Mikki Collier

Couture-At-Law: Working Your Summer Wardrobe

The unofficial start of summer has ushered in bright skies, glorious warm temps and a great excuse to bring a little sunshine into the office- sartorially speaking, of course! Finally, it's okay to throw off all those layers begrudgingly built to ward off old man winter and allow your skin to breathe a little, all while observing the bounds of appropriate office attire. There are a number of exciting ways to implement heat friendly looks into your professional wardrobe. Though office dress code varies, below are a few ways to beat the summer heat while maintaining a professional look in your workplace.

1. Dresses - Not only are dresses great outfit choices when the mercury rises, they are flattering on most body types and are extremely versatile! Choose styles such as sheaths, wrap dresses and shirtwaists which are comfortable, timeless and sophisticated pieces, yet cover enough to still be appropriate for work.

2. Skirts - If you are a skirt lover, then you are in luck! Summer 2010 fashion is loaded with a wide variety of skirts. The very popular pencil skirt is always a fabulous choice! Pair it with a silk or lace top, for a soft, feminine look. For a a more fashion forward option, try a lace, silk , or my personal favorite, the draped skirt and combine with a classic blazer for a look that is tucked and tailored.

3. Light Blazers: Nothing pulls an outfit together quite like a blazer. The ultimate in versatility, the blazer can be paired with a variety of different basics to produce some of the most stunning outfits. This season's must have - the white blazer- is a chic alternative to its ubiquitous black counterpart and offers a bold, yet polished contrast to the other basic contents of your wardrobe.

4. Blouses- Summer 2010 shirts and blouses are less structured and more fluid than in seasons past. Experiment with your professional feminine side by taking advantage of the season's vast array of blouses, such as chic georgette blouses, floral patterned tops, ruffled shirts and flowing blouses. Pair these with skirts for a professional look that is sharp and sleek, or wear a flowing blouse with straight pants for an easy, breezy, chic feel. Though this season's the color palette is teaming with brights, your whites and neutrals still play a major role in a vibrant summer wardrobe.

Unfortunately, as the heat index rises, inhibitions are lowered and a lot of people tend to push the envelope by showing up to the office in revealing or super casual clothing.  The following is a list of items that do not work at work:

1. Spaghetti straps, tank tops, and strapless pieces should be avoided, unless you plan to wear a sweater or a blazer on top to conceal the skin exhibition. I know that along with the summer's sun, comes sweltering heat, but do your career and polished image a favor and reserve these pieces for after work.

2. Flip-Flops-  Please, you're not at the beach, so don't act like it by flip flopping all over the office in this incredibly unsophisticated footwear. Ditch the flip-flops for a pair of peep-toe flats for a dose of comfort and style.

3. Shorts- I'll keep this short: NO!

4. It goes without saying that skimpy, cleavage revealing tops and micro-mini, clingy skirts are never okay in the office. Neither are distressed jeans, sheer fabrics,  Spandex or bare midriffs. PERIOD.

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