Today I received one telephone call and one email about wearing a suit in hot weather. Both women live in very hot climates and don’t want to wear a suit jacket in the summer. Here’s my advice to them. If you work in a very competitive field, like financial services, you still need to wear a jacket, but choose one in lightweight cotton, perhaps with short sleeves, and a collarless neckline. Collars are the hottest part of a suit in my opinion. In reality, if you wear a very plain cotton shell under your suit jacket, you can remove your jacket as you drive or take public transportation to work.
Here’s my suggestion for those of you in less competitive fields. Wear lightweight scoop-neck shells in power colors like ruby red, deep royal blue, navy blue, red, black, fuchsia and magenta. Power up your shell with chunky hoop earrings and other accessories – including leather belt, a brooch or dynamic necklace.Wear your shell with lightweight slacks (so you can definitely skip hose) and nice shoes. Jogging shoes may be comfy but they will make you look klutzy when you wear them with work clothes.
Whatever you do, resist wearing a sporty-looking top such as a polo shirt. You’re either dressed for business or for sports, and you owe it to yourself to protect your brand.