by Matt Alderton | June 27, 2017
The weather's hot outside. If you don't dress professionally, however, your career could grow cold, according to Lily Martis, an associate web editor at Monster.

"Summer outfits for the office can be tricky to put together," Martis says. "As the temperature rises, you might be sorely tempted to ditch the collared shirts and loafers for T-shirts and flip-flops. But experts say that no matter how hot it gets, summer is not the time to take a vacation on professionalism."

To strike the right balance between "comfortable" and "professional," fashion experts say you should follow a few simple rules.

First of all, stick to pants. "For men, your clothing options for your bottom half are generally limited to pants," Martis says. "If you want to step it up from regular chinos … you should buy cotton or linen pants made to measure. For women, the options extend beyond pants. The experts also like capris, culottes, and jumpsuits (but no rompers)."

And on top? "Sleeveless tops and dresses are stylish and practical options for women in the summer -- just be sure to stay away from anything off-the-shoulder, one-sleeved, or with spaghetti straps or a halter top," Martis continues. "For men … the amount of arm you show depends on your job. In a creative field, T-shirts and polos are acceptable (no tank tops), but in finance and more conservative fields, long-sleeved button-downs and suits are the norm. To keep from sweating through your suit … [choose] cotton or linen, as they are more breathable and lightweight fabrics."

Finally: Skip the sandals. "Flip-flopping around the office is generally frowned upon," Martis concludes. "For ladies, the experts agreed that sandals with an ankle strap or backing are OK, but anything that goes between your toes is a strict no -- regardless of how much money you spent on them. As for men … stay away from any type of shoe that shows your feet. Instead, men can put their best foot forward in a loafer … suede loafers are perfect for the summertime, both at work and off-duty."

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