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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!

Q. This summer I have purchased a couple of bold print dresses, one by Velvet and one by ERGE. They both have deep V necks, and are more casual than dressy (both a lightweight jersey knit). I really don’t know what kind of a necklace (or other jewelry) I should were with these. A bold necklace seems to compete with the print and just looks like too much, and a delicate necklace looks out of place. Any ideas?

A. As the owner of several printed v-neck day dresses, I have a lot of experience accessorizing them. This summer, my jewelry of choice is a long pendant necklace or long chain necklace and a gold bangle. Here are some jewelry options to pair with your summer dresses:


Q. I’m going to a 40th birthday party at night (6:00-10:00). The invitation says ‘black tie, flip flop’ affair — at a house in Florida on the bayou. What to wear?

A. This party dress code is a new one for me, but such a fun one to tackle! Black tie and flip flops sounds like the summer answer to “creative black tie” or “denim and diamonds”. My suggestion? Throw on a pretty, summery cocktail dress with, yes, flip flops! Don’t be afraid to go for the glitz with sequins. Guys can have a lot of fun with this dress code too: a tuxedo jacket, t-shirt, and bow tie with jeans and flip flops.

Here are a few dress/flip flop combinations for you:


Q. My husband and I are hosting a beach party for his work district at our home. Could you give me some ideas on outfits that would be appropriate and stylish for this event? I want to look pulled together, but casual, and comfortable. Maybe a casual dress and lower wedges?

A. You are most definitely on the right track! I would suggest a printed tunic, caftan or maxi dress and espadrilles or flat sandals. To me, a fun, tropical print conveys a festive, beachy theme, ideal for the host to wear. Some fun, summery jewelry and a pretty hat will complete the look. Here are some ideas for inspiration:


Q. I’m a recent grad, about to start a job at a company with an “office casual” dress code. I have spent the past two years interning at companies with a strict business attire dress policy, so I am having trouble figuring out what to wear on my first day. I know that the office I’ll be working at is casual enough for jeans, but I’d love to look as professional as possible without going overboard. Any tips for a first-day outfit? I’d love your help!

A.Congratulations on your new job! And lucky you for landing one with an office casual dress code. The important thing to note when dressing casually at the office is that you still want to look neat and professional. If jeans are allowed, don’t wear them with a t-shirt and flip flops! Instead, opt for “nice” jeans with a ballet flat or chic shoe and a feminine top or even a little jacket or cardigan. Even if some of your colleagues are dressed a little sloppy, you will be taken more seriously if you project a neat, stylish, professional appearance.

For the first day, it is best to dress a little nicer, perhaps a shirtdress or wrap dress and heels. Then, you’ll have the opportunity to see how the rest of the office dresses and you can adjust your look from there. Here are two looks for inspiration to wear on your first day. Good luck!


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