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How do you look professional in hot weather?

(27 Posts)
OrangeMochaFrappucino Mon 29-Jun-15 17:25:37

I find it really hard to look smart in hot weather and have no idea jow to dress for the heatwave this week at work! Secondary teacher so I have to be covered - knee length skirts, nothing low cut, prefer to cover upper arms. I'm a size sixteen hourglass and found it much easier to dress well in the summer at my pre-baby 12 but haven't lost the weight I gained in pregnancy (over a year later...oops!) Am a 36HH so usually have to wear camisoles under dresses to make them decent but layering is torture in a hot classroom full of sweaty teenagers! Suggestions gratefully received!

TheBeekeepersDaughter Mon 29-Jun-15 18:14:39

I often visit secondary schools but I'm not sure I look as 'professional' as the teachers who seem to maintain year round smart dress. I do find looking smart in the summer quite a tricky one. My staples are a couple of cotton dresses with short sleeves (really hard to find short sleeves and 'proper' cotton instead of viscose or jersey), slim cropped trousers with a short sleeve blouse (Boden Ravello to be precise) and ballet flats. I do have a sleeveless shirt dress with a large skirt, which I just about get away with. I'd perhaps like to find a couple of short sleeve but crew neck skater style dresses in a nice, light cotton. It's hard, although there's only a couple more weeks left to worry about!

herecomesthsun Mon 29-Jun-15 18:18:30

white shirt like this - white and long sleeved looks smart. White reflects the heat, loose, long sleeved and cotton is all good, you can get away without ironing voile. The detail over the bust means that I can get away with wearing a nude bra under this sort of thing.

long skirt - not this but similar here - the crinkle is not especially professional but the swishy length is cooling.

thehumanjam Mon 29-Jun-15 18:19:36

I hate having my arms on display and I also look rubbish in dresses at the moment. I'm opting for trousers and loose flowy sort of tops. It has spurred me onto lose weight. I overheard a tiny little woman moaning about being hot this morning and I was thinking to myself that it's a lot worse when you are carrying a couple of extra stone that you don't need.

OvertiredandConfused Mon 29-Jun-15 20:21:12

I struggle with this too - commute in to central London via train and tube / bus or walk if it isn't too hot then work in an office with no air con that hit 30 degrees mid-afternoon today!

I have a couple of knee length Boden dresses from last year that are jersey but not clingy - fitted waist then a bit swishy - and some long linen wide leg trousers. Hate the trousers but when it's really hot, they keep me just the right side of respectable and comfortable, if a bit crumpled!

This year I'm also trying a pair of cotton cropped trousers and sleeveless drapey tops from Next.....

Sgtmajormummy Mon 29-Jun-15 20:40:50

Do you have shapely ankles? In that case I think leggings just below the knee (known as pedal pushers in the 80s) with ballet flats are nice, teamed with the floatiest Indian top you can find that finishes below thigh level. With a camisole under you'd be cool and comfortable.

Magicalmrmistofeles Mon 29-Jun-15 21:00:41

Leggings don't look professional!

I'm a similar sort of shape - I have a couple of cotton dresses from joules and one from Boden. I wear a jacket in the office as it's bloody freezing and a pair of wedges.

Also have a white broderie anglaise (sp?) skirt for when it's super hot and wear it with a black silk t shirt.

Saurus72 Mon 29-Jun-15 21:06:21

herecomesthesun I have to say that neither of the items you suggest say 'professional' or work appropriate to me - they say hanging around the garden on a Sunday afternoon looking a bit frazzled and hippified around the edges.

I would say tailored dresses in natural fabrics in plain colours. Or maybe silk or cotton shirts (tailored), with crisp trousers or a skirt (non crinkly fabric...). Massimo Dutti has some great silk shirts in the sale that are lovely for Summer and can be layered when it's cooler.

fiorentina Mon 29-Jun-15 21:58:33

A smartly ironed shirt dress and smart sandals?

Sgtmajormummy Mon 29-Jun-15 22:03:31

This is the type of thing I was imagining. Teachers, at the end of the school year especially, don't need to power dress.

Melonfool Mon 29-Jun-15 22:16:16

M&S classics have some reasonable Jersey dresses for those who prefer dresses.
Leggings, floaty stuff, crinkled, not professional.
What I expect a teacher to wear, yes. But the OP didn't ask that.

What will we do if it ever gets really hot!

