Being a working woman, most summer days mean choosing outfits that are professional while still being comfortable in and out of the office, waiting for a train, or walking block after block in the city…..From my own experiences as well as from observing countless others, there are five things you must have:
- A Black Sheath Dress – On a scorching day in NYC, you will likely see a black sheath on every block! Simple, sophisticated, and sends a serious message. Perfect for any age, any body type, and can be dressed up or down depending on shoe choice. My black sheath is a lightweight wool blend by Theory with a touch of lycra. JCrew is another good brand for basic sheaths. Skip the maxi dresses for the office which are way too casual/relaxed.
- Sweaters/Jackets/Wraps – The hotter it gets outside, the colder it gets inside! With most offices and restaurants air conditioned, you can quickly forget about the outdoor heat and wish you had dressed differently. Never ever leave the house without a lightweight sweater, scarf, and/or jacket. You may not always need it, but chances are you often will. Why freeze all day when you can add a cute layer to your outfit?
- Comfortable Shoes – Be kind to your feet and save the highest heels (as seen here) for select work events. For hot summer days, choose a stylish shoe that will still feel fine when your feet swell, whether a flat or a 2-3 inch heel (my preference). If your office allows sandals, remember: just because a sandal has sparkles on it, does not make it right for work. If it is made of rubber, canvas, and/or embellished with straw, that’s casual, not business casual…If it exposes your whole foot, also not work appropriate.
- Bandaids – Regardless of how careful you are with shoe choice, when it’s in the 90’s and you are walking several blocks, even the best shoes may start to cause blisters/chafing. I always have a stash of bandaids in my handbag just in case – my favorites are the ‘flexible fabric’ ones that blend in with your skin tone.
- A Crushable Hat – Hats are not only for the beach ladies! On a hot day in the city it makes a huge difference to have your head covered from the sun and is an instant ‘wow’ accessory. This twenty year old Eric Javits hat belonged to Ginger…it fits comfortably for a large head, has an adjustable brim, and easily rolls up to pack into a suitcase or stuff in a tote.
What do you consider a working girl’s summer essential?