How to dress professionally in NYC when it’s hot

In a major city like New York, it’s important to be at the top of your style game. This is one of the biggest reasons to hire a personal stylist in NYC. A professional knows how to set the right tone for your location. Plus, they can pick those essential pieces you need for every season.

Recently, I went to our NYC location to work with a client in person and had to look put together. The catch? The weather was over 90 degrees.

How did I look professional and stylish in the heat?

I’ve developed three simple outfit formulas to fool-proof your wardrobe even on the balmiest NYC day. Keep scrolling for my go-to looks and why they work.

1. Silk Blouse and Linen Pants

Cassandra Sethi dressed in a white silk blouse and linen pants for the NYC summer

In this first outfit, I opted for a silk blouse and wide-leg linen pants in core colors. Core colors are a necessity for building any summer capsule wardrobe. Why? Because they mix and match with ease while reading as professional.

Both pieces have a slightly looser fit. The blouse is airy with an open neckline and the trouser is a wide-leg crop.

This is one way to keep cool since the fabric won’t cling to your skin as much. Just be sure to tuck in that shirt to avoid looking sloppy.

Another reason why this outfit works so well for an NYC summer comes down to the fabrics. Natural fibers like silk, linen, and cotton are incredibly breathable.

Stay away from synthetics like polyester which will leave you sweating in no time.

2. Essential Muscle Tank, Pleated Pants, and Slip-On Sneakers

One of the most common things I hear from my clients is that they want to simplify their wardrobe. They have too much stuff and not enough outfits that they’re actually excited to wear.

My recommendation to combat this? Invest in staples you can wear all year long.

Check out the muscle tank from Easy Standard. Again, I’ve gone for a core color for easy pairing. Plus, in this basic style, I can dress it up and down or layer it.

Partnering the tank with the beige pleated pants creates a light color scheme perfect for summer.

Finally, we wrap up this look with another closet must-have: fun yet chic sneakers. These are the perfect business casual shoes for summer because of how comfortable and versatile they are. Especially for a walking-heavy city like NYC.

3. Short-Sleeve Polo and Essential Trousers

Cassandra Sethi wearing Short-Sleeve Polo and Essential Trousers for the hot NYC summer

Another way to dress for NYC in the summer is to lean into office wear classics with an updated twist.

In this third outfit, I’ve partnered a short sleeve polo with a pair of go-to navy trousers from Officine Générale. On paper, this may sound plain, right? But let’s look at the details.

The polo I’ve gone for has a subtle, ribbed texture. This gives the piece more of a lightweight sweater vibe rather than the traditional polo knit. We’ve elevated the polo from preppy basic to cool.

Next, the trousers are in a waist-defining high-rise with a loose fit throughout the leg. This gives the look a more contemporary, unisex fit that still feels professional.

It’s a simple outfit, but it does the trick thanks to proper fit and styling.

Want help putting together your professional NYC summer wardrobe? Apply for our women’s or men’s online styling services to upgrade your closet for every season.

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Cassandra Sethi is a NYC Personal Stylist and Image Consultant. After working over 15 years in the Fashion Industry, most recently as a Senior Buyer for Equinox, she created her business, Next Level Wardrobe – a luxury personal shopping service for successful professionals.

Next Level Wardrobe has been featured in Wall Street Journal, Today and CNN. See here.


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