Now that summer’s officially here, it’s time to break out the tank tops, right? Well, sort of. We don’t blame you for wanting to throw on your flimsiest casual gear the minute temperature outside soars to 20+ degrees (hey, it’s Canada), but you still need to look composed and professional at work. Here are five secrets to summer dressing that are sure to keep you looking work-ready and cool at the office.

1. Embrace colour
Ever noticed how Canadian winters are nought but a sad sea of charcoals, blacks, and browns? (It’s those slush-hiding winter coats and boots we’re all compelled to wear – practical, yes, but kind of depressing.) Warm weather is the perfect excuse to break out your brightest colours and patterns. You’ll coordinate perfectly with the flora and fauna – and it doesn’t hurt that colour can improve mood, too.

2. Avoid beachwear and logos
Unless you literally work on a beach, we’re willing to bet that your work dress code demands a certain modicum of professionalism – so dress accordingly. Nothing screams “I’d rather not be working” louder than fluorescent-framed sunglasses, athletic gear, logo t-shirts and flip flops – so do your career a favour and leave them at home.

3. Layer up
While it’s tempting to dress for your after-hours life in the summer (drinks on a patio! bike rides!), remember that if you work indoors, air conditioning is going to make the majority of your day very chilly indeed. The solution: master the art of layering. Just a few well-chosen items (a cardigan, a blazer, a woven scarf or shawl) will make the transition from sizzling street to frigid workspace a lot more bearable. Keep a couple of options at the office for versatility and swap them out weekly.

4. Love linen
It’s an open secret that stylish Italian men have summer dressing down pat – even fully decked out in suits, they always look perfectly put together and mysteriously, impossibly cool. Their secret? Lots of linen. Woven from flax fibres, linen garments are light, highly breathable and perfect for even the hottest climates. They also happen to look super chic. Just remember to steam or iron regularly – linen wrinkles easily.

5. Don’t bare it all
While it’s true that many workplaces are perfectly fine with shorts and miniskirts in summer, it’s prudent to balance out your warm weather skin-showing with some work-appropriate coverage. A good rule of thumb: balance a more covered-up bottom half with a sleeveless top and vice versa; balance thinner fabrics like jersey with longer lengths. And remember, if you’re wondering if you’re too bare for your workplace (or getting the side-eye from bosses and coworkers), you probably are.