How to keep your cool while dressing for a summer interview

Q. I have a job interview coming up at the end of May. Due to the nature of the job, it’s important that I look very professional, but at that time of year it is already going to be very hot and humid. What’s my best option to look professional but keep comfortable in the weather? I’m terrified of showing up sloppy and with pit stains!

A. We women are lucky when it comes to dressing for work in the summer – we can get away with showing a bit more skin than our suit-and-tie wearing male counterparts. Depending on the field you are interviewing for you have several options:

  • First and foremost, choose lightweight fabrics that breathe like silk, cotton and cotton blends. You may want to avoid linen since it tends to wrinkle fairly easily and you don’t want to arrive looking sloppy.

  • Personally, I hate wearing hosiery in the warmer months and avoid it at all costs. For all but the most buttoned-up corporate positions, you can go bare legged to an interview as long as the rest of your look is professional. A knee length dress or skirt worn with pumps ensures that just the lower part of your legs are shown and keeps you from looking too risque. Of course, your legs should be smooth and unbruised or unblemished, and a touch of self tanner wouldn’t hurt.

  • If you aren’t comfortable going bare legged, wear lightweight trousers with pumps and no socks. The sliver of ankle shown will not be an issue and you’ll feel more comfortable than if you were wearing socks or hosiery.

  • Go sleeveless – not to the interview, but on your way to the interview. Carry your blazer or cardigan with you to slip on once you’re safely in the air conditioned office.

  • If your hair style allows, pin it up into a loose bun during your commute and then take your hair down after you arrive. Wearing your hair up will help keep you cool and will also keep your strands from getting greasy or wet should you perspire.

  • Arrive early. This may be the smartest thing you can do to ensure that you’re calm, cool and collected before the interview. It will give you time to relax, cool down before the interview and freshen up in the ladies room if you must. Carry some blotting papers or a little translucent powder with you to erase any shine that may have accumulated.

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