Appropriate Attire for the Summer Heat

Written by Dana Faught, Recruitment and Admissions Manager

Summer is in full swing and the hot and humid weather in Washington is only getting more oppressive. When temperatures creep up, it’s tempting to want to ditch your professional dress for more casual (and cooler!) attire, but in a conservative town like DC this can definitely be frowned upon. While every office dress code is different, there a few general rules of thumb that all young professionals should keep in mind during the dog days of summer.

  • HeatNo Flip-flops – It’s perfectly acceptable to commute in your flip-flops, just make sure that you have brought an office appropriate pair as well. It’s helpful to keep extra dress shoes at your desk so you needn’t worry about bringing another set every day.
  • Avoid Showing too Much Skin – Miniskirts, spaghetti-strapped tank tops, strapless or backless dresses are all office don’ts. If you must go sleeveless, make sure you bring a cardigan or jacket with you to put on in the chilly indoor air-conditioning.
  • Shorts are for the Weekend – Shorts (for both men and women) are one of the most casual pieces of clothing in anyone’s wardrobe and are almost never appropriate for the office.
  • Quick-Changes are Okay – Commuting in DC in the summer can be extremely hot (and sweaty!). A good way to keep cool on your way to work is to carry your professional outfit with you and change when you arrive at the office. Be sure to change immediately when you arrive and get there early to allow yourself enough time.
  • When in Doubt, Don’t – If you think a piece of clothing could be inappropriate for the office, it probably is. Better to err on the side of caution and choose another outfit.

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