Modestly Melting - Beat the Heat Without Losing Your Cool
Occasion: Client Appointment
Dress Code: Smart Casual
Outdoor Temps: 87°F, humid
Activity Level: Low
Wearing: Rag & Bone tunic (flea market), Vince bermuda shorts (flea market), Alexis Bittar cuff (fleamarket), vintage crossbody bag (flea market), Gentle Souls mules (flea market)
Even when the temperatures have half the city fleeing toward the beach, I can't show up to a client's home in an itsy-bitsy-teeny-weeny anything - and when I'm working with a male client, I want to be even more mindful of modestly levels. This not only shows respect for the client and any women who may be in his life, but it also avoids any awkwardness and (most importantly) keeps everyone focused on the task at hand (and not a wardrobe malfunction).
That said, it would just look silly to show up in a boiling wool pantsuit in the middle of one of the hottest and most humid weeks of the year. I also wanted to maintain my professional image of a successful, stylish, intelligent consultant. When building my outfit, I looked for:
- Visually cool/summery hues like white, khaki, and gray to keep my client and me mentally refreshed.
- A high neckline and low hemline to add no-fail coverage while lifting boxes and digging in the closet.
- Clean, straight lines in woven fabrications for a slight air of authority and to say, "it's time to get work."
- Lightweight garments that would breathe and provide some airflow through the fabric.
- Cuts that skim the body - they fit loosely enough to provide airflow, but they do not hang loosely enough to sacrifice a professional look.
- Low-heeled sandals to acknowledge the blistering heat while still gaining some power and stature from the heel.
I was lucky enough to have a casual closet day planned, but to convert this look to a Business Casual dress code, I would have:
- Swapped the shorts for a below-the-knee linen or jersey skirt, or linen trousers.
- Added a knit linen cardigan or unlined linen jacket to cover my arms.
- Switched out the sandals for a low-heeled pump.
It promises to be another hot one today, with the Accuweather "RealFeel" index at 90°F! This is news to us in the beach areas, but old hat for my clients who live and work in the Valley, Downtown, or the Inland Empire - but we all agree that neither heat nor dress codes can be completely ignored. Thankfully, we have plenty of fabric, color, and fit options in this day and age to help us feel as appropriate and comfortable as possible (could you imagine if there had to be a corset involved??).
Stay cool, ladies!