How to dress for summer in the office

Get to work without losing your cool

When the temperatures start to rise, your standard office wear can start to feel a little bit restrictive. The everyday business casual outfit was just not built for all those commutes on packed trains and busses with little to no ventilation. On really hot days it can be tempting to throw the office dress code out of the window, but there are plenty of ways to keep your cool without looking like Rocko Wallaby.

If you work in a casual environment, dressing for summer can be as easy as a lightweight shirt, chinos and some clean white trainers. Don’t give in to the temptation to undo your shirt buttons any lower than the second button. If you’re desperate to show off some skin, lose the socks and let your ankles breathe.

Coffee_2

If you have to retain some degree of smartness at work, the most important thing is to embrace summer materials. The key is breathability, so cotton should be your best friend. Maybe even throw in some linen, without going the Full ‘Man from Delmonte’. Due to linen’s predilection for creasing, go for cotton-linen blend to keep looking smarter for longer.

Stairs.jpg

Summer is most definitely a season where you can’t wear ‘all black everything’, you want to embrace the colours of summer. It’s always tempting to throw on a loud Hawaiian shirt when the sun is out: you’re laid back and you don’t care who knows it. Prints are in, and that’s great, but keep them out of the office. Keep your summer work outfits understated, lot’s of white, pastels and neutrals.

Office - Blog Size

It might even get warm enough to lose your sleeves. I don’t mean losing them altogether and looking like an 80s wrestling superstar. I’m talking about one of the most put upon pieces in the menswear summer wardrobe: the short sleeve shirt. Avoid pairing it with a neck tie and pocket protector, make sure it fits, and you’ll be fine. Still not sure? Check out our post for style inspiration.

The Everyman Guide: How to Speak ‘Business’

How to get ahead in the workplace

When you’re working in an office, every day is an adventure. There are many dangerous situations that have to be navigated on a daily basis: someone bringing a baby in, thinking of something to write in a “sorry you’re leaving card“, getting cornered by your line manager in the kitchen. If this wasn’t bad enough, most offices even have their own language: ‘business speak’ aka ‘corporate jargon’ aka ‘talking crap’. To really get to grips with a new language, you have to immerse yourself within it. With this in mind, I’ve spent a bit of time tailing Paul from sales, who is fluent in ‘workplace lingo’. Now I’m here to report back on my findings:

  • “Let’s touch base offline” Can we talk in real life? (Also translated as: my internet has stopped working)
  • “Put it on the backburner”I don’t care about that anymore please stop talking to me about it.
  • “Just want to make sure we’re singing from the same hymn sheet” Am I doing this right?
  • “It’s on my radar”I’m aware of it but don’t think it’s that good/important.
  • “We need blue sky thinking” Please come up with an idea, anything. I’m desperate.
  • “I’ve not got enough bandwidth” Please don’t give me anymore work.

 

Get those phrases under your belt and you’re halfway to being fluent. But if you really want to sound ‘in-the-know’, why not throw a few of your own phrases around the office, see if they catch on. Here’s some ideas:

  • “Let’s open the fridge and see what cheese smells the best”Try it and see what happens.
  • “Blue sky solutioneering” One level better than blue sky thinking.
  • “I’m taking a brief idealisational period” I’m thinking about it.
  • “Is the conceptual granularity too high?” Is this too obvious?
  • “Collaborise our synergy” Work together.
  • “Don’t scramble the eggs before the chickens have come home to roost” Don’t get ahead of yourself.

 

You’ll be getting that pay rise in no time…

Dressing for a job interview

First impressions can’t be undone

Have you gone back to work this January feeling like you should be in a different job? (note to my boss: I haven’t, honest.) Do you feel like it’s time to spread your wings, and break free from the shackles of your current job? Well, you’re in luck; the statistics say that January is one of the best times of the year to apply for a new job. So it’s time to polish up that CV. But in the search for your dream job there is an obstacle in your path, you’re going to have to face the unbridled horror of the job interview at least once or twice.

