… the HR Minion. Because even minions have opinions. And giggles.


My first “real” job out of college was great for a new grad. The pay and benefits were good, the work wasn’t exactly what I was looking for but it was good experience, and it was for a great company. But what made it really great was that it was a casual dress code. We didn’t have any contact with clients or customers except over the phone/email and we were down the road from Corporate so it didn’t matter. I would roll into work in sneakers, jeans, t-shirts, no make-up on, and open-toed sandals in the summer.

For a 21 year old with student loans looking to move into her own apartment, not having to buy a whole new professional wardrobe was great. And that was money I could also funnel into other obsessions, like funding my book addiction. But it also made me complacent. About the time I was starting to look at moving into a more professional HR role, one that would actually require contact with Managers and candidates on a frequent basis, I quickly came to the realization that I had nothing to wear to the interviews, much less daily to work.

So I grew up and started building a professional wardrobe.

But now I find myself in a startlingly similar situation. I walked outside yesterday after to work to 90+ degree weather. It was over 100 in my car. The weather here in Florida is killing me! It has been forever since I’ve lived someplace so consistently warm/hot/humid/surface-of-the-sun-like year round and I’m not sure what to do about it. After living in Minnesota for 18 some years, most of my professional wardrobe involves layers, long sleeves (better to cover the tattoos when necessary), and knit pants. I get into work in the mornings and my make-up is already messed up just going from apartment to the car to the office.

How does anyone who lives in this kind of climate manage to stop themselves from breaking out the aloha shirts and shorts everyday? I was even wishfully thinking about flip-flops the other day and I HATE flip-flops at work, as I have ranted about before. Admittedly, I wrote that while still living in Minnesota.

Gah. 10 years later and I’ve fallen back into the same problem. Guess it’s time to stop whining about the heat and start learning to acclimate. Being an adult is hard. But if any of you out there have some tips on how you manage to look professional and stay cool I would love you forever if you shared them with me in the comments.

And as far as poetic or clever blog post titles go, my one above isn’t exactly Shakespeare. But you try to come up with something creative with the sun leeching out your brain power.

5 Responses | Add your Own

  • 1 HRBR :

    I live in the South with the hot and humid weather as well. Temps have been crazy hot for my state, too. Here’s my thoughts: make-up is overated and I don’t wear it, therefore it’s never messed up. I don’t have tats to cover up (although some days I wish I did!), but my office tends to keep temps on the colder side, so long sleeves are in order. We have a business casual policy with casual Fridays. I tend to wear suits with light weight dress shirts or blouses (I hate that term, btw), making it easy to take off jacket when I get hot or slip it back on when the air gets kicked down. In the summer I tend to tuck in my shirts much less often. And tunics can often be dressy, comfortable and cool. Good luck!

  • 2 Tammy Colson :

    As a southern girl, I’ve worked most of my life in that god awful heat and humidity. Here’s my trick for not walking into the office looking like you are the half melted witch from the Wizard of Oz.

    Find the thinnest material pants you can buy, and get 3 pair. (although black is hot, and not always in the “sexy” way, its also the most versatile) – I looked for pants with a wider leg so as to avoid the “omg, they are STICKING to me” problem.

    Invest in tank tops. Multiple colors.
    Buy one or two nice jackets. One black.
    I love outlets for these pieces, because well, I don’t like to pay full price for anything.

    Then… get dressed for work, and leave the jacket off until you get to the office. (and you can slip off the jacket when no one is looking)

    Also, flowy skirts help – its amazing how cool you feel when there’s a bit of a breeze. 😉 And they happen to be in fashion again, so should be pretty easy to find.

    For makeup, I switch to tinted moisturizer in the summer months, and always have a very light powder compact on hand to help soak up the sheen.

    It takes some getting used to, I know. I don’t miss that humidity AT ALL.

  • 3 Keelie :

    It’s been a while since I worked in the south, but in my experience, it’s all about proper stocking of your office/desk: 2 cardigans or jackets, one black, one cream or brown (this helps with the over-air conditioning that goes on down there as well as tattoo cover-up), 3-4 pairs of shoes, blotting papers or whatever those things are called to sop the oil up off your face. You walk in in your flip flops, sleeveless shirt (as stated above), and long flowy skirt, swap out your shoes, throw on a cardigan, and mop up your face. I also carry a small makeup bag in addition to my purse (still do this in the summer here – Chicago summers are HOT) for touch ups – I just keep my regular makeup in it and cart it back and forth, that said, I don’t wear much makeup. It requires taking up an extra bit of desk space, but it’s a necessity in extreme heat! And it’s pretty easy to do with the proper wardrobe and prep – I am a no-muss-or-fuss kind of girl, and don’t like to put much effort into my appearance.

  • 4 @NextJenHR :

    I have always lived in the south, but when I moved to FL the heat was unbearable. I was really grossed out when I broke a sweat walking to my car at 7AM. To echo the previous posts, the pants I buy are usually the lightest weight material I can find. I learned that business casual in FL, is more casual than business. If jackets are too dressy for your office, get a tank top and a nice button up shirt. You can still leave that off until you get to work (or at least get the AC in the car cranked.)

    For makeup – whatever you do, make sure you get a light moisturizer with a 30+ SPF in the summer! Aveeno & Nuetrogeona will work. Sunburn happens FAST here. I use clinique foundation and mineral powder. It seems to stay on better then most in the crazy weather here. The blotter papers are essential.

  • 5 Shauna :

    HRBR, Tammy, Keelie, and Jennifer, Thank you all so much for the detailed responses! Like promised I love you all forever for the great suggestions! Clearly I need some light dresses/skirts. Maybe my legs will tan a little that way too, I’m still so pale it’s ridiculous.