Beauty is pain. It’s a saying every woman has heard before, most experiencing it firsthand. We’ve all heard the sound of the woman who is late for a meeting, running in her business attire, as her heels clack against the pavement. It’s nothing short of torture.
And with the hottest days of summer here, the anguish keeps getting worse. As if looking professional wasn’t already uncomfortable enough, now you have to deal with an unrelenting sun. But luckily, there are some quick and easy ways to keep you cool and still be taken seriously at the office.
Kathryn Finney is founder of TheBudgetFashionista.com. Her popular website helps women find ways to save a little cash and look good. She knows just how painful it can be to endure your work outfit all day but thinks there are some small things you can do that make a huge difference.
The first thing she preaches is to get rid of your nylons.
“Ninety-nine percent of companies are OK with you not wearing them,” says Finney.
Nylons can be very restricting, hold in heat and can become very itchy as the day wears on. You don’t want to suffocate your skin.
“Another way to look great is to not use a lot of foundation,” says Finney.
If you are going to use foundation, make sure that it won’t clog your pores or your skin might break out. You can also let your skin breathe by wearing a lot of natural fibers, like cotton or light wools. Be weary of linens though.
“It wrinkles easily,” says Finney. “You don’t look as polished.”
There are a lot of other styles you want to avoid at work. Most places, just wearing a tank top without some kind of blazer isn’t going to cut it. Don’t try to pull off flip-flops. It may be hard sometimes but make sure you’re keeping the cleavage, if any, to a minimum. And don’t even think of wearing shorts to the office.
“It’s difficult to wear them right,” says Finney.
Luckily, there are a lot of other options that are accepted in the workplace that let your individuality shine through.
“Color is everywhere,” says Finney.
Colors like purple, yellow and coral are being seen more and more. Finney says, when picking a color, you should imagine what you’d see on a Caribbean beach vacation.
“Chunky jewelry continues to be really, really hot,” says Finney.
She mentions clear, Lucite necklaces in particular. You can also get cheap bangles and bracelets to spice up any outfit.
“You can have a lot of fun with them,” says Finney.
Getting a few flowing dresses, that end right around the knee, are a good way to look fancy and not be pouring sweat. Khaki is very popular right now but not just in pants. Anything from khaki dresses to khaki blazers can be a good way to change up your wardrobe. Gladiator sandals are acceptable as long as they have chunky straps. But what if you’re looking for something close-toed?
“Slingbacks are a great option,” says Finney.
There’s one thing that is going to save you more than anything on those hot, summer days.
“Dress in layers,” says Finney. “It will save you a lot.”
By doing so, you’re giving yourself more than one option for an outfit throughout the day.
“You want to take off and put on with ease,” says Finney.
Finney says that an easy, versatile outfit that will have you looking like Michelle Obama in no time is a jacket with a sheath dress and matching blazer.
“Layers and no nylons will get people very far,” she says.
Before you go on a shopping spree, take a few steps to save yourself some money. Get old clothing altered or repaired. Shop your closet and see what you already own. You never know what you’ve forgotten about. Try out a few, cheap tricks before splurging.
“It’s amazing what a new lipstick can do for your look,” says Finney.
When you do hit the mall, keep what you’re there for in mind. You’re shopping for light, airy work clothes, not an outfit for the club.
“If you wouldn’t want your grandma to see you in it, you probably don’t want to wear it to work,” says Finney.
While you shouldn’t give up your style at work, you don’t want to appear unprofessional. There are rules in the workplace you have to follow and some things are just too casual.