Let’s face it; summer at the workplace can suck. More specifically, summer at the workplace can suck for men who dress well. Everything is sticky, you stick to chairs, you stick to shirts, and random things stick to you. Now, we can’t help you if you’ve got a bad case of Hyperhidrosis (look it up!) but we do have a few tips to help you stay cool while suited up.
- Keep it Light -
If you’re wearing black in the summer, then you need to reevaluate a few things first and come back to this blog later. So let’s safely assume you are already leaning to lighter colors. To stay cool invest in lightweight and breathable material:
Cotton wicks away sweat and lets your body breathe. Trade in your Harris tweeds for some cotton. Breathable material like light cotton keeps air coming in and sweat passing through. Bonus: Try a seersucker basic suit. You know what they say… Once you try seersucker you never go back. OK, they don’t really say that. But they should. Seersucker fabric is slightly rumpled lay makes less contact with the skin, allowing maximum passage of air flow.
Colors- As mentioned before, avoid black. But, I’m a glass half full guy so I’d rather tell you what you CAN wear instead of what you can’t. We like white (as long as you don’t look like the guy in the Parliament cigarette ads in white silky robes in a white palace etc), any shade of blue, and as scary as it may seem – gray. The key is to go neutral and light tones in any of those color schemes. You want to blend in with nature’s summer goodness.
Summer jacket- Although you associate a jacket as something with squared off shoulders and at least 2 layers of fabric and more fabric, consider an unlined jacket for the summer boardroom. The loss of structure actually adapts to your body shape and looks more natural. Plus, it will make you feel 10 pounds lighter, and will stop you from experiencing those horrible rivulets of sweat running down your back while your boss drones on about maximum productivity.
Shirtsleeves – Here is a dilemma: Do you go long sleeve on a dress shirt in the summer? Or do you go short sleeve and risk looking like what’s his name from Office Space… you know; the guy with the stapler. Solution: There is no dilemma. You will always look like the Office Space guy in short-sleeve dress shirts. So unless you are employed as a mall security officer, ditch the short sleeves and learn how to roll your sleeves like a boss.
Loosen your Tie – Do not loosen it to the point where it looks like you got lassoed by an amateur cattle rustler. Loosen it about an inch and unbutton the top button. Relaxed, but ready to strike. Any time. Any place. Bring it!
Looser Clothes- Yes, we know. Fitted clothes, slim cuts, tailored details…. That’s what it’s all about. But we are just getting acquainted with one another and those fitted pants are definitely suggesting that you’re looking for more. We don’t want you to look like Jared from Subway or Shaq’s roommate but a little extra room allowing for air flow won’t kill you.
Extra Shirt – Bring a change of clothes to the office or in a bag with you. If you are walking into a big meeting or have face time with a new client, pull a quick phone booth wardrobe switch and give your day a whole new fresh start.
If you still just can’t seem to stop sweating, these last few tips will do the trick.
Undershirts –Undershirts wick away sweat and act as a necessary shield between your body that we don’t want to see and your shirt which we do. Invest in some quality 100% cotton undershirts.
Powder – Make sure no one ever catches you doing this. Pat some powder on your under arms and other places to keep everything nice, dry, and fresh.
Keep a Towel Handy – Try to avoid constantly wiping your face like a deep south pastor, but a dab or swipe here or there can go a long way in making you feel more comfortable. Again discretion is key. We’re talking washcloth-size in a desk drawer. Not 600 thread count Hotel elite collection beach blankets.
It’s tough to be Dapper in 90+ weather, but not impossible. Follow these simple tips to stay cool and try, and check out our Summer Collection (link) once you’ve mastered the art of staying cool.