After a dismal start to the summer, we are finally seeing some hot weather. Which has been distracting me from blogging, as you may have noticed ! Now, we Brits profess to love it when the weather warms up, but somehow end up complaining soon thereafter, particularly about how hot it gets at work.
I think it is easier for women to dress professionally in the heat, as we have many more outfit options than men. But it is important to keep a few guidelines in mind, as you don’t want to undermine your professionalism by revealing too much skin or wearing something inappropriate, however much you want to show off your hard-earned holiday tan.
This summer, wide leg, fluid and cropped trousers are everywhere, giving you a surprisingly flattering and cool option. These come in vibrant prints, stripes or solid colours, and can be worn with sandals, heels or flats (the ones I’m wearing here are from Whistles). Add a cami and lightweight blazer, or a crisp white shirt for a sleek tailored look. Or simply choose a good quality, pristine white t-shirt worn with a silk scarf – very 2016.
Dresses are a great hot weather choice – one piece and you’re done. But keep the fabric skimming (not clinging). Winser London does a variety of chic sleeveless shifts (I love the monochrome version) and a lovely airy broderie anglaise dress that will take you from office to dinner with ease. Finery London also does a very affordable wrap dress that looks sharp and will keep you cool.
Some final top tips:
- Keep it minimal. Don’t over-accessorise in the heat – you don’t want extra jewellery jangling and creating fuss
- If you’re going bare-legged, exfoliate and moisturise regularly – your legs will thank you for it. If you do choose tights, invest in the best ultra sheers: Wolford Naked 8’s
- Opt for lighter weight, natural fabrics that breathe, particularly cotton, silk or linen blends
- Finally, always always wear nude underwear under white clothing, as it becomes invisible…
Enjoy the weather !
You may not know this, but I have another great passion besides clothes – British politics. And no, these two are not mutually exclusive. Just because you love fashion and care about looking good does not mean that you don’t care about serious issues too. But I digress. I love it when our political system actually works and democracy is fully evident. Tomorrow, of course, is a big day for democracy (no matter which side of the debate you are on) with the EU Referendum vote taking place.
In another example of democracy in action, Nicola Thorp’s parliamentary petition on making it illegal to wear high heels at work (which has over 142,000 signatures) has now been allocated inquiry time by the Commons Petitions Committee. Any petition over 100,000 signatures is granted parliamentary time.
You may remember that Ms Thorp was the temporary receptionist sent home for not wearing shoes with the required ‘two to four inch heel’.
PricewaterhouseCoopers (who she was temping for) have since issued an honest statement expressing their embarrassment about the situation and the steps they are taking to rectify it. Interestingly, Portico the agency in question, have been suspiciously silent on the issue.
Ms Thorp was wearing shoes that were perfectly adequate for an office environment. It begs the question, why can’t women be seen as smart and professional wearing flat shoes? Of course, they can, and I believe every woman has an ‘ideal’ heel height – it’s just a matter of finding it. With so many heel styles and height options available these days, there’s an option that will work for almost any woman in almost any work environment (see my blog post on wearable heels for more on this topic).
The Petitions Committee will examine the issue and hear oral evidence from witnesses, working with the Women and Equalities Committee. Unfortunately the deadline for public comments has passed but click here to see the comments and experiences other women have shared. And check back on this page for dates and details of the oral sessions.
Have you ever been forced to wear high heels at work?