Summer Business (Casual) Travel Wardrobe

If you’re traveling right now in the steamy parts of the country, you may be wondering if your current wardrobe will get you through the season. Folks, it is hot right now. (Unless you’re in Boston, which I heard was delightful over the weekend. I’m jealous, as it was 100 degrees on Sunday. Anyway.) Dressing in the summer is an art—there are always those women who look cool and collected, no matter how high the temperature. Unfortunately, I am not those women. I have to work hard to maintain my cool in the heat. After a few years on the road during the hottest months, I have a pretty good strategy for dressing without overheating. The keys:

Lightweight fabrics. So important!!! The lighter the better. Look for cottons and linens with a bit of stretch, in a lighter-colored fabric. The con is that they wrinkle more easily, but honestly a little ironing time is worth it to me to stay cool throughout the day. My tops are as thin as I can get them without being sheer or too revealing.

Layers. Offices and airplanes tend to be very chilly this time of year, so cardigans and pashminas are a must. Once outside you can remove layers as needed.

Bike shorts. On travel days that I wear a skirt or dress, I always wear bike shorts underneath. Just in case there’s an unexpected up close and personal interaction with the TSA….. They also help reduce any accidental chafing. For non travel days, those worried about chafing should try something like Body Glide or Monistat Soothing Care.

Peep toes. They’re not appropriate for all offices, but something about peep toe shoes makes me feel cooler. It’s probably an illusion (how much ventilation can that small hole really offer?) but I’ll take it!

Here is my main summer (business casual) travel wardrobe:

One skirt. Pencil is good, but for summer I prefer a slightly less clingy skirt, such as slightly A-line.

One pair of pants. Again, a lightweight fabric like seersucker is great.

One dress. Anything that breathes, is comfortable, and easy to pack (like this one from Talbots).

 Two blouses. I like short sleeves, so they can be worn with a cardigan or without.

Two lightweight tees. Corporette has a great roundup of work-worthy tees this week.

Two cardigans. I have one with shorts sleeves and one with elbow length sleeves.

Two pairs of shoes. Peep toe flats are my summertime favorite!

Lightweight pashmina. I have a lightweight cotton pashmina that I spent maybe $12 on from Old Navy last year (similar to this one), and I take it everywhere. Works great as a scarf in the office, a blanket on the plane, and a swimsuit coverup at the pool.

Jewelry. Gotta have jewelry!!

Readers, what are your tricks for dressing cool in the sweltering heat?

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