Ask Houston Experts: Dressing For Work During The Summer Heat

May 27, 2014 7:00 AM

Photo Credit: Thinkstock

Houston is known for its summer heat and humidity, and from May through September, dressing for the office while keeping your cool can seem like a daunting task. A trio of fashion experts offer advice on how to beat the summer heat while maintaining your workplace’s dress code.
Teresa O’Connor
1025 Studewood St.
Houston, TX 77008
(713) 864-3556

Alan Javillonar
The Class Room
2534 Amherst St.
Houston, TX 77005
(713) 874-0004

Trang Nguyen
Myth & Symbol
2537 Times Blvd.
Houston, TX 77005
(832) 422-6984

Teresa O’Connor owns the eclectic Heights boutique Hello-Lucky and is a designer as well. Alan Javillonar is the co-owner and head buyer for the men’s store The Class Room in Rice Village, and Trang Nguyen is the force behind Rice Village’s women’s clothing and accessory store known as Myth & Symbol. Below are just a few of the tips these fashion professionals offer to help you keep cool when the temperatures climb into the 90s and higher.

Layer Your Clothes

All of the fashion experts approve of wearing layers during the Houston summer. For women, this is important because it can become chilly when going from 100-degree temperatures outside to 70-degree temperatures inside an office while wearing short or sleeveless dresses or tops. For men, Alan Javillonar suggests an undershirt, which protects the top layer from becoming ruined from sweat. Teresa O’Connor adds that women should wear a camisole under a suit or long-sleeve shirt to allow them to remove the top layers to cool off on the drive home or for going out after work.

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Wear Cotton and Other Natural Fabrics

Trang Nguyen of Myth & Symbol and Alan Javillonar of The Class Room agree that cotton and other natural fabrics are the best option for the summer heat. These materials naturally draw moisture away from your body, keeping you cooler. They have a looser weave compared to synthetic fabrics. Incorporate this into your wardrobe with cotton, linen, silk, modal or hemp shirts, pants and suits. Alan Javillonar adds that light colors feel cooler to wear than darks. So trade in your black polyester tee shirts for white cotton tops or linen bottoms.

Think Loose

While form-fitting clothes flatter, they do not help to keep you cool during the summer, but you don’t have to sacrifice your favorite look just to keep from overheating. Teresa O’Connor suggests pairing loose-fit tops with fitted skirts or slacks. Trang Nguyen recommends A-line cuts, pleats and boxy fits to create a flowing silhouette, which will also help to keep you cool in the heat.

Make Casual Fridays Work for You

Some offices in Houston lighten their dress codes during the summer. Whether you work at one of these businesses or only have casual Fridays to look forward to, make the most of your business casual clothing. Keep your clothing options classy. Alan Javillonar suggests wearing lightweight denim for offices that allow dressy jeans. Trang Nguyen suggests dressing up your typical casual clothes by opting for heeled sandals and sleeveless shirts with decorative collars that are better suited for the office.

Carry a Spare

If you tire of wearing the same thing every day to work or frequently go straight from work to go out with friends, Teresa O’Connor says to bring a spare set of accessories with you in your car such as a spare camisole, lightweight scarf or an extra pair of shoes. Spare scarves and wraps can quickly change the look you have from business to fun in minutes. Not only will you be able to revive your look, but you can also feel cooler when you change into a new top and shoes for your after-work fun.

Related: Ask a Stylist: Tips For Finding The Perfect Suit

Crystal Hessong ia a freelance writer and a lifelong, fourth generation Houstonian. Her work can be found at

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