World of Cufflinks

Summer office dress: stay cool and stay stylish

Men's FashionKate Merryweather

Summer may be over in a few weeks but the warm weather is (probably) here to stay for many more.

If your office has a relaxed dress code for the warmer months, it can be fraught with danger. This is not a time for scuffed sandals and Bingtang t-shirts.

The summer dress code can pose a bit of a dilemma: how to keep looking sharp while wearing the relaxed dress code?

Office summer dress code style tips.jpg


Here's our top tips for managing the summer dress season with style.

Tip one: short sleeves are okay again

Yes, your dad was right (but don't tell him). What was once the wardrobe staple of the geeks from Revenge of the Nerds is now cool again. So embrace your short sleeve.

As for short sleeves and ties?'s a bit hipster. If you're working for a creative, digital or IT agency, it might be fine. Conservative corporates, not so much. You want to look polished, not like you just finished your shift at McDonald's.

Tip two: beware the sweat patch

Oh dear, the dreaded pit stain.  Our hot summers make them so bloody likely. Arm yourself with industrial strength deodorant, naturally. Keep a spare shirt at work in case of emergencies.

And for God's sake, don't push the shirt size limit.

There's always one guy, squeezing into the too-small shirt, making his buttons work harder than hell to stay together. Don't be that guy.

You want a slim fit shirt that gives you a little room to breathe. Especially in the 35+ degree temperatures. But also, going too loose isn't great either. Then, you'll look like the work experience kid who borrowed his uncle's shirt. Great fit is everything.

Tip three: smart accessories

Think designer shades, a quality watch, leather shoes. Your accessories can give you the polish that your summer wardrobe lacks. Even if you're wearing shorts, collared t-shirt and casual blazer, the bling of shades or a quality watch can make a difference. So, pay attention to them.

Tip four: denim - yes. Rips - no.

Denim is fine for relaxed summer dress days. But steer clear of taking it too far with ripped or distressed jeans or shorts. Leave that for the weekend and stick to smarter dressier denim for the office.  Oh, and this probably doesn't need saying: but no super-skinny fit denim either.

Tip five: sockless?

Well, the VRC relaxed its sock wearing policy at the Spring Racing Carnival last year, so anything goes! It can be tempting to give socks a miss in the summer months. But without them, your feet will probably be sweatier than ever. Our verdict: get the lay of the land in the office. Check out what your colleagues are wearing and let their sartorial sock choices be your guide.

Happy dressing this summer.