Our 5 Hottest Tips for Staying Cool (and sometimes warm!) at the Office


As much as we’d love to spend our entire summer parked on Grand Beach in the sunshine, odds are most of us still have get up and go to work. Winnipeggers are no strangers to seasonal dressing dilemmas – in fact, we live for them – but hot and sticky weather can be especially tricky. So this week we’re sharing our top tips for beating the heat from 9-5!

1. Layer, layer, layer 
Remember that old Boy Scouts motto, ‘be prepared’? Yup, it applies here too. When you’re moving from a steaming parking lot to a frigid building, it helps to have a little something to ward off the immediate chill. “Wear pieces that have layers that you can add or remove as needed,” advises Allana Schmidt of F2 Styling and Events, who styled these looks for us. “Even though it may be +30 outside, the air conditioning in your office may dictate a loose cardigan or linen blazer for optimal comfort.”

2. Show a hint of skin
No, we’re not talking dancing at the club kind of skin, more like taking advantage of little spots here and there that will help keep you cool. “Show a little ankle when you can (ankle-length pants are all the rage for work wear this year – just check out last week’s post),” says Schmidt. Elegant sandals are a great way to let your feet breathe while keeping it office-appropriate. If you’re lucky enough to be able to wear shorts to your office, keep them just above the knee (we love a classic cuffed Bermuda short!). When it comes to what’s on top, “don’t be afraid to widen your neckline,” says Schmidt. You can even go sleeveless under your blazer or cardigan to give your arms some sunshine on those lunch breaks at the local food truck.

3. Keep it polished
Although your choices in fabrics and cuts may be a bit more casual over the hot summer months, the trick to keeping it professional is dressing it up with chic accessories. Save the loose cover-ups, short shorts and skinny straps for pool parties and backyard BBQs.  A soft maxi skirt will keep you from wilting, while bold earrings will add some personality. Going with a tailored short? Balance it out with a soft blazer, statement necklace, or stack of bracelets, plus a structured purse or iPad case to show you mean business.

4. Lighten up
It probably goes without saying, but it’s worth the extra reminder: pack away your heavy wools, thick denims, velvets, and other warm weather fabrics (save those goodies for fall!). Think breathable – light cottons, crisp linens, airy silks, and loosely woven blends. Stay away from fabrics that cling or clothing that’s too tight. Summer is the time to embrace a more relaxed look.

5. Pull it up, up and away (your hair that is!)
It’s funny how such a little thing – like putting your hair up or off your face – can go such a long way to keeping you cool. So if your locks are on the longer side, try a new up-do or a chic ponytail. For shorter hair, pull it back with a thin band or twist your bangs up with hairpins. That little bit of extra breeze around your neck and face makes all the difference!  (Watch for some easy, fun summer up-do tutorials on the blog next week!)

We want to hear from you – how do you stay cool while dressing for work in the summer? What’s your go-to summer work outfit?

Like what you see? Visit these St. Vital Centre retailers to shop the looks:

Look #1
Mint blazer: RW&CO, $99
Baby blue sleeveless top: RW&CO, $55.50
Navy skinny capris: RW&CO, $79
Baby blue heeled sandals: Call it Spring, $40
White stretch bracelet: Melanie Lyne, $30
Pearl bracelet: Le Chateau, $25
Green jewel earrings: Le Chateau, $29.95
White INZI purse: Boes, $88

Look #2
Red blazer: Le Chateau, $125
White Vero Moda tank: Hudson’s Bay, $39
Black shorts: Le Chateau, $39.95
Cream bracelet: Boes, $9
Rhinestone circle earrings: Le Chateau, $15
Ted Baker iPad case: Boes, $85

*Product availability may vary; please check stores for details.

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