summertime radness | OUTVisions for LGBT Professionals

summertime radness

best dressed summer fashions

summertime radness
Gavin Reynolds

Summer is officially here! It goes without saying that when the warm weather finally arrives, it serves as an unofficial invite for each of us to toss our ties aside and embrace a more laidback look. As the temperature rises, so often do the hemlines.

Every workplace has different expectations and policies when it comes to dress code, do you know yours? Don’t let the summer hours fool you; it’s still incredibly important that you are always striving to be your very best self in any professional setting. Here are some fresh options that transition perfectly from those long hours stuck in a boardroom briefing, all the way through to a late afternoon celebratory pint on the patio.

Save Our Soles

There’s nothing worse than losing a great shoe to the harsh realities of Canada’s cold weather climate. Once the sun begins to shine and the slush has finally subsided, it’s the perfect opportunity to break out some head turning footwear. It’s hard to ignore this season’s hot crop of kicks that are emerging from hibernation across the country.

In the interest of keeping it office appropriate, save your flip-flops for weekends at the beach and stick to something timeless that also offers great structure. A no brainer is the penny loafer. It’s a classic look and it goes with almost anything. Whether it’s a crisp summer suit or a pair of shorts, it’s an item that works with almost any look. Go semi-sockless and pick up a great pair of low-cut liners from Urban Outfitters or H&M. These provide a sophisticated look that helps to avoid sweat and also preserves the quality of your shoes.

Loafers also serve as a perfect fit for the ladies this season. If you’re looking to avoid the year-round hype of the heel, send your ballet flats on an extended summer vacation and upgrade to a pair of tailored oxfords or a perfectly preppy penny loafer. When it comes to those long, hot summer days remember that less shoe is always preferred. Avoid anything that travels too high up the ankle, because it’s too hot for that. Instead, focus on simplicity, breathability and quality. Avoid plastics and synthetics that will make your feet sweat. Instead, splurge on untreated leather or natural materials that will stand up to the heat.

Easy Breezy

Dressing for the office during fall and winter could not be easier. With so many options and endless opportunities to layer, it’s easy to incorporate a variety of heavy fabrics. Summer however, is a game changer but that doesn’t mean it’s something you need to sweat over. Always remember that ‘office appropriate’ doesn’t have to be ultra-conservative. There is an opportunity to achieve a look that is both playful and totally professional.

The best way to play it cool is by selecting lightweight fabrics such as linen or cotton that allow you to breathe. Surprisingly, wool is also a great summer selection that is not only breathable but also structured to hold its shape and resist wrinkles. Lighter colours such as creams and khakis will also reflect the sun’s heat, whereas dark colours absorb it.

For a look that is both feminine and flowing, Boho chic is always on trend for summer. One thing that sets this distinctive style look apart from the majority of trends currently dominating the scene is that it provides an alternative silhouette that is free and far from form fitting. The Boho look sometimes has trouble translating to the office, as it’s often times viewed as unprofessional. A great maxi dress or billowy jumpsuit is well balanced when paired with a structured blazer or jacket. If the more relaxed items in your look consist of bold prints or patterns, be sure to soften them with tailored solids and simple, sophisticated accessories so your style is well suited to the office.

The Perfect Polo

Your favourite slogan tee doesn’t exactly scream promotion now does it? Throughout 2015 there has been a major focus on sports luxe looks and as a result, the polo is making a massive comeback. Polo pioneers Lacoste and Ralph Lauren both debuted updated versions during their recent runway presentations and others were quick to follow the hype. It’s a great staple piece for any summer wardrobe because it’s an easy shape and it works with almost anything. No matter where you shop, you’re sure to see contemporary takes on this classic in unconventional fabrics, prints, with dramatic collars and sleeves. There are so many ways to wear it beyond the traditional pairing of khakis or jeans. For women, it looks great with a skirt and heels and you can dramatically change your look by simply swapping your more formal office shoes for a pair of casual sneakers. It’s a perfect transitional piece to take you from day to evening and it’s one item definitely worth investing in this season.

There are plenty of ways to pull off an effortlessly cool look that will still leave your daytime credibility firmly intact. However, it’s good to know your audience. After all, you know your workplace and colleagues better than anyone. Remember that from 9-5, you’re not only representing yourself but also your employer so ensure that your attire reflects this responsibility. In most places you’ll find creativity is, within reason, welcome and you’re really encouraged to be your authentic self. Hopefully, dressing office appropriate this summer no longer leaves you hot under the collar. It’s just fashion, so don’t sweat it.

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AuthorGavin Reynolds

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