Working in downtown Seattle is a dream. I can take a bus to work (Hello, sweet sweet expressway), run errands during my lunch break, and soak up all that the city has to offer- it honestly does not get any better.

Unfortunately for me, Seattle has also had unseasonably warm weather, it isn’t even technically summer yet and we’re watching temperatures skyrocket (mid 70s? I’m melting). I also work in a wonderfully air conditioned building and have never seen anyone on these 44 floors break a sweat in their business suits.

seattle temperature


This brings up an existential dilemma. What am I supposed to wear that can be work appropriate and seasonally appropriate (indoors and out)? I’ve got jackets and I’ve got enough rain gear to keep me dry October- May (like the weather that I have counted on for the last two decades). Vogue tells me to wear shorts, but I’m pretty sure this isn’t a functional option. I can’t playfully sit on a stool all day to make sure that my shorts don’t ride up- and as much as I would like to, it doesn’t make sense for me (and most Seattleites) to invest in high-end summer apparel.

In the interest in making the most out of your workplace wardrobe, the best solution is to repurpose as much as possible and to layer in ways that make sense.

Think about fabrics. Light fabrics in professional cuts will be your best friend in these coming months. Natural fibers like light cottons, linens, and silks will allow you to breathe. You’ll also be able to repurpose most of these pieces in colder months, so it makes sense to spend a little more on these items.

Accessorize in smart ways. Keep a light blazer, wrap, or sweater on hand. That will help you transition from the outdoors to your colder office. This way you can disguise your summer cuts (tank tops and dresses are my favorite options) in work-appropriate ways.

work outfit, interview outfit, Seattle recruiter


Dress and blazer can both be found online.

When dressing for the heat, remember to balance proportions. It is summer, there’s a likely chance that you won’t be wearing a full suit every day this July. When you are showing more skin in the office consider smart ways to counteract this. If you’re going sleeveless, keep a modest dress length. Alternatively, if you have a lower neckline make sure that your legs are covered.

While I complain about these harrowing temperatures, soon enough it will be dark and dreary again- so have fun with prints and colors this season.