-down tops that have a bit of a ruffle/funky detail, or floatier ones that have draping going on, such as this adorable Polka Dots and Moonbeams shirt from Ruche ($45). If I'm going less conservative on top (i.e., with a sleeveless shirt), I try to balance it out by pairing it with a more traditional bottom piece.  J. Crew's superfine cotton skirt ($98)  is a classic, and a perfect way to incorporate the natural fabric and skirt ideas into your outfit as well.

What are your tips for comfortable-yet-professional work attire to beat the August heat?

Metalia also blogs here.

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