We are finally getting out from under winter coats to meet the longer days of glorious sunlight! This is a good opportunity to assess how your business wardrobe can reflect this change of season while keeping the professional look in mind. Calgary is not a tropical environment so the changes need not be drastic. Lightening the look does not mean removing articles of clothing and exposing skin to achieve the effect. The following tips will help you to look professional while keeping the temp under control.
Look for jackets made from linen, cotton blend, cotton, or silk blends to help keep you cool. Linen is a high maintenance fabric that requires having a hand steamer close by for frequent touch-ups to remove wrinkles. Experiment with sleeve lengths, for instance, ¾ length or short sleeves can still create a polished look during summer months.
Yes, ladies, hosiery is still a necessary part of proper professional attire. Look for ultra sheer or thigh high to keep the legs comfortable. Hosiery with shoes is more comfortable than going without.
BLOUSES AND TOPS
As with the sleeve length of jackets, ¾ length or short sleeves are fine. Wear sleeveless with caution as this needs a jacket or light sweater worn over top for meetings with clients and/or colleagues. Wear flesh colored underwear instead of white when wearing white. Tank tops or spaghetti straps are completely out of the question. Watch that the décolletage is not exposed either. Remember that if you want to be taken seriously, you need to cover up.
SKIRTS AND DRESSES
Skirts and dresses are wonderful, feminine items to wear. Watch that the skirt/dress length is appropriate. The most flattering length is just below the knee to allow the normal rise of the length when sitting. Always remember to sit with your knees glued together. Refrain from sitting cross-legged if you are directly across from someone. You may not be aware of how much thigh is being exposed.
CLOSED TOE VS OPEN TOE SHOES
This depends on the formality of your clientele. The more formal requires closed toe shoes. However, if wearing open toe shoes or sandals, this does not include flip-flops or open back sandals like mules. There should be a strap on the back. The clip, clop sound of open back shoes can be annoying. If you are opting for open toe sandals, have your toes and heels perfectly “pedicured”! No chipped toenail polish or rough heels. Hosiery can be worn with sandals, too. Purchase the ‘sandal foot’ type as this gives the best look instead of the ‘reinforced toe’.
Keeping these tips in mind will assist you in looking polished and professional. It is possible to beat the heat and still look good!
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