Work Attire Fashion Tips for That Fluctuating Office Temperature

Cold Office

Have you ever worked in an office where it was always too hot in the summer, or too cold in the winter? Or maybe your company would try to overcompensate for the outside temperature by making the interior of the building the polar opposite–like blasting the A/C so hard during the summer that you had to go outside on your lunch break just to thaw out?

Not only can thermostat challenges be a drag on your physical comfort level (or even your performance), but they can cramp your style too; it’s not always easy to remain fashionable when you’re trying to stay comfortable. So what can you do to retain your fashion sanity in the midst of fluctuating office temperatures? Here are some work attire tips to keep in mind to help you win the war against office climate change.

Tips for the Freezing Cold Office:

  • Since Snuggies are a definite no-go, you’re going to have to implement a layering strategy. If your typical outfit is pencil skirt/breathable dress and a light blouse, be sure to bring a cardigan (or two) to help you stay warm in the arctic office air.
  • A little jacket can be extremely versatile as well; try layering with one that’s slightly cropped, to give you a more polished look.
  • If you’re into chambray shirts (and who isn’t?), you can layer one into your look under a sweater and over a tank top, so you can add and remove layers as your office temp fluctuates.
  • Wrap it up! Blanket scarves, pashminas, shawls, etc., can come to your rescue when you’re dealing with seemingly sub-zero office temperatures. They can add a nice splash of color to your outfit, and they’re versatile enough to be worn in all kinds of upper-body-warming configurations.
  • Since a significant portion of your body heat escapes from your feet, closed-toe shoes can work miracles for frosty tootsies. Try ankle boots to help keep your toes warm; not only do they offer versatility in terms of style, but they allow for the covert use of socks as well!
  • If you have shoulder-length hair (or longer), consider wearing it down, as this can help to fend off any icy air around your neck.

Tips for the Blazing Hot Office:

  • Lighter weight fabrics are a must in order to keep your cool in a stuffy office. Natural fibers such as linen, silk and cotton are more breathable, which means that your clothes won’t trap as much sweat and heat as with synthetic fibers.
  • Wear an appropriate-length skirt or dress for your office environment to let air circulate better around your legs.
  • If your office has a policy against open-toed shoes (and some do), you can pick a flat that has enough breathing room to keep the tops of your feet cool without exposing your toes.

If the thermostat settings for your office are completely out of your control, you don’t have to feel helpless. Use the suggestions outlined above to help you endure unpleasant office climates, while still retaining your sense of style.