With temperatures having entered triple digits in most parts of our country, it’s a hard to look at your closet filled with sport coats and long sleeve dress shirts. We’ve all had a day where you get dressed in your shirt and suit, then step outside only to feel the humidity grabbing your body so tight it’s like you’re wearing a wool sweater in the desert. It’s enough to drive you mad, and that frustration causes you to slowly ruin your style throughout the day. First you take off the sport coat, then as the sweat on your brow reaches farther and farther down your face and neck, you start to unbutton your shirt more and more. And once you finally arrive to the office, you feel and look like you just got done running a marathon!
However, you can win the battle of high fashion and summer temperatures, by properly preparing for the weather ahead of time. Everyone should have a go-to emergency fashion kit for all weather – especially for the summer heat (and don’t worry, I’ll have a winter weather emergency kit blog entry in a few months). For starters, try keeping an extra dress shirt and sport coat at the office or in your car. If you’re in and out of meetings on the road, being able to simply pop on a fresh shirt and sport coat is an easy way to keep – and look – fresh for the next meeting. If you are a commuter, keep the same thing at your office for when you arrive. In the same vein, just wear a casual polo shirt for the train ride to work, packing your shirt and jacket with you, to get dressed at the office when you arrive.
Secondly, when the temperatures are so intense this time of year, it’s completely proper to alter the standard “business” look for a more dressed down, yet professional look. Try going with a light sport coat, no tie, and casual – but well pressed –pants. Although you are not wearing that three-piece you’re used to, or the tightly knotted tie, this does not mean you are not still looking professional. In fact, altering your style properly, is a great way to show your confidence in your ability to go with the flow of the seasons and still look sharp.
Finally fight the incredibly tacky fly away collar. It doesn’t matter if you are wearing a $500 custom dress shirt or an off the sale rack $10 shirt, if you have a fly away collar, people will notice right away, ruining all the hard work getting ready. The fly away collar that can tuck under your sport coat, or looks like a pancake on your shoulders – either way, people notice when your shirt collar looks terrible. However, the easiest and fastest way to make sure your style is complete, is with a pair of the revolutionary fashion accessory, Collar Keeps. Collar Keeps are a 1 inch adhesive metal tabs that fit on the underside of each one of your collars, at the crease, then when folded down, make your collar look like it was just freshly creased from the cleaners. Being thinner than business cards, a pair of Collar Keeps fit easily in your wallet and/or pocket. So pop a pair of Collar Keeps into any dress shirt, even ones without collar stays, and walk into that meeting looking sharp, regardless of the heat waves.
Vinnie Rua- Founder, Christopher’s Custom and President, Suits For The Cause, Inc.