iStyle: Keep cool as the mercury rises

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It’s finally getting hot in here: but that doesn’t mean you have to lose your head. Lee Holmes explains what to wear to the office this summer

In the dog days of July when the temperature is on the up, wearing a suit for work can be a bone of contention for a not insignificant part of the male population; sometimes looking smart and staying cool do not happy bed fellows make.

The solution to this seasonal conundrum is, though, pretty simple. First off, instead of doggedly continuing to wear your woollen winter suit, splash out on a lightweight linen version. This year the cut, and therefore silhouette, is leaner, which should assuage any fears you have of being mistaken for George Emerson from A Room With A View. Colour wise, hues of khaki and charcoal replace the bland shades of biscuit to beige. 

You should also never assume that every work day will call for such suitable attire; separates such as blazers and trousers can work equally well. Opt for an unstructured double breasted blazer that sits on the hips and, for extra sartorial brownie points, make sure it’s unlined. Remember, its what’s missing from the inside of the jacket that counts, so anything unlined will help your body breath. If the blazer happens to be  linen then this is a good opportunity to experiment with subtle print or pattern, as this will go some way to hiding the inevitable wrinkling.

What you wear under your suit or blazer is up for discussion. Yes, you can stick to traditional shirts and ties but a fine knit polo shirt or cotton T-shirt are suitable warm weather staples too. When tucked in, and finished off with a narrow leather belt, these casual tops can look both polished and professional.

Capped sleeves and vests tops on the other hand are forbidden, unless you misguidedly think you’re on tour with an ageing boy band.

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