Cool and Collected

Dressing for work during the summer months can be a bit of a chore. In the Tri-State area, it’s hot as blazes and muggy to boot for the majority of the summer. Which, of course, means that most offices, shops, restaurants and other places of work crank the air conditioning up so high there’s a 20-degree change in temperature every time you walk in or out of a building. So, how to stay comfortable – and cute and polished-looking – while dealing with such drastic environmental conditions on a daily basis?

It’s not easy, but it is doable, with a few crucial wardrobe pieces that can serve many purposes. It’s simple enough to swap a blouse or a tank here and there, but it’s essential to have a few fabulous accessories like this week’s find – a pair of fantastic black pumps – that can be worn constantly and beautifully season after season. The loafer-like style has been huge in recent seasons, and the slightly androgynous look really comes off as effortlessly cool. Plus, with a solid (but not too skinny) heel underneath, these shoes are sort of reminiscent of a much older, almost Revolution-era style – and who doesn’t want to channel such an iconic fashionista as Marie Antoinette every once in awhile? These soft black shoes might be a bit tamer than the last Queen of France’s footwear, but that doesn’t mean they won’t still add a bit of whimsy and charm to your everyday work wear.

black suede pumpsClassic and cool, these solid (and sexy!) black pumps borrow just enough from the boys to look utterly relaxed and unruffled with any outfit.

Opposites sometimes make perfect pairs. Just as with people (or so I’m told, anyway), opposites sometimes end up balancing each other in just the right ways, and that holds true for fashion, too. And in the midst of the sultry summer heat, it’s especially important to make sure at least one of your pieces feels light, bright and airy, even if you’re anchoring the whole ensemble with something a little more serious – which is a basic requirement for many of us in the workplace, at least. Here, I’ve paired a pair of stretchy, form-fitting black trousers – an always-acceptable choice, no matter your destination – with a flowy silk blouse in a bright blue-and-white print. The top just screams summer, but the pants – and my brand new black pumps – help bring this airy ensemble back down to earth.

brilliant pattern print top with dark bottomOne brilliantly colored top in a vibrant print doesn’t need any competition from the other pieces you pair it with. Choose simple, classic bottoms and a pair of pretty, wear-with-everything heels, like these sweet black pumps, to make the whole look feel completely polished and professional, even on summer’s hottest days (and your office’s most frigid).

Lauren Haslett writes “Goodwill Gems,” our weekly column about everything accessories here in A Good Look. She is a lover of fabulous fashion, a trained chef and a writer.  Follow her on twitter.

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