What to Wear When It’s Boiling Outside but Your Office Is Freezing Your Buns off

Advice from a stylist, a dude who worked in a walk-in freezer and a former frozen yogurt shop employee.


Are you one of those guys who wants to look stylish but finds it doesn’t come all that naturally? Sick of condescending fashion articles telling you why you need to buy $200 T-shirts? Just want to know how to look, well, good? We feel you. Welcome to “Help Me Dress Myself,” an advice column for men who just want some practical advice for not looking like crap.

The Question
Temperature has become a heated debate at my workplace. Some say the office feels like a frozen tundra, which makes focusing nearly impossible. Others argue that we should turn the thermostat down further, since the summer heat has them sweating bullets by the time they walk through the door. No matter how hot or cold the office feels, half of my colleagues are going to be upset about it.

For me personally, I find that I’m pouring sweat on my commute, which then freezes to ice on my skin the moment I walk through the door. What the hell can I wear that keeps me cool on the way in, but stops me feeling like I’ve been sucked into the frigid vacuum of space at my desk?

The Expert Advice
Rayne Parvis, stylist: The key to not freezing when you enter a location that has their AC blasting this summer is to dress in layers. For the office, you can wear a non-black suit jacket, sport coat or blazer over a button-down shirt with your choice of pants. When you leave the office, drape the jacket over your arm, roll up your sleeves and you’re good to go.

Choosing summery colors like grey or blue will keep you looking hot-weather-appropriate, yet comfortable, in those chilly offices. For casual outfits, try wearing a chambray or linen button-down over your T-shirts and shorts or jeans. Cotton and linen are lightweight and won’t add much extra heat in the summer. Plus, this second layer offers a bit of warmth when in markets, movies or restaurants.

Jimmy Kehoe, former grocery store employee who worked in the walk-in freezer: My biggest thing was making sure I had a good pair of gloves and a medium or lightweight hoodie. Having cold hands makes your whole body feel colder, and you can throw that hood up if your ears get a little chilly.

Logan Stein, former frozen yogurt shop employee: Your body naturally warms up, especially when you’re moving around — we always had a line around the corner, so I didn’t have time to get cold. I would still wear jeans, but only a polo shirt inside the store. I also respect the shorts with a jacket combination, though. That said, going in the walk-in freezer was tough — you needed a game-plan before entering: You needed to visualize where the items were going to be and make a list (one that you checked twice) before entering. But, it was a great place to scream.