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Keeping your cool - a user's guide

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How do you dress in the office when it is hot? It is a perennial dilemma. For a man in a naturally ventilated building, there are times when, no matter how close you are to an open window (bliss), it still gets sticky. So what do you do?

Well, one course of action is to cast your eyes across the endless adverts extolling the virtues of hireable cooler systems. Plug in and play.

Trouble is, these machines are only ever available for about three weeks per year. And that is when everybody else wants them. Nul points .

An alternative to the industrial-strength cooler is the personal, hand-held, battery-driven fan. But the two downsides of these little fellas are: a) they look stupid; and b) they don't work.

When it is hot, look instead to office etiquette and adapt your wardrobe accordingly.

Discover the shorts policy forthwith. Those hideous purple satin running shorts with the slit up the side (and a propensity for 'accidents') are out, but the beigey Gap-esque number, cut just above the knee, might make the grade.

Think hard about footwear.

Heat may mean sandals and smells, but forgo the white towelling socks (of course), and try to think 'evening wear abroad' rather than 'beach'.

The top half is easier. Go for short sleeves, but avoid looking too 'air steward'or 'australian vet'. Nasty.

So much for the blokes.Now the women. Skirts and tops - easy. Cue heatwave.

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