How to Survive Office Air Conditioning
Every year I welcome summer with eager, desperate arms, and every year I end up complaining about the same two things: 1. Why is it over so damn SOON, and 2. Why is it so damn COLD in my office building?
My theory is that men in suits are setting the temperature standard. I have male coworkers who wear three layers of clothing every day all year round and insist on blasting the A/C in every conference room. I'm tempted to bring in a pile of short-sleeve shirts and start leaving them on their desks.
This has been the case in every office I've ever worked, but luckily I've developed some coping strategies over the years. Here are my top tips for staying warm in the office and cool outside.
1. Invest in cardigans and blazers you love. You're going to end up wearing them over nearly all of your summer outfits, so make sure they're wardrobe-favorites and versatile enough to go with everything. J.Crew has a nice selection — I got this black cotton/cashmere cardigan from the men's section (and frequently steal my boyfriend's grey version).
2. Buy a small space heater. This won't save you in conference rooms, which are some of the worst air-conditioning offenders, but at least you'll have a nice warm space to call home for a few hours of the day. If you're not allowed to have a space heater, keep a blanket at your desk and drape it over your lap while you're working. (I, personally, have a Slanket at my desk, but my sense of dignity about this subject has long disappeared)
3. Becoming the master of light-layering. My long-sleeve tissue tees are some of the most-worn items in my closet. They're thin enough to wear under anything, and you can push the sleeves up without creating extra bulk when you're feeling warm, then pull them down when the A/C hits. Every little bit helps when you're freezing, trust me.
4. Bring two outfits to work. I've reluctantly adopted this tactic over the past few weeks. It's cooler outside in the mornings, so I wear my cold-weather outfit to the office and keep it on all day, then I change into a warm-weather outfit — typically shorts and a tee or a cotton sundress — right before leaving at the end of the day. My commute home involves walking up a mile-long hill, so wearing as little as possible is crucial.