Summer fashion solutions for the office

Most office jobs in Las Vegas pose quite the fashion dilemma during scorching-hot summer months. You’ve got temperatures outside that have weathermen using the sidewalk as a skillet and overzealous air-conditioner operators who turn the indoors into something reminiscent of Antarctica. Do you dress for the miserable walk to and from your car, and perhaps a break on the patio, or do you dress for the chilly cold front blowing through the air vents?

According to Laura Rubeli, owner of Laura Rubeli Image Consulting, you can do both — while staying within the dress code. "Even though it’s summer in Vegas, don’t misinterpret that," she says. "Always stay professional."

But, not all jobs require the skirt suit and briefcase uniform for which corporate America has an undying penchant. Here’s a look at some appropriate pieces that can act as your summertime office staples. We’ve taken into account three office contexts and, of course, the hot and cold dilemma for each.

CORPORATE

If your male counterparts sport suits every day, you’re probably expected to do the same. That doesn’t mean you can’t make a few adjustments here and there. First, give the tights and pantyhose a three-month sabbatical. Just make sure your legs, which will only be exposed from the bottom of the knee down in this office setting, are free of glaring discolorations or blemishes. Self-tanner can work wonders here. As for up top, Rubeli recommends a blazer with three-quarter length sleeves as opposed to full-length. This will be the real difference-maker in terms of both the heat and the chilly air conditioning. A lightweight fabric in a neutral color will go a long way.

Shoes: Rubeli says an "open-toe wedge pump made of fabric" is about as far as you can push the limits here.

CREATIVE

You still have the power meetings and business lunches, but no one will call on your artistic mind to crunch numbers anytime soon. Your office attire will reflect the creative juices you exude and that kind of freedom is well-equipped for any kind of weather. Instead of the blazer, a cardigan in a vibrant hue or eye-grabbing print will act as your go-to piece. You may even tuck it into your office drawer and pull it out as needed. Go for flowy, sleeveless tops underneath with feminine frills. On the bottom, play close attention to fabrics. "Stay in cotton or linen," says Rubeli. "But, a Diane von Furstenberg wrap dress in a poly-cotton blend is still lightweight enough and can really be accessorized."

Shoes: If your outfit veers on the side of business, get artsy with the shoe (platform sandals) and vice versa (open-toe pump).

CASUAL

When your weekly work wardrobe looks like everyone else’s casual Friday you know you can get away with quite a bit. Your office and boss are both laid back; so is your dress code. Just remember this is the place that provides your paycheck. Keep it polished. City or bermuda shorts are a fine way to stay cool without looking ready for a backyard barbecue. An embellished tank or tee pairs well with this. To ward off the cold effect, wrap a scarf around your neck. You can drape it around your shoulders while at your desk later.

Shoes: An open-toe flat will let your feet breathe and keep you comfortable.

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