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Fashion expert shares tips on keeping cool at work, as UK prepares for heatwave


Birmingham City University fashion lecturer Sophie Johnson shares advice on keeping cool in the workplace, with UK temperatures set to top 30C in the coming days.

With very warm weather on the way to the UK, remaining cool and comfortable yet still looking the part at work is likely to prove a struggle for many.

The key to a smart summer wardrobe is balance. Too hot for a blazer? Try a lightweight smart shirt. Legs out? Then keep arms covered.

School of Fashion and Textiles

Birmingham City University

1. Culottes are a must -  in every colour, print and style

Culottes are a great fashion piece that can be great for your workplace uniform. Stylish and smart, opt for a lightweight or polyester pair in the summer. This way you can still get your legs out and some nice work sandals, but perhaps wear smarter on top. Culottes can look really smart with some heeled sandals, a t-shirt and lightweight blazer.

2. Avoid grey

Although a great alternative to black, grey can be a nightmare when it comes to revealing unwanted sweat patches.

3. T-shirt and blazer combinations

In some workplaces blazers are a necessity. Some retailers do some fabulous lightweight blazers or even duster-style jackets. If you find you need to wear one in the office, look at what you’re layering underneath. Can you swap a shirt for a cami or t-shirt?

4. Shirt dresses and jumpsuits are summer must-haves

Not only are jumpsuits super comfortable, but they can be a great smart addition to your wardrobe. Long leg or culotte-style, jumpsuits can look really smart but keep you cool if you choose a lightweight fabric. Shirt dresses, if an appropriate length, are also great for keeping cool and comfortable.

5. Summer sandals

Find you need to wear heels in the workplace? Strappy, but sensible, sandals are a great way to let your feet free. Low and sensible heels, with supportive straps for practicality, mean your feet can breathe all day. Just make sure you paint your toes!

Sophie Johnson is a lecturer in Fashion Business and Promotion at Birmingham City University’s School of Fashion and Textiles. Find out more about fashion courses at Birmingham City University’s Open Day on Saturday 29 June.

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