No, you won’t catch me being ungrateful for a couple of months of perfectly sunny days. And nobody struggles with a casual wardrobe in this weather do they (except the vest wearing, shiny short brigade). Chinos, shorts, polos, linen shirts, driving shoes, sandals… I’m having a field day with the clothes I normally only get out of the wardrobe for holidays.
But, what to wear for work? If you normally wear formal business attire – a suit and tie, shoes and socks – what do you do to avoid poaching in your own perspiration when its thirty degrees outside?
The most sensible thing to do is to leave a couple of suits, clean pressed shirts, ties, shoes and socks at the office and commute in your shorts (thanks Tim Dawson, Partner, DLA Piper). That way, if your office is airconditioned, you don’t need to pay attention to the weather. Or at least not until you need to put on the sweaty commuter clothes to go home again.
This won’t work for everyone so here are my top ten tips for tailoring on a sunny day:
1. Suits. Your chosen two-piece should be the lightest weight in your wardrobe. If you can get away with linen, that’s the way to go. If not, cotton, 100% wool or wool mohair. Absolutely no synthetic fibres, they don’t breath and you will sweat like a pig.
2. Jackets. If you haven’t got a coat hanger at the office then put one in your briefcase. A jacket that has been carried or worse still worn on the journey to work in hot weather needs hanging up so the creases can drop out and any moisture can evaporate.
3. Sleeves. Never, ever roll your jacket sleeves up. It won’t keep you cool and it’s not 1980. But you can undo an extra cuff button if you like.
4. Shirts. Wear white. It won’t show damp patches as much as colours. Always 100% cotton and ideally a lightweight fine-gauge poplin (plain weave) so air can circulate. No synthetic fibres please.
5. Shirt sleeves. Short sleeves are practical but not sartorially elegant. On a hot day, folding long sleeve up two or three times can maintain a smart look whilst getting some breeze around your wrists. Take your watch off too, it makes a big difference.
6. Buttons. If you don’t need to wear a tie then undo your top shirt button. I know it is tempting but reserve undoing the second button for evenings or casualwear please.
7. Ties. If you need to wear a tie in the office, don’t wear it for the commute. Roll it up to avoid creasing and pop it in your briefcase.
8. Footwear. I think hot feet are one of the worst things about sunny days. Wearing thin cotton socks will help but a leather shoe is never going to be pleasant. Avoid boots and opt for a loafer if you can. Once at your desk, when no-one is looking, whip your shoes off and get some fresh air between your toes.
9. Deodorant. On the hottest of days if you don’t have aircon in the office, you won’t be able to avoid a little perspiration. Carry a stick deodorant and even a mini version of your aftershave in your briefcase. A little top-up at lunch will keep you smelling as good as you look.
10. Global Warming. If this summer is the start of a new phase in the British climate, you may want to plan for the future. I can thoroughly recommend adding a pair of bespoke shorts to your next two-piece summer suit order….