Do Office Style Rules Change in Summer?

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During the heat of July and August, many office-based professionals find it difficult to know exactly what to wear. Usual office attire can be uncomfortable in particularly high temperatures, especially in workspaces where air flow is poor.

There are, of course, ways to swap out key components of your professional tailoring for cooler versions. Wearing a lighter cotton and linen-mix suits will make a big difference, as will opting for white 100% cotton shirts.

However, there is a bigger question at play here. When the temperature rises… does the level of expected formality in the office drop?

In general terms, we’d venture so far as to say it does. After all, if the heat is really stifling, no one will look their best in a three piece suit and tie! Though professional style is still important, it’s likely that small changes such as forgoing a tie or rolling up shirt sleeves won’t be frowned upon.

However, this does, of course, depend on your profession and place of work. Certain locations will always require full formality regardless of the weather report. Professionals such as barristers and solicitors who are expected in court, for example, will still need to wear traditional attire. The same is likely to be true for boardroom meetings, important presentations and interviews. 

In these cases, it’s well worth speaking to your tailor about what you can do to keep cool. An experienced tailor will be able to help you make decisions about fabric type, vents, colour and fit in order to create a summer suit that looks just as professional as the rest of your work wardrobe but is much more air-flow friendly.

Want to know more about surviving the coming months in full professional wear? We’ve shared our tips for keeping cool in traditional tailoring during the warmer season here.