Professional dress is something most of us have donned at least once in our college career, and I can only imagine how mutinous you must feel at the prospect.
To make matters worse, professional dress is horrible for summer weather. A full suit gets hot very fast and some minor businesses do not have air conditioning, not to mention Michigan, as many of us have experienced, can get very hot in the summer.
Professional dress is not so bad for me; I can don a skirt and a light blouse and stay cooler than many of my male colleagues. But even with an air-conditioned building, going from a cool/cold to a hot environment can have ill effects on your body.
In the summer of 2011, I worked in the Timme Center on campus which has very cool air conditioning. It was extremely hot that summer and I lived in Travis Hall with no air conditioning. Let’s face it, fans can only do so much.
I was sick off and on all summer because of the heat. Going back and forth from a cool/cold to hot environment did not help. I was wearing a t-shirt and slacks during working hours; it was not like I was wearing a full suit with long sleeves.
Why do we insist that people wear clothing that is inappropriate for the climate we live in? I am all for looking and dressing professionally, but not at the expense of our health. But until the day comes when our culture regains our sanity, we should all take care to stay cool in the summer months.
Wear lighter clothing, light colors, skirts and put your hair up, but most importantly read up on the symptoms of heat stroke.
Remember, the heat does not give you an automatic excuse to wear shorts and sandals to the office, but you can wear appropriate clothing that weathers the heat well.