By Your Biz Squad (Style) Professional: Stephanie Grabow

Outside, it’s hotter than Satan’s house cat. 

And you know that inside your office building you’re going to be assaulted with air conditioning so cold it will give you goosebumps.

So now it’s 6:45 am and you’re standing in your closet wondering how you get dressed for anything when the thing that feels best is… nothing.

And nothing is probably not an option in your company dress code.

I grew up in the Mid-South, just a few miles from the banks of the Mississippi River, and walking outside in July and August could feel like you were moving through liquid Vaseline.

Sticky, heavy, exhausting.

My experience surviving that heat and humidity, combined with the wisdom handed down from generations of stylish Southern ladies has given me the secrets to getting dressed in the heat. You can look pulled together and fresh without freezing your fanny off in your workplace that’s kept at a temperature only a bro could love.

Here are five tips that will be your saving graces:

Choose Natural Fabrics and Lightweight Textures

Linen, cotton, chambray, seersucker, and gauze are all breathable and allow air to circulate around your body, keeping you cool. These fabrics move with you, creating your own private little breezes and allowing sweat to evaporate more quickly. 

And let’s agree to give up the need for perfectly pressed and starched fabrics in summer. If your linen is starched as stiff as a tabletop, it’s not able to move and won’t allow air to circulate. You might as well be wearing your stiff living room curtains for all the good that’s doing you. 

Allow your natural fabrics to show their intrinsic texture and beauty. That movement and bounce provide the lush elegance that makes them such favorites. Release your need for starched perfection and embrace your new chill, relaxed style. 

Keep Your Silhouettes Loose

Save your catsuit for December. 

In the blazing summer sun choose dresses, skirts, and wide-legged bottoms that allow air to move around your body. Loose silhouettes keep you cool and also provide a relaxed and stylish look. Think about flowing sheath dresses, breezy maxi skirts, and even office appropriate shorts. These pieces create an elegant and airy vibe, perfect for battling the summer heat while still looking put-together.

Make Your Thighs Happy

Nothing will ruin your mood and your day (not to mention your focus) more than miserable, chafed, sweaty thighs. (IYKYK)

Find yourself a pair of undershorts specifically designed to be worn under your skirt. Sometimes referred to as slipshorts, girlshorts or anti-chafe shorts, these foundation garments are lightweight, soft, and breathable. Think of them as Spanx without the compression. They’ll keep you comfortable all day. Bonus, they wick sweat away for an extra dose of cool comfort.

Minimize Accessories

When it’s 97 degrees outside, the last thing you want is heavy jewelry sticking to your skin and weighing you down. Choose a few focal pieces like great earrings, a thin necklace, or a statement bag. Avoid chunky bracelets, heavy necklaces, or massive layers of jewelry that can trap heat and feel bulky.

Choose Stylish Layers

Keep a light cardigan or wrap tucked into your bag to throw on when you feel the chill of the air conditioning. 

Materials like linen and gauze won’t add bulk but will provide just enough warmth to insulate you from cold indoor air. That extra layer also adds an element of style to your outfit, finishing it in a way that feels chic and polished.

Protip: Choose your layers with thought and make sure they’re in proportion with your entire look. That old, boxy, white cardigan thrown over your breezy dress will turn your outfit from relaxed to sloppy in a hot second. 

You can navigate the summer heat wave and still look stylish and chic. You’ve got this!

Stephanie Grabow is the Founder and CEO of Stephanie Grabow Style+ and SG Style Collective. She is a style coach for female entrepreneurs and leaders, a speaker and a curator of beautiful things. It is her goal to make nailing your look the easiest 10 minutes of your day. Follow her at

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