Residents of the Pacific Northwest know that the weather is constantly changing, sometimes from one extreme to another within a 24-hour period. With this in mind, Seattleites must be prepared to properly dress for sunshine and warm weather one day and then cold, wind and rain the next. During Seattle’s summer months, temperatures can fluctuate from a comfortable 70 degrees on up to the sweltering humidity of 90-degree days. Local wardrobe stylist and personal shopper Tannya Bernadette offers some of her best tips on dressing for the office and staying cool during the warmer days of summer.
Tannya Bernadette
Wardrobe Stylist And Personal Shopper
5410 22nd Ave. N.W.
Seattle, WA 98107
(425) 931-4713

Since 2009, Seattle wardrobe stylist Tannya Bernadette has helped her clients with a variety of styling services including wardrobe advice, personal shopping, wardrobe assembly and organization, making her clients feel and look fabulous. Tannya works with a variety of clients to create stunning looks based on each individual’s style and budget. Here she shares some advice and tips on dressing professionally in the summertime.

(Photo Credit Vittorio Zunino Celotto/Getty Images)

Layer Your Clothing

One of the best ways to avoid getting too warm at the office is to layer your clothing, so as the day gets warmer, you can peel back the layers. For ladies, a good example would be to wear a cotton or rayon dress or pant suit that has a shorter sleeve (1/2 to 3/4 would be acceptable for work) with a lightweight jacket. As the temperatures rise during the day, you can always remove the jacket to stay cool, but still look professional. For men, wear a lightweight, cotton dress shirt with a full-sleeve or half-sleeve under your suit jacket. When it gets too warm, simply remove your jacket and keep your business look with a shirt and tie.

Dress Light

Dressing light – as in light-colored clothing and the weight of the clothing – can make a world of difference on a hot summer day. The first step would be to wear lighter colors on a warm day as they do not attract or absorb the sun’s heat as darker colors can. Acceptable and professional-looking lighter colors can include khakis and other neutral colors, pastel colors and whites and off-whites. Another good tip is to dress in lightweight cottons. Cotton clothing will not feel as heavy on a hot summer day and will allow the skin to breathe more compared to other clothing materials.

Skirts And Dresses

For professional ladies working in an office environment, you may want to automatically break out your shorter skirts or dresses when the weather gets warm. However, to keep it more professional and sophisticated, opt instead for a skirt or dress that is right around knee-length. You don’t want to distract your co-workers or clients and wear any article of clothing that is considered too revealing. Keep your skirt and dress length to no further than an inch above the knee, and right at knee level or longer would be the best length. If you decide to wear an ankle-length dress or skirt, you could also skip the torture of having to wear pantyhose on a hot day. Just be sure to wear an appropriate-length slip with your skirt or dress and a closed-toe shoe or sandal to keep it classy and professional.

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Ankle Pants And Capris

Regardless of your body type, ankle pants and dressy capris are considered a modern-day work pant that can comfortably be worn to the office. Choose solid color pants in fabrics such as cotton or rayon so you continue to look professional. Then, dress them up with a nice print blouse that has 1/2- to 3/4-length sleeves and some nice jewelry accessories. Ankle pants and capris can also be worn with stylish knee-high socks and hosiery so that you don’t have to wear a full pair of pantyhose.

Comfortable And Stylish Shoe Options

During the warmer months of the year, your feet can really take a beating from the summer heat. The last thing most office professionals want to do is wear a pair of uncomfortable, tight-fitting shoes that don’t give their feet any kind of breathing room. For the ladies, you have several options in what you can wear as an appropriate summer shoe. Fashionable flats and closed-toe wedge heels are great shoe options to wear in summer and can be paired with either pants, skirts or dresses. For the men, opt for a loafer-style dress shoe to allow your feet ample space and comfort, especially if you’ll be on your feet throughout the day.

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Sue Gabel has been writing entertainment and travel-related articles in the greater Puget Sound/Seattle area since 1999. She writes about music, the Seattle scene and more. Her work can be found on