There’s no doubt that the choices for women’s summer office attire far exceeds those for men. While women can enjoy bright-coloured dresses and peep toe pumps, the men in the office often have to succumb to wearing the same pieces year-round. This is hampered even more by strict dress codes that exist in certain work environments – restricting choices to only sweat-inducing suits that only months ago, were lifesavers.
When it comes to summer office attire for men, it’s important to first know what to avoid at the office.
Not appropriate for the office. Unless you work at an edgy tech start-up where wearing a sweatshirt is also considered a viable option, steer clear.
Suiting with Shorts
This is a tricky one, as they’ve become quite in vogue these last couple years, with certain environments even allowing them (I’m looking at you Pharrell Williams!). Err on the side of caution — it’s best to look your most professional (in full length pants) rather than risk looking anything but.
Note: cuffing your pants only works on khakis or jeans, not formal dress pants. Get your dress pants hemmed if you want air flow around the ankle area.
Forgo socks with dress shoes. This little peep of skin is cool, both figuratively and literally.
Don’t carry over suits from the previous season. Polyester or wool variations do not bode well in the heat or sun. Every man’s wardrobe should have a combination of both fall/winter and spring/summer suits made up of different fabrics that correspond appropriately to the weather outside. For the warmer months, try looking for suiting done in natural fabrics that breath, like cotton blends. You’ll do yourself — and your neighbouring co-workers — a favour with this comfortable choice.
While you’re at it, don’t resort to suiting in only a dark colour palette. Dark colours absorb light rather than reflect it, so try at least a few of those cotton-blend suits in light greys, baby blues and even creams!
Now for a bit of flavor! Suiting will always be the foundation of any great office wardrobe, but if your dress code allows it, there’s still room to incorporate some fun trends from this season.
Lightweight Trench Coat
Ditch your jacket for a lightweight trench coat that falls just past the waist. It’s timeless yet breezy, not to mention trenches look great on almost any guy.
Try a pair of bright-coloured Khakis rather than the regular dress pant. There are a variety of colour options now available and they look great when mixed and matched with jackets taken from other suits. Did I mention they are also breathable?
Lastly, try a lightweight shirt done in a floral pattern. Florals are no longer just reserved for the ladies — they’ve crept into menswear (both formal and casual) in everything from bomber jackets to backpacks. If you’re weary of this trend, try something soft and subtle like a floral done in light pastel colours. That extra bit of pop will be a refreshing option to the average white dress shirt.
And if you’re still stumped, try browsing a few previous episodes of Steven and Chris. If anyone knows how to look dapper at work, it’s our two handsome co-hosts!