It's the classic summer conundrum, how do you pull off smart when it's blazing hot outside? After all, there's nothing worse than arriving at a meeting dripping in sweat, red-faced and having to sport your jacket to cover up any misdemeanors in the shirt department. Don't blame your deodorant, the British humidity or the commuter crush for your less-than-put together appearance. Instead follow our guide on how to look smart in warm weather without breaking a sweat.
Choose natural fibres
Upgrade your wardrobe with a shirt made from natural fibres. Better than their manmade counterparts at letting your body breathe, cotton or linen allow excess moisture to evaporate so you keep cool (and experience fewer awkward sweat patch moments). Invest in a few cotton or linen shirts and you may even be able to ditch the suit jacket.
Select a lightweight suit
Sharpen up your look with a breathable linen, cotton or light wool suit. This will ensure you maintain your usual sharp standards and keep you categorically cooler than any woollen and man-made counterparts. Whether you go for a slightly slouchier style or stick to a regular fit, think natural fibres and pick a suit to last you all season.
The button question
To undo or not to undo, the top button on your shirt that is. It really depends on your office protocol. In most cases we suspect you can get away with leaving it undone and letting a little air in. Remember to stick to the one button rule and don't go exposing too much of the chest rug. If you're still not sure, take a look at our guide to wearing a button down collar. Want to wear a suit jacket to a meeting? Undo your buttons when you sit down to feel comfortable.
While you may want to leave the Panama hat to the man from Del Monte, you can borrow some of his cues in terms of colour choices. Why? Well, darker coloured fabrics absorb more heat, make you feel hotter and sweatier. If you really can't let go of your trusty black shirt, team it with a pair of lightweight trousers in tan, light grey or pink (a subtle shade of pink). Or find a light coloured summer blazer. Even if you don't leave your home town, you can at least pretend you're spending the summer at the French Riviera.
Wear a waistcoat
Embrace a waistcoat renaissance over the summer months. As a workable alternative to the jacket, get the fit right to cut a fine figure. This means loose baggy styles are a definite no-no unless you want to look like a throwback from the 90s. Again stick to lightweight fabrics and wear with a tie for a new take on summer office style.
Layer it up
No, we've not lost the plot. In certain cases an extra layer e.g. an undershirt will save your bacon. (Or at least mop up the moisture created in the heat of the moment). If you have a tendency to perspire buckets, take control and wear a vest under your shirt.