Ask dapperQ: Androgynous Summer Office Attire

Ask dapperQ is back with a reader questions about how to dress dapper in the heat. We’ve received quite a few questions, ranging from what to wear to work to what to wear to weddings that won’t fry you to a crisp in rising summer temperatures. One particular question read:

“The weather’s already getting hot here and I’m not sure what to wear at my business-casual (leaning toward the casual, but still professional) workplace. I work with a bunch of creative art types and it seems like they all have giant closets full of amazing colors and patterns. It’s easy to get inspired by my dapper coworkers, but hard to build my own wardrobe with my bottom-of-the-ladder, recent college grad paycheck. I plan to hit up Topman for 1-2 discounted shirts and then the thrift store, but I feel like even if I get 3-4 patterned short sleeve button ups, it will still be obvious if I wear the same shirt more than once or twice in a two week period. Do you have any recommendations on how to create the illusion of having a diverse wardrobe, maybe with accessories or other pieces I can wear more than once in a week? I’m not a huge tie person (more androgynous than masculine), but I’m willing to experiment a bit.”

Summer dapper dressing is possible! We promise. The key is to opt for light weight fabrics (linen, cotton, seersucker); vests in lieu of blazers; and accessorize, accessorize, accessorize!

a dapper chickPerfect summer style served by fashion blogger A Dapper Chick.

Like A Dapper Chick, aka Ariam Sara Geffrard, (pictured above) the key is to go with basics as a foundation and then accessories with patterns, watches, jewelry, hats, socks, and shoes to get the most mileage out of simple whites and blacks. You don’t have to rock a tie; But perhaps you can rock some really cool suspenders, patterned socks, vests, and blazers, which can be layered and worn year-round.

A+Dapper+Chick+-+DerbyFoundation stays somewhat the same, but the layers change to make it look like a completely different outfit. Via A Dapper Chick.

Check out our previous posts on socks and accessories here and here for more inspiration. And, also refer back to a 2012 post we published on warm weather clothing here. Some of the trends have changed, but you can get an idea of how to work with patterns and colors to diversify your wardrobe. Lastly, check out Ellen DeGeneres’ Pinterest board, as well as style blogger Anthony Urbano of Closet Freaks, for more creative, andro work attire sans the ties.

*Feature image and photos by DAG Images via A Dapper Chick.

More from Anita Dolce Vita

Ask dapperQ: What to Wear to Job Interviews and Still Pass as Female?

A reader asks: “I will soon be graduating and looking for jobs....
Read More


  • I have a question on how to dress androgynously without it just being vaguely masculine, because literally ever article on how to dress androgynously just recommends men’s fashion or women’s fashion that mocks men’s fashion (aka women’s suits). Any tips on how to dress androgynous-feminine or just androgynous that isn’t masculine?

  • Agree with Alex above. I consider myself androgynous in gender presentation (or at least, that’s the gender presentation that “feels the most me”) and am often very frustrated by how narrow the aesthetic is presented. When fashion companies talk about androgyny, they usually mean white women in men’s clothes with short and straight hair cuts. It’s as if we are giving into the idea that the “neutral” human is a white man. I want my androgyny to be a blend of masc/femme, not an erasure of my femininity. I also have long, very curly hair that I have no intention of ever chopping off.

    I’ve given up looking for inspiration and try to go my own way, which makes shopping even more frustrating and difficult, but it’s allowed me to create my own definition of androgyny. What I usually go for: high collared buttonup shirts, but with long pendant necklaces, collar pins, or a crossover tie; long blazers or structured cardigans that add a little more fun and flow than a regular suit jacket; bright colors and patterns on clothes; bright makeup; sleek, shiny, and feminine oxford shoes; and hair scarves.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.