Heatwave fashion hack: how to get away with wearing less to work

15 November 2018 - 00:00 By Keneilwe Pule and Staff reporter
Opt to wear breathable natural fabrics in a heatwave.
Opt to wear breathable natural fabrics in a heatwave.
Image: Christian Vierig/Getty Images

When the temperature drops, you can always add more layers of clothing to keep warm at work. But when a heatwave strikes there are only so many layers you can take off before you get sent to Human Resources for violating your company's dress code.

From sundresses to shorts, many of the coolest pieces in our summer wardrobes tend to be too revealing for the office. That said, with a bit of clever styling there are ways to make these pieces work, for work.

Here's how:

1. OPT FOR NATURAL FABRICS

The light weave of natural fabrics like linen and cotton allows for maximum breathability making them the coolest fabrics to wear in the warmer seasons, especially during a heatwave.

Pair linen trousers with a silk blouse and a pair of mules for a chic look.

2. KEEP IT TAILORED

There's no doubt that well-tailored pieces give off a professional vibe. So when raiding your summer weekend wardrobe for officewear, think 'structure'. 

A shirt dress is the ultimate easy-to-wear outfit, and because it's a riff on a men's workwear staple it's a natural fit for the office.

A shirt dress is the ultimate easy-to-wear outfit.
A shirt dress is the ultimate easy-to-wear outfit.
Image: Kirstin Sinclair/Getty Images
Pair shorts with a lightweight top for a casual chic look.
Pair shorts with a lightweight top for a casual chic look.
Image: Timur Emek/Getty Images

By sheer virtue of having a collar, a golf shirt has a much smarter feel than a regular tee. Wear one in cooling colours such as white, lilac or pale blue teamed with lightweight, high-wasted trousers.

You may even be able to get away with a pair of shorts — provided they aren't too short — if they're well-tailored and you pair them with a chic top and lightweight blazer.

A collar gives any sort of shirt a professional edge.
A collar gives any sort of shirt a professional edge.
Image: Melodie Jeng/Getty Images
Stop summer dresses from looking too revealing by wearing a shirt underneath.
Stop summer dresses from looking too revealing by wearing a shirt underneath.
Image: Melodie Jeng/Getty Images

3. LAYER UP

It seems strange to be suggesting you wear layers during a heatwave, but by donning a t-shirt or short-sleeved blouse under that strappy summer dress you can ensure you won't be flashing too much skin at the office.

The same applies to full-length jumpsuits.

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