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17 Ways to Keep Your Cool at Work During Sweltering Hot Summer Days

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I love summer. It’s my favorite time of year. But let me tell you, there is nothing as hellish as waiting for the subway in New York City on a sweltering weekday in July or August. By 9 a.m., it often feels like a sauna. I’ve learned to plan ahead for those times when I have important meetings and need to appear both fresh and professional.

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My go-to choice is a loose cotton or linen dress. No shapewear required! It can be a shift, a shirtdress, or a tunic-style, but nothing that restricts your movement. Belted styles are fine as long as they aren’t tightly cinched.

Another great option is a shirt-and-skirt or -pants combo. Again, cotton, linen, or cotton-linen blend tops are much cooler than silk or polyester.  Look for A-line, pleated, or flowy skirts to the knee or below—or pants that aren’t too skinny or tight.

If you have to wear a suit jacket to work, a linen or cotton blazer works, but be sure to wear it over something lightweight. Uniqlo’s “AIRism” collection is a great resource for moisture-wicking tanks with built-in bras and tees. Gap also has a line of underpinnings (including tanks, T-shirts, bras, and panties) called “Breathe” with dry-wicking fabric technology.

Should you still feel the need for just a little control underneath, Spanx makes a line of perforated shorts and panties that are intended for warm weather.

Hope this helps you to focus on the work at hand, without sweating the small stuff!

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