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Suit and tie + heat = Misery

There have been several conversations about dress code on details, what is the best place to buy suits if you don’t have tailor, show brands etc.  But let me talk about one of the most miserable feelings you will encounter that will make you dig into the core of your tenacity.  Working outside in the heat in a suit.  I can stand the cold weather all day long but that heat really makes me focus harder on the job at hand.

If you are like me and wear an undershirt under my dress shirt then a suit jacket, we are talking 3 layers of clothing walking or standing in the blazing heat.  The heat factor this year along the eastern sea board is the hottest I can remember.  The humidity makes an 80 degree day feel like its +100.  I am a profuse sweater and when it starts it flows like a river.  The feeling of sweat trickling down my back is a diversion that I fight against when it starts.  My undershirt absorbs most of it, which is fine, however the worse is yet to come.

The reprieve by getting into an air-conditioned vehicle or building makes it worse.  The cold air blending with that wet undershirt is the second shock to my body especially when you have to sit in a vehicle.  You get out and feel the shirt sticking to your skin and it is a bad feeling until it dries.  Now I know some of you are saying there are worse things that happen when you are working and I agree.  But I can focus on every aspect of a detail and know what to expect based on previous good and bad experiences.  Yea, we talk about bad shoes and having to stand on your feet all day, but we choose the shoes we buy.  We don’t buy the weather.  The worse example of this happening to me was my first trip to Liberia.  When we landed and Minister boarded the chartered jet to inform me of how the meet and greet would unfold, I could see he had perspired all the way through his suit and it started to droop like he had coins in his pocket.  When I got off the plane with the principal we had a 25 meter walk to the Presidential terminal with about 100 hands to shake.  A normal 45 second walk took about 15 minutes.  Needless to say I was soaked by the time we entered the secured lounge area.

Let me know of your worst hot experiences and what you do to prepare for those moments.

5 comments

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  1. Raffaele

    Now here is a subject that I know intimately. Twice in the past I have had to decline an assignment because I knew that my seating would have been an embarrassment for my client as well as myself. I am currently working in the 115-125 degree range and it is brutal.

    One thing I have found that helps at least the “presentation” side of things is the latest generation of “wicking” material shirts, next in line is the ballistic body armor undershirts.

    Now get ready for this, if I know I am going to be in the heat all day in either a suit or HTP rig, I have several padded t-shirts. They are made for wearing under football pads. They are meatier than the standard ballistic body armor undershirts and are great at keeping that second and third layer from sticking to you.

    Will try to post more later.

    Any learning/teaching points would be greatly appreciated.

    1. Eric Konohia

      Send me the name of that football pad gear you’re referring to

  2. Raffaele

    Seating should read sweating on my previous statement.

  3. Josh

    The heat hear in the Midwest has been awful as well. About a month a go, a detail I was on required a suit and tie. It consisted of constant inside-outside movements and extended periods of time outdoors with my protectee. It was close to 100 degrees that day and the humidity was much worse.

    I wear Tommy John undershirts. they keep me cool and are made much longer than a standard undershirt so it stays tucked in and doesn’t “bunch” up. They aren’t the cheapest, 2 for $22 at Nordstrom Rack, but damn are they worth it!!

    1. Eric Konohia

      Thanks for sharing Josh

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