Singaporean humidity versus office air con does not a happy employee make. In fact, we were so over going from the stifling street heat to the arctic air con that pervades every mall, MRT station and office block, that we went on a quest to discover how to stay cool when it gets hot, and turn up the heat when things get a little chilly.
Image: Showbit, Korean model Irene Kim
Forget those granny cardigans and teenage hoodies of your go-to cover up past (no matter how chic the granny trend has gotten). There are some fresher, more practical and equally stylish means of defrosting. Here are 5 ways to combat the (ironic) big freeze in our perpetual summer climate:
1. THE CLASSIC PASHMINA
Madeleine Thompson cashmere wrap $748.20 from Net-A-Porter
A good quality pashmina is an excellent investment. Perfect for draping and throwing on over outfits in all manner of ways, this trusty item also doubles up as a blanket when travelling and helps me sleep on freezing planes. I never travel without one; soft cashmere blends are definitely preferable to static-inducing standard-issue flight blankets. Bare legs in the office? Throw this over your lap to warm up.
2. THE BOYFRIEND SHIRT
Iris & Ink cotton-poplin shirt $142 from The Outnet
Perhaps this is an unconventional suggestion compared to a more cosy item, but I love wearing an unbuttoned, androgynous shirt over sleeveless attire if there’s only a slight chill. It’s also perfect for the transition between office and the outdoors, as you can slip it off and tie it round your waist for instant sartorial nonchalance.
3. THE TRUSTY CARDIGAN
Top-bottom: Cool-Find K-Style top cardigan set $68.17 available here, Nordstrom Collection viscose cardigan $261. 85 from Nordstrom
Okay okay, so cardigans have made it onto the list but they no longer have to be all about the granny-chic look. A neutrally coloured cardie is a stalwart for air con office attire whilst loose fitting long-lines are a modern way to refresh the piece. Try navy, grey or camel for twists on classic black. If you just can’t decide, like me, then fall in love with this dip dyed beauty and its roomy pockets of slouchy attitude.
4. THE HYBRID
ASOS wool-mix blanket cape $162.21
Season after season, new hybrids emerge. Though in Singapore we may not get to play with the snood (that’s a hooded scarf FYI), the big office chill allows us to experiment with the oversized, blanket-like capes of swathy fabulousness that have been present on the runway and the streets of late. Make sure yours has an element of structure to it, such as the sleeves and collar of this ASOS number, to ensure that you don’t look like you’re planning to sleep on the job!
5. THE SHAPE SHIFTER
Topshop polyester kimono belted jacket $116
If you want to maintain a sleek silhouette whilst being snug, this belted kimono jacket silhouette is your answer. The soft material means the belt won’t constrict your post-lunch waistline and the bell sleeves allow room for any statement jewellry you may be sporting. The always elegant lines of the kimono-inspired shape keep it perfectly professional and office-friendly.
Final tip? Pull in any of the slouchier numbers using a contrasting fabric or leather belt for a little structure if you need it. A final shopping incentive for these office wear additions: Research shows that warming up by a mere five degrees celsius can increase productivity by 150% and decrease typos by 44%! You’re more than welcome.
Learn how to pair a statement skirt with your new cover-up and our tips for what NOT to wear to the office when it’s sweltering hot outside here.