The summer heat can make it difficult to stick to your tried-and-true style routine. Maybe you typically wear suits or twinsets with pants. Whatever your preferred garb, it’s important to prioritize your comfort without sacrificing professional standards at a job interview. If you’ve got one lined up and you want to beat the heat, here are a few style suggestions that will help you keep your cool.
At any time of the year, a standard suit is the perfect workwear option. It’s smart, conservative, and sets the right tone in almost every professional setting that expects its employees to wear polished attire. But during summer, the last thing that you want to do is cover yourself up from neck to ankle. It can be uncomfortable, especially when the temperature creeps into the 80s and 90s.
When that happens, swap out your usual go-to pants for a midi skirt instead. Midi skirts are more practical than other lengths, as the maxi is a bit too casual for some workplaces. The midi isn’t too short or too long. It falls below the knee, yet allows you to present that pulled-together image that’s just right for your interview. Plus, it looks great with suit separates.
Forget about the winter coat that you love to wear during fall and winter, and even on some cooler spring days. Wool tends to look smart and chic in the workplace, and it may easily be one of the most professional pieces that you own. But it can also weigh you down and cause you to break a sweat on a balmy summer day.
But what can you do if you need to wear a suit jacket or a blazer to the interview? Try a lighter material like cotton or linen instead. Bear in mind that some linen jackets can look especially casual and summery, so pay attention to the silhouette. A structured cut is appropriate. If you’re interviewing in a more contemporary space that encourages creative dress, you may be able to get away with modern elements, like three-quarter length sleeves and cropped cuts. If you opt for a shorter length, create some balance by wearing it with a pair of wide-leg pants or a knee-length skirt with a slight flare.
You likely have a slew of women’s blouses that you rely on for professional moments just like these.
When wearing a standard button-front top just isn’t in the cards, a suitable alternative is a lightweight shell. Much like a professional tank top, the shell makes a completely practical substitute that you can wear beneath a light blazer and pair with whatever you prefer, from pants to skirts. Just be sure to tuck it in to create the most polished image possible.
Color plays just as much a role in helping you convey a certain image as it does in keeping you cool during your summertime interview. Once you’ve chosen what you want to wear, focus on wearing lighter colors. Shades like black and navy are always appropriate in a professional setting, but you aren’t completely limited to those on a hot day when you absolutely need to stay cool and make the best possible impression.
Shades like light gray, light blue, and ivory or cream are all appropriate. If you don’t want to venture too far onto that side of the spectrum, you can stick with your preferred neutral color as the main shade and opt for something lighter beneath, like a crisp white women’s summer shirt or shell.
Women’s dresses can be just as professional as dress pants and pencil skirts! The key is to select a style that’s right for the occasion. You might take your cue from what you see on others at the office based on the research that you do beforehand.
In general, structured sheath dresses work well, as do standard suit dresses that pair well with blazers. Steer clear of styles that are very obviously summery and light, like cotton fit-and-flare styles that are better suited to casual days out. If you would normally wear it to a barbecue or while shopping, it’s probably not appropriate for the interview.
Ultimately, it’s all about staying comfortable through it all. You want to keep your cool so that you can stay focused on what matters the most. During an interview, that means answering questions calmly, being thoughtful and direct, and expressing enthusiasm.