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Style Advice

Style SOS: How do I look smart while working this summer?

Style SOS: How do I look smart while working this summer?

"My company expects me to look smart, even while I'm working from home, but I'm struggling to keep cool in this heat. Any tips?" - John via email

Most of us are already pretty well adapted to working from home by now, but as the mercury rises, striking the balance between looking smart without sweating at your desk all day brings about new problems. 

Whilst purpose-built offices come with the benefit of air conditioning, many of us don’t have the same luxury whilst working from the spare bedroom or kitchen table. You’ve probably already ticked off the basics – wearing fewer layers, drinking more cold water, throwing all the windows open – but when it comes to feeling comfortable whilst looking the part, making a few simple adjustments to your wardrobe can go a long way. 

“The best way to keep cool in smarter clothing is to wear fabrics that promote airflow, and that wick sweat away from your body,” stylist Freddie Kemp says. “Lightweight cotton, linen, and rayon are all good choices.” 

If your dress code for online meetings is as strict as it is in the office, then only keep your tie on when you have to. “In between meetings remove your jacket and tie and open a couple of buttons on your work shirt,” Freddie says. “There’s no need to feel uncomfortable when working alone as it will have a negative effect on your productivity and your mental state.”

Steer away from slim and skinny fit clothing and go for straight or regular fits. Investing in styles that have a slightly looser, less constricting cut will instantly make your outfit more breathable and allow air to flow better. “It might seem obvious,” Freddie says, “But roll your sleeves up.” Keeping your wrists cool is essential for regulating body temperature which will stop you from overheating. You may even find that your keyboard or the table where your wrists rest can get sweaty. “Invest in a desk fan that targets this area in it’s rotation to keep you cool,” Freddie says.

If you’re not ready to sit at your home desk in a smart shirt and Bermuda shorts, you can find a range of more formal trousers with a drawstring waist, like these tapered trousers by Selected Homme. They’re a great option for keeping comfy while sitting down all day and while they might feel relaxed, they’ll still look smart when the time comes to head back to the office.

Words: Ella White
Illustration: Ryan Gillett