Photo image from the Wall Street Journal. Illustrations by Joy Gilinsky.
WARM UP TECHNIQUES A basic sleeveless linen dress is an ideal summer wardrobe basic that allows you to prepare for the big chill. Simply pack a Pashmina shawl for the commute to work or keep a shawl tucked away in a drawer in your office desk. Solid color Pashmina’s are okay but try to find one with a paisley or discreet floral weave that adds interest to a solid color sheath dress. When you are presenting at a Board or division meeting, add that professional panache to your sheath dress. A short tailored jacket is youthful and chic in a contrasting color, such as red over a black sheath; cinnamon orange over a royal blue sheath or chartreuse green over a chocolate brown sheath. For further drama keep a stash of good quality, 48-inch scarves in your desk drawer, the kind that you can drape around your shoulders. They always come in handy for extra warmth. Choose prints that do not overwhelm your professional performance but will match you sheath dress.
DOUBLE BENEFITS I have never given up on the shell matching cardigan idea and many new versions come in lightweight cotton or synthetics. Fashionistas update the look for evening by removing the shell and adding a matching lace-edged slip of a shell underneath. Remember the golden rule and take a hint from Kate. Skirt hems that say you’re professional skim the knee at work. If something shorter is wanted for the cocktail or club night out, then pack it and change later. Daytime accessories should be discreet and feminine. No dangling earrings that clank and glitter as you present your ideas to management. Save them for evening wear as well as other more dramatic jewelry that conveys a stylish message.
BIG BAG STASH Now I understand why all those savvy office gals carry a big bag to carry these add-on items, not to forget the after-work-gym gear. Be sure the satchel or tote is chic and commodious enough to accommodate all the extras you have to carry around. And, please do not put it all into a backpack and look like you’re heading for the hills. Some of the items can be kept permanently at the office, and that’s a good idea because you should keep the big bag as lightweight as possible. And, please do not anchor the straps on one shoulder, it simply distorts your balance and may in time give you the appearance that one shoulder is lower than the other.
IT’S CHALLENGING TO LOOK CHIC, COOL AND COLLECTED IN THE SWELTERING HEAT OF SUMMER BUT EQUALLY CHALLENGING IS THE WAY YOU BLAST THE COLD CHILL IN BUILDINGS, TRANSPORATION, THEATERS AND CAFES. FASHIONISTAS DON’T MELT IN THE SWELTERING HEAT OR FAINT IN THE BIG FREEZE. THEY FIND SOLUTIONS BY LAYERING AND LOOKING CHIC.