Summer is almost here, and that means we will have to find a way to stay comfortable while we are working in the summer heat. Unfortunately, not everyone can wear flip-flops, shorts and a tank top to go to work when the temperature rises.
Whether you are working indoors or outdoors, here are a few tips that will help you stay cool with the right hot weather work clothing.
Hot Weather Work Clothing for Outdoors
If you work in an office, you probably need to follow a dress code even when the summer heat is trying to get the best of you. Don’t worry, it’s perfectly possible to look stylish and professional while you are sweating if you follow these tips:
1. Choose lightweight clothes
An easy way to stay cool in the office is to choose clothes made from lightweight fabrics. Thick and heavy fabrics will cling to your skin and trap your sweat, and this is not something you want while you are trying to focus on your work.
Choose lightweight shirts and jackets. Instead of wearing long pants, you should go for cropped pants, flared pants, bermuda shorts, or a skirt.
2. Choose natural fabrics that breathe
No one likes sweating, but it’s necessary for our bodies to maintain a cool temperature. By choosing fabrics that breathe, you allow the air to circulate around your body, which will help moisture to evaporate.
Natural fabrics such as cotton and linen are better than synthetic fabrics, although some synthetic fabrics have been designed for hot weather. Lightweight wool is also a good option that will let your body breathe without trapping sweat and moisture.
3. Choose the right lining for your jacket
If you want to wear a jacket, make sure it is lightweight, and pay attention to the lining. Even if a jacket is made from a breathable fabric, it won’t keep you cool in the summer heat if it has a polyester lining.
An unlined jacket or a half-lined one is a better option, and it will keep your outfit lighter. Your clothes need to allow moisture to evaporate, not to trap it against your skin.
4. Wear lighter colours
Dark colours absorb light and heat, while light colours reflect them. So if you want to stay cool while the sun is shining, wear lighter colours instead of dark ones.
That doesn’t mean you should dress up in all white if you don’t want to. Grays, beiges, creams, baby blues, pinks and yellows are great colours for the summer, so you should add them to your wardrobe.
Hot Weather Work Clothing for Indoors
Unless you are working on a beach, you will need to find appropriate work clothing for working in the sun, especially if you can’t really spend some time in a shaded area. Don’t forget to stay hydrated and to take frequent breaks, and follow these tips:
5. Wear loose-fitting clothing
It might be tempting to wear a tank top or a t-shirt with shorts while you are working outside, but light coloured long sleeve shirts and long pants will protect your skin from the harmful rays of the sun.
However, those clothes should be loose-fitting to allow better air circulation. Clothing that sticks to your skin will only make you feel more hot and sweaty.
6. Choose light fabrics that breathe
Natural fabrics will allow your skin to breathe more than synthetic fabrics will. If you only have work clothing made from heavy synthetic fabrics, it’s time to go and do some shopping so you can stay cool this summer.
If ever your clothes get completely saturated with sweat during the day, don’t hesitate to change so you can be more comfortable. You should always bring some extra clothes with you.
7. Wear a hat
If your work allows it, and it should, wear a hat while you are working outdoors. It will protect your head, your face and your neck from the harmful rays of the sun.
But make sure you choose a lightweight hat that will allow the heat from your head to escape. It should be made from a breathable material, and it should have at least a few venting holes to let air circulate.
8. Wear a personal cooling vest
A personal cooling vest will help keep you cool and safe if you are working in a very hot environment. When wearing lightweight clothing is not enough, a personal cooling vest is a good option as it can protect you from heat stress and strokes.
Personal cooling vests can work with cooling packs, special fabric that absorbs water and keeps it cool, or a portable air conditioning device that circulates cool air inside the vest. Choosing a vest that works with compressed air is the easiest way to enjoy consistent cooling through your work day.