Here's how to dress professionally while keeping cool this summer

The heat of summer is almost upon us — people in the Northeast have barely had a chance to enjoy spring and are already getting a early taste of summertime heat and humidity.

For some office workers, it’s all a horrible preview of suffering through the warmer months in clothing similar to what they wore during winter: business suits. However, for much of the workforce, summer means a new freedom in what to wear to the office.

We took Sylvie di Giusto’s recommendations

, founder of Executive Image Consulting, and tweaked them with a cool summer bent.

In a nutshell, sweaters are out and patterns are in. Cotton will be the predominant fabric of the season, but others like linen and seersucker will also sneak into your wardrobe.

The most casual of offices even allow shorts. Though long considered a risky professional choice, the loosening of dress codes in the tech and startup sectors allows for showing a decent amount of below-the-knee skin.

A step above that is your typical business casual look, retooled with lighter weight fabrics and brighter, summer-friendly colours. More formal than that is the executive casual level: layers sported in warm-weather-friendly fabrics. In summer, traditional business attire stays much the same as in other months, but with brighter and lighter colours, such as tan and indigo.

Unfortunately, there’s no summer version of boardroom attire — the highest level of office formality. So here’s hoping your boardroom has air conditioning!

Lifestyle Editor April Walloga contributed the womenswear advice for this article.

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