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How to: Stay cool at the office this summer

As the temperatures soar with the Arabian summer now settled in, it’s time to ditch the stuffy shirt (and definitely tie) and get into comfier work attire without letting your dapper standards drop

It’s that time of year. When pools of sweat start emerging and spreading, amoeba-like, through the material of your shirt around the lower back, armpits and — if you’re unfortunately perspiration happy — around the chest.

Short of cultivating your own climate, there’s a simple sartorial fix to the dreaded summer sweats: ditch the stuffy shirt.

Whether you simply roll-up the cuffs, pull on a polo or dress up a tee, you’ve got to save yourself and everyone else from getting lost in the vortex of sweat that will hold you in its grasp throughout the long summer months.

Going polo

The classic polo shirt can go one of two ways depending on how you dress around it. It can make you look sharp and dapper, like style icon Lewis Hamilton here (above, wearing Tommy Hilfiger).

Alternatively, you can look like a rowdy holidaymaker who’s been in the sun too long and has accidentally stumbled into the office after too many hours enjoying the special juice.

Get the Look


Short Sleeve Riviera Polo White
AED 327.00
Sky Blue Lightweight Cotton/Cashmere Short Sleeve Polo
AED 450.00


Short Sleeve Riviera Polo Navy
AED 327.00


Short Sleeve Riviera Polo Black
AED 327.00

Don’t: Go for a gaudy colour. You’re not on holiday. Or in an episode of the TV series Hawaii Five-0.

Don’t: Leave it un-tucked with messy-looking jeans. This is a classic dad-look faux pas. No, you don’t look “hip” and “trendy”. You look rough without the ready. Like you should be in a bush pruning some shrubs. Or underneath a greasy car checking the suspension.

Do: Go for a neutral colour: white, grey or black. Simple, classy.

Do: Tuck it into a pair of well-fitted chinos or slacks with an watch-strap-matching leather belt. This way you pull of the cool, laid back look while maintain an elegant edge to your aesthetic.

More tee, please

It’s an oft-debated area of men’s fashion. When done well, it can strike that perfect balance between smart and casual. When done badly, you look sophomoric and moronic. Think Napoleon Dynamite meets American Pie.

Despite everyone who posts a snap of themselves in a tee and blazer on social media, think that they look like Tinie Tempah here, or Neymar Jnr, they often don’t. And that’s because they ignore some basic principles of the look.

Get the Look


Q82 Short Sleeve Crew Neck Black
AED 249.00

Richard James

Pewter Grey / White Cotton Seersucker
AED 2,200.00

Timothy Everest

Navy Cotton Tee
AED 525.00

Richard James

Seishin Suit Summer Birdseye
AED 3,900.00

Don’t: Make the blazer too dressy. Save those for the bigger occasions. We’re only going to the office to be comfortable here. But we also want to be able to dash to a meeting and still carry an air of respectability.

Don’t: Go for a T-shirt that contains more detail that a street wall in Berlin covered in graffiti. You want the tee to complement the style, cut and colour of the blazer (and trousers), not draw all the attention away from the finer garments you’re matching the tee with.

Do: Opt for a simple and stylish cotton tee in a neutral hue. Stripes can work, but once again, consider what you’re pairing it with.

The Debonair top tip:

Try the summer-suited Pewter jacket with a black or navy tee underneath. Alternatively, go for a checked blazer with a tee that matches the colour of the stripes running through the material. Both are fail-safe winners.

Roll up, roll up

Yes, we said ditch the shirt. But… there’s always an exception. Especially if you manage to look like dreamy Ryan Reynolds here. It’s airy, smart and office ready.

Get yourself a light (we suggest linen) white number and roll up the sleeves. But beware, rolling up your sleeves is fraught with sartorial peril. You want to look like it’s a natural, I’m-working-hard look; not a contrived one. But there are some essential do’s and don’ts top pull this off.

Get the Look

Emma Willis

blue linen bengal stripe shirt 1 button rounded
AED 1,300.00

Richard James

Contemporary Shirt Two Tone Linen
AED 675.00

Emma Willis

lapis collarless linen shirt 1 button round
AED 1,300.00

Richard James

Contemporary Shirt Self Spot
AED 700.00

Don’t: Roll them up before noon. If you do, you’re basically saying you don’t intend to work for the day. You have to earn the roll-up look. Bust a gut in the morning, and roll them up just before lunch: you’ve earned your stripes.

Don’t: Roll beyond the elbow. Shirts were not designed to display your bis. That’s what T-shirts are for, if you feel so inclined and have the requisite anatomy.

Don’t: Do one roll. Please don’t. It’s pathetic. And it leaves a flop of excess material flapping around your wrists and just causes more agro than it’s worth. Also, you’re not Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen. You don’t want to be him. Not even LLB wants to be him, sometimes.

Do: get a good, crisp roll on (usually about three does the trick), so that you’ve got a chunky cuff going on, just below the elbow.

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