I don’t know how it is where you live, but lately NYC has felt like the inside of the Devil’s gym bag… stuffed with dirty workout wear, shoved to the bottom of a gym locker, on the surface of sun. Relentless heat and humidity combined with the notion that it maybe-might-eventually rain but doesn’t actually rain until you walk outside without an umbrella means that work outfits have been kinda hard. When it’s too hot to put too much effort (or clingy fabric) into the workwear mix, my suggestion is some simple fashion math that you can do often, and stress-free:
Crisp white shirt + lightweight midi skirt + heeled sandal = DONE
Looking put-together when the weather makes you want to fall apart isn’t easy, but if you uniform it, it’s do-able. This look is one of my favorites because it’s polished and professional, but doesn’t feel like the sun is about to melt me into the pavement.
A breathable, lightweight button down is a year-round staple, but in the summer, I like to opt for an oversized version that really allows for air circulation and breathability. If you’re feeling meh about every single button down in your closet, here’s a neat trick: Maybe just take great care of them. Gather an armload and take them to the dry cleaner for a wash and perfect pressing. It’ll feel like you have a new wardrobe upon return, ready to service this little style equation at a moment’s notice. Alternatively, snatch up a few of my favorite classic white non-iron shirts because at $30 a pop, you won’t feel too guilty if they need to be retired after one season.
For hot summer days, midi skirt fabric should be light in texture, but this is also a great time to have fun with color or print, as it prevents things from feeling boring or repetitive. I’m a huge fan of the delicate dot, hence the look here, but feel free to play with any shade or print you have–they’ll all work with this formula.
A beautiful, classic, comfortable heeled sandal is one of summer’s smartest investments. Maybe that and regular pedicures (whether you’re having them done or doing them at home!). Having a smart-looking sandal at-the-ready let’s you surf two waves with one board. (Like that summer metaphor?) First, a neutral sandal will work with pretty much any outfit in a way that say…a bright pink strappy tassel heel can’t. And second, a sandal that’s got a little bit of grown-up to it solves the question we dance around all season: Is it okay to wear open toes to work? If your office isn’t super formal and it’s these open toes, yes.
And finally accessories, which prevent you from looking like you literally wear a uniform. Button downs are a perfect canvas for necklaces of all lengths, and a good cuffed sleeve is ideal for showing off wrist candy. Most importantly, accessories aren’t more clothes—they amp up the outfit but won’t make you feel even more like melting candle wax than you already do.
Go forth and hydrate, friends. Summer isn’t going anywhere.