(I an also going on tube at the moment, it's quite vile)

Chchchchanging Mon 29-Jun-15 23:46:44

Chinos with wrap front sleeveless crepe top, layered with cami

Shirt dress
Loose white shirt over cigarette trousers (dark colour)

railwayworker Tue 30-Jun-15 08:44:43

I get changed when I get to work, it helps loads as I get all hot and flustered on my commute, even if I'm in the (all black, parked in the sun) car. Take a flannel and have a quick swish around if I've got sweaty under my boobs etc. I appreciate this isn't really what you asked and might not be practical but makes me look and feel much more put together when I start work!

BumbleNova Tue 30-Jun-15 09:00:53

how about a midi skirt in a light material? and a loose cotton top with cap sleeves?

that way you have some air flow and are still work appropriate. that is what i have been going with anyway. That and light silk blouses with tactical underwear.

workadurka Tue 30-Jun-15 13:31:54

I came on to post something similar... Hate smart dressing in hot weather!

Tomorrow I'm going to wear a sleeveless linen shirt dress from Uniqlo or a thin cotton shirt tucked into a full cotton skirt.

Uniqlo linen mix stuff is fab & definitely worth a look.

drinkscabinet Tue 30-Jun-15 13:46:26

My favourite summer outfit is a cotton-linen mix wide legged trouser with a short sleeved cotton shirt. Or cotton trousers (straight legged) with a smart linen shirt (think all linen tends to look a bit too crumpled by lunchtime). both worn with smart flats (you might even get away with sandals). An all cotton well fitting dress with sleeves and professional neckline is lovely but difficult to find and then you've got to think about your legs and shoes. Basically professional looking clothes in natural fabrics.

ISingSoprano Tue 30-Jun-15 16:12:15

In hot weather I wear either jersey dresses from Boden or White Stuff or linen trousers with quite a loose top. I don't really like things tucked in round my waist when it's hot. Our work dress code is not uber smart though.

bluesbaby Tue 30-Jun-15 17:11:09

I'm able to get away with quite casual most of the time, so usually in skinny jeans and some kind of plain, modest top - been wearing silkier tops recently in the heat.

However, when need to look professional I always go for dress + blazer with midi heels (so I can still walk!). There's loads of plain, smart dresses in the shops. If I need super smart I just go for black dress with either black or coloured blazer (usually a shorter one so it hits the waist line). It's the quickest and easiest way for me. Obviously if you were working in law or something you'd also have to wear stockings and make sure the neckline was very modest and quite high, and nothing above the knee. I usually go for around midi-length.

For other more casual-smart outfits in the office, I'm wearing my nicer summer dresses (higher neckline), tube skirts with tank tops tucked in (you could add a cardy if necessary), chinos with plain tops tucked in, or cigarette trousers with plain tops.

OrangeMochaFrappucino Tue 30-Jun-15 18:02:54

Thanks for all the ideas! Am so glad I don't have a sweaty Tube commute, I'd be a wreck before I even got to work!

nottheOP Tue 30-Jun-15 18:15:43

Bhs and sainsburys have a good range of cotton dresses. I wear them with a cardi and tan leather sandals and my hair up.

I feel sorry for men in ties etc.

EvilTwins Tue 30-Jun-15 18:20:41

Secondary teacher too. I wear dresses - short sleeved, cotton usually. I wore Boden dresses today and yesterday and also have some from Hobbs. I wear them with wedges.

EvilTwins Tue 30-Jun-15 18:25:35

This is my current fave.

Nevercan Tue 30-Jun-15 18:41:12

Tea style cotton dress :-)

herecomesthsun Tue 30-Jun-15 18:59:55

well, I'm a medical consultant, so I don't have to look city smart, but I usually look at least as smart if not smarter than my son's teachers, I think.

I wore a long sleeved, thin, white shirt today and a long, Boden, spotty skirt to just above my ankles. Jewellery helps a bit. I feel more comfortable in skirts than trousers at a size 16 anyway, I think long skirts are cooler, and the length means it's easier to get away without tights. I find my Boden jersey dresses a bit hot in this weather.

Runningupthathill82 Tue 30-Jun-15 19:08:27

Yikes - some ideas on here that wouldn't count as "professional" at all in my office. Leggings and ballet flats?!?

Ok. I've been struggling this past week as its been hot, I'm pregnant, and nothing fits. However, I've been getting away with a combination of either:

1) Knee length lightweight dress (i have a couple from Asos maternity), brown leather flats or nude low heels

2) Cigarette or 7/8 length trousers, flats, silky T-shirt.

Linen blazer to cover up if necessary.

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