Shopping & Style

Ask A Charlotte Expert: Dressing For Work During The Summer Heat

May 27, 2014 8:00 AM

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Business professionals across Charlotte equally love and dread summertime in the city. It is a constant battle to find the right wardrobe to keep you cool while outside, keep you warm inside an office with chilly air conditioning and keep you looking professional all of the time. Stylist Whitley Adkins Hamlin of The Queen City Style shares her tips for remaining cool and professional during the summer months.
whitley Ask A Charlotte Expert: Dressing For Work During The Summer Heat

Whitley Adkins Hamlin (Credit, The Queen City Style)

Whitley Adkins Hamlin
The Queen City Style

Charlotte’s premiere stylist, Whitley Adkins Hamlin, was kind enough to take some time out of her busy day and offer some pointers for staying cool this summer. Whitley is a force to be reckoned with here in Charlotte where she does fashion and location styling for many local publications and commercials. She’s a three-time winner of Charlotte Magazine’s Best of the Best award and has an amazing website and blog, The Queen City Style. Playing in her great-grandmother’s and grandmother’s wardrobes introduced Whitley to style. As an adult, she drew from those early fashion icons to create her own style and help others find theirs. Whitley is available to help you create your own personal style. If you are returning to the workforce, have had a major life change or are just tired of the contents of your closet, Whitley can work with you to create just the right looks. Check out her website for some wonderful inspirations.

When Whitley was asked for some pointers on dressing to stay cool at the office this summer, she noted “Charlotte is still largely a banking town. The Queen City plays host to a bevy of big businesses which often means a stricter workplace dress code. If you don’t work in a corporate environment, you’ll have more room for interpretation when it comes to keeping cool in your workplace.”

Whitley offered three fabulous tips for beating the summer heat:

Layer Summer Weight Fabrics

“The easiest way to dress cool in the summer months is by way of layering. Just like the classic summer shift, silk tanks that cover the shoulders are perfectly acceptable in most work environments. If your office requires that you adhere to a more conservative dress code, a blazer made of cotton or other natural fibers is the most classic option for a sophisticated look. One of my favorite pieces wearable for all four seasons is the J.Crew navy schoolboy blazer.It’s the perfect laying piece for everything from jeans to a dress.”

Related: Best Charlotte Fashion Blogs

The Seersucker Suit

“This is a great option for both men and women. A timeless classic, nothing says Southern gentleman like a seersucker suit. Fellas, you can wear this roomy, comfortable fabric with a bow tie if you’re the quintessential Southern prep. If you like this fabric but aren’t necessarily going for full-on derby style, pair yours down with a blue shirt, skinnier tie and monochromatic pocket square to achieve a more modern look. Also, be sure to reach for a suit that is tailored slim. Whether it’s a dress, skirt and jacket or pant suit, seersucker is also an equally stylish and always current suiting option for ladies.”


“Accessorizing is always my favorite way to create a look all your own. Reach for your tank or summer dress, and build a look reflective of your workplace environment using the appropriate accessories. Wear flip flops on the way to work and walking into your building and then change into open-toe pumps at the door.”

Related: Best Lingerie Boutiques In Charlotte

Lauren J. Walter is a freelance writer covering all things Charlotte. Her work can be found on
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