The working from home wardrobe – summer

Working from home wardrobe - summerIn the winter we home workers pile on the layers for warmth, but what do you wear to keep cool in the summer?

Do you have one or two garments in your working from home wardrobe that you wear all the time, washing and drying them at night so you can put them on again next morning?

I have a number of linen pieces I wear constantly when it’s hot, until they literally wear out, in fact. I can’t bear synthetics when it’s warm.

One of my favourite bloggers, Alison Walsh of That’s Not My Age, writes for women who are no longer mere slips of girls, and don’t want to pretend they are.

Her post How to look chic in the heat recommends light, loose clothing in natural fabrics like cotton, silk and linen, worn with flat leather sandals. So nice to read my personal choices are approved by the former editor of a fashion magazine!

Another of her posts, on over-sized shirts, has reminded me about a much-washed dark blue linen shirt languishing in the wardrobe for many seasons, which I’ve dug out to wear with khaki cropped trousers when it gets a bit cooler.

An excellent purchase earlier in the summer was a vintage style cotton dress patterned with apples by Emily and Fin (see above). I think of it as my Betty Draper dress. I never normally wear browns and oranges, but somehow I felt this worked OK with my silver hair and it’s nice to have a change.

It came from Boho, a fantastic little boutique on Catherine Hill here in Frome, where the owner has an excellent eye for unusual pieces at reasonable prices. There’s also a branch in Broad Street in Bath.

I rarely wear dresses because being short and curvy it’s hard to find something that fits properly. This retro style, from the days before it became a fashion crime to actually have boobs, goes in and out in all the right places. (Maybe I should go more girly, as we are well-endowed for vintage in Frome, having Deadly is the Female just up the same hill, the independent shop that hit the national news earlier this year when Nigella became a customer).

Anyway it’s a revelation to throw on one garment that doesn’t need matching with something else and that lets the air circulate because there’s no tight waistband or top tucked in.

Emma Windsor tweeted yesterday that her working from home wardrobe might be running out of clean clothes, as it’s too hot to iron. I’ve been doing a few pieces every morning, standing by an open window to get the benefit of the breeze. It’s the only time I can bear to put the iron on. I only ever iron outerwear anyway, and I’m a great believer in the smoothing power of body heat!

I must have washed and line-dried every scrap of fabric in the house, scouring the wardrobes, drawers, airing cupboard etc, to take advantage of this quick-drying weather. I think there are just two cushion covers left if I can bear to tackle the feather storm that will blow up as soon as I unzip them.

I’ve also been fighting the battle against moths by sticking woolly jumpers, scarves and gloves out on the line. Moths like to chomp your best fabrics when they’re folded up away in the dark, so getting your wools, silks and cashmeres out into sunlight and air is supposed to discourage the little blighters.

How does the heat change your working from home wardrobe? What are your essential summer pieces? And have you snapped up any sale bargains?

About the Author:

Judy Heminsley is the founder and editor of Work from Home Wisdom. She believes in the benefits of home working for the individual, the family, the community and the planet. Judy set up one of the first Jelly groups in the UK and is the author of Work from Home (How to Books).

6 Comments on "The working from home wardrobe – summer"

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  1. My pet hate is the sight of me in a sleeveless top. This weather it has to be done though. Yes I have been happily wearing one or two dresses this summer. Bright colours look fab but I am personally realising that understated is easier to wear, I love the bright colours but feel less confident about putting them on and regularly have to change out of them if I have made the mistake of choosing them. Yes it has to be flat sandals. My favourites are the Fitflops I bought last year that do not have a toe post but are a bit like gladiator sandals, I love the thick protective sole. In strappy sandals I seem to be constantly stubbing my toes or slipping out sideways. You look tiptop in the frock, and yes you should buy a retro style dress to fit your petite curves. xx <3

    • I agree that putting on the wrong colour or style can make you feel rotten. Good job we work from home so we can change!
      I love my Birkenstocks because they are shaped exactly like my feet (ie flat and wide!) and I can walk miles in them even when it’s hot. I have some strappy sandals with silver baubles – sounds hideous but they are much admired – but they feel flimsy and the straps rub so I only wear them for posh occasions.
      I’m doing sort-of press-ups to keep my arms toned up, it makes a difference so quickly, highly recommended.

  2. Sharon says:

    Can’t beat linen trews :-) I have three pairs in beige, white & black and wear them with loose tunic style tops. I’m not fond of flat shoes but I get some ‘not too high’ elasticated sandals from BHS which are cool and comfy. Luckily my office is shaded so stays fairly cool with the door open.
    Sharon invites you to read Building a ReputationMy Profile

    • I so agree, Sharon. My black linen trousers are almost at the point of no return, I’ve worn them so much. I have to keep checking there’s not a hole in the backside! The only problem with linen is that it gets baggy and loses its shape quickly so you have to keep washing it, and that wears it out too. Also got some linen tops in the sales last year.

  3. Rosie Slosek says:

    Ironing? What is this you speak of?

    I wear lots of naturals – cotton mostly. Linen needs ironing! Vest tops accommodate the boobage and I wear a skirt or loose trousers with flipflops or flats.

    Meeting people is included in my social media sabbatical. I have a face to face meeting/networking sabbatical in August, and rarely will do phone/video calls then either, so clothes are less of an issue. I wear what works for working, even if I need to change to look less of an eccentric if I go outside.

    Try New Look for their linen look summer wear. It’s cotton and if you look after it (fold it nicely, dry flat etc), it doesn’t go so creased you are unable to rock the ‘I’m casually smartish crumpled around the edges as I’m me and have actually been working not spent the day attached to an iron’ look.

    Could someone please make cotton casual dresses that are reasonably priced and work with real bra straps please?
    Rosie Slosek invites you to read What’s your Big Summer Project?My Profile

    • Ha, the reference to boobage made me laugh! I agree it’s odd that everyone knows women have got much larger in all respects, but so few manufacturers seem to allow for that in their designs.
      I’ll be looking into your social media sabbatical idea very soon :-)

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