Research shows that interviewers know within the first 90 seconds whether they are going to hire someone or not. Meaning the whole interview could be a big waste of everyone’s time if you don’t make the right first impression. A firm handshake and solid eye contact is a good start, but did you know that your outfit can also be a deciding factor? They say you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, but apparently the interviewers didn’t get the memo. Now I can’t tell you what your greatest weakness is, or how to effectively describe yourself in three words, but I can give you some tips on how to dress yourself in order to make a great first impression:

Dress for the job you want…

…not the job you have. You want to walk into that interview looking like you’ve already got the job. Try and go one level of smartness above what everyone else is wearing. If you’re interviewing at a casual office, a smart shirt and shoes will do. If you’re interviewing somewhere more formal, it won’t hurt your chances to put on a suit and tie.

The fact that you’ve dressed up a bit shows that you’ve considered your dress and made an effort. This will give the impression that you’re thoughtful and conscientious (before you open your mouth and ruin it…)

job-outfit2

Your outfit should say something about you…

…but not scream for attention. Interviewers can be put off if you’re wearing bright or flashy colours, so keep that hot pink blazer to yourself until after you’ve signed the contracts. If you’re desperate for a pop of colour in your outfit, socks or accessories are a subtle, but effective, way to go.

Preparation is key

You should know what you’re going to wear in advance. The morning of a job interview can be stressful enough without having to put together a suitable outfit. Make sure what you’re wearing fits, and is clean. No one’s going to employ the guy with a coffee stain down his shirt.

Don’t forget to groom

You can be snappiest they’ve ever seen but if you turn up looking like Tom Hanks in Cast Away then you’re just wasting your time. It’s more likely that your CV includes the phrase “high level of attention to detail”, this should apply to your personal grooming as well.

5 Desk Drawer Essentials

Life savers to keep at work

You can run into all sorts of trouble in the workplace: leaking pens, coffee spillages, rain soaked commutes, and that weird bloke from finance. While I can’t help you with Gareth (that’s more of an HR issue), I can recommend 5 emergency essentials to stash in the office that’ll help with the others:

Plain White Tee

If you work in a relatively casual office then a plain white t-shirt can replace almost any top that comes a cropper to a coffee catastrophe. Plus it goes with anything from jeans to a blazer, as long as it’s not too formal. Just avoid the deep V-neck, best to leave some things to the imagination…

lyleandscott-day-1blog0067-1

Hair product

If you’ve ever spent the day with your hair plastered to your forehead after a freak thunderstorm you’ll know what I’m talking about. When you’ve nearly finished the last tub of your favourite product at home get a new one early and stick the old one in your desk drawer.

LYLEandSCOTT DAY 1blog0098.jpg

Plain sneakers

Whether it’s a hole in your sole, dropped food, or more bloody rain, your shoes can become a squeaky pain pretty quickly. If you want to avoid squelching your way around the office, keep a pair of simple sneakers in your desk drawer – white or black is a safe bet for most outfits. If you really like to be prepared, why not throw in a pair of back-up socks as well.

lyle and scott day 21076.jpg

Whatever you use to smell good

You can blame it on the heat, the rain, or running after the 26 bus, but if you’re anything like almost everyone on the tube, you might not be smelling your best by the end of the work day. If you keep a bottle of something fragrant in your desk (not just some cheap aerosol) then you won’t have to keep turning down those after work drinks for lack of a fresh shirt.

LYLEandSCOTT DAY 1blog0151.jpg

Emergency cash

Yeah, I’m not sure who Francesca is either but apparently she’s leaving on Friday so just stick some cash in the envelope and write ‘Good Luck’ in the card. Oh, and get ready for an awkward speech and a ‘Colin the Caterpillar’ cake at 4pm.

LYLEandSCOTT DAY 1blog0203.jpg