Professional Interview Dress To Beat The Summer Heat

Bravo to the job seekers able to combat laziness and summer’s alluring sunshine to focus on their work search. Your dedication to locating job opportunities has most likely led to an interview or two, which means it’s time to tackle your next challenge: what to wear during the last of your summer interviews.

From coast to coast, we’ve experienced an astonishing 4,313 record high temperatures in July, including in big-time job seeker cities like New York City, Chicago, Washington D.C., St. Louis, and Dallas. Extreme heat may have you second-guessing your lucky go-to black three-piece interview suit, but you know donning your favorite summer flip flops to an interview is the exact opposite of putting your best foot forward.

So how do you dress professionally for summer interviews without passing out in the parking lot from heat exhaustion? Check out the acceptable professional dress tips to beat the summer heat below!

Wear Light Colors
Job seekers tend to select dark colors for interviews no matter the season for a few reasons. For one, job seekers believe black, dark grey, and dark blue just appear more professional and serious. And two, dark colors camouflage sweat often produced from interview jitters. But dark colors worn during a summer interview can have you sweating much more than usual, which may be more noticeable to potential employers. For summer interviews, don’t be afraid to nix the dark colors and experiment with lighter colors in your job interview, but be wary of white. It may not be Labor Day just yet, but white is still undesirable in a summer job interview.

Lose The Suit Jacket
Nothing says “professional” in a job interview quite like a suit jacket, but high quality suit jackets, especially wool blend suit jackets, aren’t meant for the high temperatures we’ve experienced this summer. Most potential employers will understand your need to wear fewer layers. If you don’t feel comfortable entering a summer interview without your suit jacket, why not opt for a light blazer instead? Or keep the suit jacket off until you reach the potential employer’s parking lot. (In fact, you should always do this because it helps prevents wrinkles!)

Try Khaki Pants
Khaki pants are becoming more and more common in workplaces, especially in the summer and on casual Fridays. Much like light button-up shirts or blouses on top, khaki pants absorb less sunlight, keeping you cool and confident. Do some research into the company you’re interviewing on if they are acceptable. This might mean scanning Facebook or contacting a connection you have within the company. Although make note that, while khaki pants are acceptable, cargo pants, which tend to be khaki colored, are not. Cargo pants are baggy, sloppy, and have way too many pockets. You don’t want potential employers thinking you’re prepared to stuff those bulging pockets with office supplies!

Integrate Summer Accessories
So you can’t wear flip flops, open-toed sandals, sunglasses, or beach fedoras to a summer interview; that doesn’t mean you can’t integrate a little bit of summer into your interview accessories! For women job seekers, why not try carrying a brightly colored professional handbag or wearing simple nautical-inspired pieces of jewelry? And for men, watches with simple weekender bands are fun, laid-back accessories.

Dresses Are Acceptable
For women, wearing dresses or skirts to an interview is risky business, especially in the summer when hemlines inch upward. Women job seekers may think wearing a skirt or dress to keep cool in an interview is a great option, but sweaty legs that stick to leather office chairs are off-putting to say the least. The good news is that dresses and skirts are acceptable for summer interviews, but they should always be at least to the knee and accompanied by tights or stockings.

While there are certain professional and offices where a some of these suggestions might not be ideal, don’t be afraid to be yourself and incorporate some summer trends into your professional wardrobe. No matter what, when following these summer interview dress tips be one cool, calm, and collected job seeker.

How do you dress for summer interviews? Share your summer interview dress tips in the comment section!

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