Ask the Bean: Shortening the Shirtsleeves

April 19, 2008 • Magazine

Ask the Bean:  Shortening the Shirtsleeves

Ask the Bean:  Shortening the Shirtsleeves

Sun, 2008-04-20 09:00

Working the Suit into the Summer Season

Dear Bean:

Spring and summer have always been big issues for me with work. I primarily wear suits, and the jackets make me feel so warm that I end up perspiring fifteen minutes into a presentation. It’s so humiliating! Is there another outfit option for me that is just as professional as a suit, but won’t make me feel like I’m having a constant hot flash?


Dear Overheated:

There is nothing worse than walking out the door feeling put together and ready to WOW the breakfast meeting, and then showing up in desperate need of blotting paper. Summer is a wonderful season, but it can have some negative side-effects during the 9-5 outfit scenario.

However, if you peruse the magazine ads, you will notice many slacks that would look lovely with a tailored single-button blazer, are now being paired with a streamlined suit vest. This is your ideal opportunity to take advantage of the current trend, and work with a little more air flow.

The vest for women has been associated with the terms “preppy” and “sweater” for years. Yet it has been a suit staple for men for just as long. It’s exciting to now see that fashion gender gap narrowing in. The vest also provides the ideal layering piece for the current ‘tween season. You can pair not only the blouse with the vest, but also the dress, t-shirt, or even the turtleneck.

Vests can also provide that ideal bridge from meeting to martini. My favorite is the Aminaka Wilmont cape jacket; with the long lean lines and scarf-like attachment, it can accentuate the black dress with the professional vest and masculine tie to demand respect from the Board. Then it can be twisted around the neck for a shawl-like effect to highlight the strut during happy hour.

The vest can also at times expand our options for the work-week attire. That simple dress that might not have passed dress code, can now be taken into the office with ease with the simple addition of a vest like the one shown by McQ.

Now not only do you not have to worry about being trapped in a mundane work uniform, but you have options available to you to prevent picking a suit that will either make you perspire, or make you feel down-right balmy. So leave the deodorant at home, and stress over your PowerPoint, not your wardrobe.

1. Chloe Armured Sleeveless Blazer
2. Proenza Schouler Linen Twill Waistcoat
3. Aminaka Wilmont Cotton Cape Jacket
4. McQ Ottoman Tailored Waistcoat
5. Marc by Marc Jacobs Shantung Vest Top
6. L.A.M.B. Tailored Vest

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Replies will be posted monthly in Retail Therapy.

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