What to wear for work in hot weather?

Postcard by www.julietblaxland.co.uk

Here in London the weather has been *whispers* actually quite pleasant recently. Some lovely warm days, some more breezy and a few scattered showers, perfect for us fair skinned Scottish types. Warm enough to wear what few summer clothes we may have bought, but not hot enough to be reduced to a sweaty mess.

As teen daughter remarked the other (hot) day, when passing a group of French tourists, “why is it that they look so chic and we look so British when in another country”? It is a question that has puzzled me for years. Europeans seem to have to perfected that ‘keeping cool in the hot sun’ look, while we Brits take on more of a picture postcard cartoon character look, when temperatures start rising. Is it because don’t have enough hot weather to work out summer dressing and therefore make the mistake of thinking summer wear means beach wear?

As the weather has got warmer, London Transport has been filled with people of all ages and both sexes getting it completely wrong, especially when it comes to work wear in hot weather!

Men are particularly bad when it comes to getting it right for work. The sun comes out and so do the flip flops, sandals, short shorts, deep V t shirts and God help us, vests! Show me Ryan Gosling or Michael Fassbender in a vest and I’ll show you a good look, but show me your average slightly pudgy, pale British bloke in a vest and I’ll just see Eddie Yates (God rest his soul). When it comes to summer dressing, perhaps the men of Britain need to adopt the ‘more is more’ rule for appropriate office wear!

It’s really not that difficult, we need to encourage our men to channel the characters from Revenge (US TV series, set in the Hamptons – oh please keep up!) and pop on a pair of chinos (shorts if you must – but they need to be super smart) a cotton or linen checked/striped short sleeve shirt and some deck shoes or brogues – whats not to love? There is one big rule here fellas – we do not want to see your feet in a meeting!

Similar rules apply for (mainly younger) women, too much flesh in a work situation is not a good look. Sleeveless and strapless is a big no no (no matter how young/old you are) you may be cool, but bare shoulders say sun beds in Santorini not spread sheets in Shoreditch. Similarly short shorts and micro mini skirts are pushing the boundaries of acceptable office wear, even if you do have endless brown legs and the figure of Elle McPherson. Us women need to encourage the people we work with to take us seriously and cut off denim hot pants and gladiator sandals don’t say ‘breaking the glass ceiling’ to the men around us, now do they?

It’s slightly easier for us older women, as a denim mini skirt or strapless maxi dress to work would be inconceivable (and if its not then it really should be!). We want to look stylish, sometimes a little quirky but most importantly cool. We want natural fibres and well cut, easy to wear, stylish summer dresses, knee length pencil skirts with good quality t shirts, crisp cotton tunics over slim line capri pants and comfortable yet fashionable summer sandals. Oh and we’d like t be able to buy them now, not four months ago when it was freezing – are you listening retailers, its not hard?

We will of course  will stock the quintessential summer wardrobe in TWR shop……….


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