Q. So, it's like 100 degrees here in NY this week! It's brutally hot during my commute to work and then frigid in the office. I have no idea what to wear - help!
A. I hear ya, this weather is putting a cramp on my style too. But when it's this hot out, sometimes comfort wins out over fashion, or better yet, they meet somewhere in the middle. Just be happy you're a girl and don't have to wear a suit or tie to work!
Choose the right fabric
The best way to dress for this brutal heat is to choose loose-fitting clothing in fabrics that breathe. That means you officially get a respite from structured, fussy looks. The best fabrics for summer are cotton, cotton sateen and cotton/rayon or cotton jersey blends; unlike linen, which also breathes, these won't look like a wrinkled mess by the end of the day. Silk is also a popular summer fabric because it's lightweight, but be careful, it doesn't breathe and quickly shows wet stains if you're sweating.
Top choice: a dress
It's no secret that I love a good dress, and can't think of a better clothing option to wear during the oppressive heat. Look for easy styles that don't have a fitted waist band or require a belt, like a shift dress or easy A-line. The less you have touching your skin, the better. For work, I'd skip anything strapless or spaghetti strapped unless you plan to wear a cardigan or jacket over it once you hit the office air conditioning.
Summer heat to office air conditioning strategy
For your commute, dress as comfortably as possible. Wear the bare minimum, a nice pair of flip flops, and pull your hair off your face (loosely if you plan to take it down later). Leave a few minutes early so you're not rushing (and sweating). Put your work shoes and a summer jacket or cardigan in a lightweight tote to easily slip on when you get to the office.
Here are a few subway-to-office looks for inspiration. Stay cool!