Summer in the City

Signs of summer in New York are here.  For one, I planned this week's outfits while dipping my toes in my apartment building's pool (one of the perks of living in Jersey City).  The more annoying and unavoidable sign of summer is showing up to work a wilted, melty, sweaty mess with your clothes sticking to you.  Once you dry out and try to make yourself presentable again, you shiver in freezing office AC the rest of the day. Repeat until September. 

Hot weather isn't all bad.  It's finally time to pull out the fun, summer wardrobe that's been packed away most of the year.  Summer is the time to let a little more skin show and add some variety to your outfits.  I've adopted a couple rules for work outfit planning during the hot months.  

  • Fun summer sandals are a must.  I've built many power outfits starting from the shoe up, and summer is no exception, just new inspiration.  Wedges, peep toes, bright colors--take full advantage! 
  • Dresses take center stage....finally! Bare legs weather opens up a whole section of dresses in my closet and makes outfit creation--and morning getting ready--so much easier.  Pick a dress, some sandals and maybe a statement necklace.  Done!
  • Let some skin show, but just a little.  I love sleeveless tops, usually in light or bright colors--perfect way to show of the tan I spent the weekend working on!  A couple of my favorites are sleeveless button downs and of course my new sleeveless trench.  It's super easy to layer on a blazer for a fancier look if you have an important mid-afternoon meeting or a sweater if it's cold in the office.  
  • Bring out the white.  In a city known for its black clothing, I really embrace white in the warmer months.  White pants are a great summertime neutral that pairs well with brights and blacks alike.  A white blouse is always classic and pairs well with anything. 

Here are a few warm weather outfit options from my own closet that I can't wait to wear this summer. 

On the other hand, going to work is not the time to look like you're headed to the beach or a music festival.  There are certain items that I've labeled completely off limits for the office.  So much so, that I've categorized them in a summer folder in my closet app, so they don't tease me as I'm browsing outfits for work.  Here are my personal rules for what's off limits for summer:

  • Keep the shoulders covered.  I have an off the shoulder dress in my closet that I'm dying to have a reason to wear, but I know the office it not the place.  Spaghetti straps, halters and anything showing too much skin is reserved for the weekend.
  • Is that a dress or a bathing suit coverup?  If you have to ask, it's probably better not to wear it to the office.  Consider how thin the material is, how short it is and if your bra is showing.
  • Say no to flip flops.  There is no pair of flip flops that's fancy enough for office wear.  I've commuted in them before, but they aren't even comfortable enough for that.  Beachwear only!
  • Be careful with shorts.  I've seen some super cute outfits with shorts on the streets on New York, usually paired with a long sleeve blouse to avoid showing too much skin.  If the shorts are tight and/or shorter than my fingers with my arms at my side, it's a hard no for me.

The constant challenge throughout the summer is balancing light clothing for commuting and warmer layers for battling office AC.   I keep a heavy, black cardigan (similar) and an oversized infinity scarf (same one) at my desk at all times.  Just today I brought my white version of the same cardigan to the office to ensure I always have a warmer layer that somewhat goes with what I'm wearing.  When my feet are cold, my whole body is freezing--not a great scenario for sandal season.  I often slip my sandals off and a pair of warm socks on under my desk.  

I've found that these summer dressing "rules" work for me, in order to feel comfortable in my clothes and in the heat.  Find what gives you that great outfit feeling and own it for the summer.

Outfit breakdown:

  • White crop top: Banana Republic (almost exact match, down to the zipper back by Alice and Olivia for $178. Another version with floral detail that's still office appropriate by Aqua for Bloomingdales for $88)
  • High-wasted pink skirt:  J. Crew (similar option in lavender from Urban Outfitters on sale fore $39.  Another option in pleated chiffon by H&M for $29.99)
  • Black sandals:  Splendid (Similar lace up option also by Splendid for $157.95.  Another option by Steve Madden on sale for $54.98)
  • Green statement necklace: unknown (similar option by Francesca's for $38)

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