What to wear to work in bonkers summer weather

Photo: Getty 

Whether you’re going from a heatwave to an overly air-conditioned office or find yourself caught in an unexpected downpour, Stacey Duguid has the solutions to see you through 

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By Stacey Duguid on

Hot, cold, hot, cold, hot, cold. Nope, I’m not trying to guess whether we’re leaving the single market, or some other changeable-on-a-daily-basis Brexit negotiation; I’m talking about my life – and possibly yours. Boiling hot on the bus, sweltering on the train, hot as hell running to a meeting, then as freezing as a fecking fridge, thanks to air-con when you get there. Yep, get ready – for I am about to have a right old moan about the weather, or, rather, what to wear when the weather’s as unpredictable as, well, politics.

Already too warm by 9am, last Thursday I headed to an office I’d never been to before. Turns out I should have packed a cardigan or a blazer, given it was -5 degrees inside. I don’t recommend giving a presentation in a freezing cold office, then walking outside into the boiling Soho heat. On my way home, denim skirt clinging to my arse and the collars of my shirt turning upwards, I braved the Tube. More heat, blasts of it this time. Light-headed, I felt like puking by the time I got home. So I lay on the kitchen floor – naked. Oy vey.

There’s cooler weather and rain on the horizon for some of us this week. Not to mention a few hot sunny spells and the odd heatwave thrown in just for “fun”. Let’s not forget the thunderstorms, eh? Bloody hell, we’ve got at least six more weeks of this! Holy schmoly, what to do? Well, for starters, in the next heatwave I’m going to wear this T-shirt dress I found in & Other Stories (£59). It’s totally fine as it is for a smart meeting, but you could belt it. I like how dead simple it is, meaning it can be jazzed it up with sandals, slides or some other diary-appropriate shoes (plus earrings).  





The age old adage “It never rain but it pours” might be appropriate for some of us this week, especially if you live in the north west of England. (Sorry.) Something we all should know by the time we’re 12, suede shoes are a no-go zone in rain, as I discovered when I exited Piccadilly Circus Tube, having not checked the weather report, only to discover monsoon-style rain had replaced bright sunshine within the space of a 20-minute Tube journey. Cut to me running to the Gap opposite the station to buy a pair of waterproof shoes (that’ll be a pair of pink faux-leather skates), which looked bloody horrible with my outfit. (Understatement – I was wearing an orange silk dress.) Of course it happened on our once-a-quarter date night. Of course it did.

At the time, I wished I’d been smart and thought ahead. I would’ve packed a waterproof trench… had I checked the weather forecast.



On the subject of peeing cats and dogs, may I suggest the natty little work combo below? Cropped trousers = no soggy trouser hems. Throw on a jacket in the morning; fling it on the back of a chair as the day warms up.





There are, of course, days when it is essential to look quite smart for work (even when our pants are damp and there are 500 beads of sweat lining our upper lip). Glistening like we’ve snogged a pot of Vaseline, we have no choice – we cannot lie naked on the kitchen floor; we have to go to work. I’d wear this outfit to a meeting (note the cardi for cold offices):




I know this sounds wasteful, but you can’t go wrong with a smart summer trench, especially when the weather turns. I suggest this knowing you’ll be able wear a trench like this one from Zara (£69.99) well into autumn.


As for the perfect 100 per cent waterproof coat, I found it. Good for summer downpours, I wear mine all winter long, too, layered up with jumpers.


Check the weather, be prepared for anything and don’t be shocked if you have to walk home in a monsoon? Not confusing at all, yeah? So that’s our summer workwear sorted, yeah? Erm, maybe. *Ducks lightning bolt, orders fishing waders*


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Photo: Getty 
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