Ask A Denver Expert: Dressing For Work During The Summer Heat

May 27, 2014 6:00 AM

(credit: Mario Tama/Getty Images)

(credit: Mario Tama/Getty Images) (credit: Mario Tama/Getty Images)

Summer heat brings all kinds of challenges to choosing a work wardrobe. It’s often sweltering outside and way too cold inside. While some professions are more lax in terms of dress code, others require clothing that may be too hot for the ride home. Local stylists Kimberly Ade from Keri Blair Image Experts and Makeup Artist and Fashion Editor Katelyn Simkins help take the guess work out of choosing your summer work wardrobe. Here are their tips for looking polished and put together in summer’s brutal heat.

Keri Blair & Kimberly Ade – Image Experts
Denver, CO 80206
(303) 575-1606

Keri Blair Image Experts offers a full range of styling services to people of all walks of life. From corporate executives to individuals who just need a change, Keri Blair experts will help anyone put their best foot forward. Kimberly Ade has 10 years of experience in the fashion industry and has styled for well-known publications and clients in New York and Los Angeles. She is passionate about fashion and loves helping clients feel their best inside and out.

Katelyn Simkins
Denver, CO 80220
(303) 358-6146

A professional makeup artist and stylist, Katelyn Simkins has worked all internationally with high-profile clients and was featured in Allure magazine’s “Makeover Masters” in 2010. She is also a fashion editor with an eye for style. Katelyn enjoys exercising her creativity with each client and loves creating looks that work with each person’s features and personality. She frequently styles clients for TV, print and film and is well versed in everything from avant garde fashion to simple looks that enhance the features.

Choose Light, Breathable Fabrics

During the summer, you want to wear fabrics that breathe. Otherwise, you end up overheated and uncomfortable. Simkins states, “You can wear a tank with a lightweight or even sheer blouse on top.” Ade offers up this advice, “Stay away from heavy wools and choose lighter colors.” Look for cotton and linen blends, but remember that linen is prone to wrinkling. Choose a blend that is light enough to keep you cool, yet durable enough to look professional.

Don’t Put Away The Cardigans

For offices that feel like a blast chiller, layering is a necessity. Ade recommends keeping a cardigan or blazer handy for cold interiors. “A lightweight blazer is perfect for summer. Make sure to stay away for heavy fabrics.” Cardigans and blazers are easy to layer over dresses, thin tops and short sleeves, so choose a few in a variety of colors and stay comfortable at your desk – even if it’s right under the vent.

Mind Your Feet

Sandals are a summer staple, but wearing them in the office requires some finesse. Simkins says to always make sure your feet are presentable. “If you’re gonna show your toes, make sure they’re manicured or at least self groomed. Beach footwear is likely inappropriate for work, but there are many slightly more upscale sandals that are a step above a Birkenstock.” Ade recommends sticking with sandals that have a strap, as they look more polished.

Related: Top Spots For Summertime Shoes In Denver

Keep It Modest

You want to be comfortable, but you don’t want to come across as sloppy. Ade states, “Stay away from spaghetti straps, flip flops, shorts, t-shirts and other casual items. Sundresses, maxi dresses and maxi skirts (depending upon how casual the office is) are also great options for women. However, make sure you wear a cardigan or a jacket if the straps are very narrow.” Simkins offers similar advice, “Crop tops should be avoided, as well as spaghetti straps (unless you layer them), bra straps hanging out and booty shorts.”

Have Fun With Accessories

Looks this summer are all about color, and accessories are the perfect way to incorporate them into your wardrobe. Ade recommends adding color to your outfit with a statement necklace or other piece of jewelry. You can also rock color in your handbag, shoes or even a lightweight scarf which comes in handy in cooler offices. If you’re feeling bold, make the color your standout piece.

Related: Top Spots For Summer Accessories In Denver

Alaina Brandenburger is a freelance writer living in Denver. Her work can be found at