Choosing the perfect work-appropriate outfit that is stylish and comfortable is difficult enough. Add the sweltering heat of the summertime during your commute, and this is a puzzle you may need help solving. Luckily, we are here to help. Ideally, you want to stay cool and comfortable during your commute but also keep warm in the famously chilly office environment — all while looking polished and professional in your summer dress. Here’s how.
During the summer, loose-fitting and breezy is the way to go. Even in an office setting, loose-fitting and breezy can be perfectly professional. By minimizing the fabric clinging to your skin, you can keep from becoming overheated and sweaty before you even make it to your desk in the morning.
For pants, keep it loose with wide-legged khaki pants. You could also opt for a pair of palazzo pants for a cool and breezy but polished and professional vibe. These style bottoms have a pleated front for a highly chic look while also being super comfy and lightweight.
For tops, you will also want to aim for loose-fitting cuts and styles in lightweight cotton or linen. Wear a moisture-wicking synthetic tank as an undershirt and a button-down Oxford over that.
Tuck your shirt into your wide-legged trousers, and you have a highly professional and stylish outfit that will keep you cool while you are outside but offers enough coverage to keep you from freezing in your office during the day. Pair this look with a pair of brown leather loafers to set off your easy-breezy summer office look.
A maxi dress is a great option for almost any summer venue or occasion. This highly versatile dress can be made to look either highly refined or coolly casual depending on how you wear it. Pair your maxi dress with a fitted blazer to instantly transform the dress into chic summer office wear.
A long but loose-fitting midi skirt is another fantastic choice for staying cool while still looking business casual. Wear a colorful, flowy maxi skirt with a sleek, neutral-colored blouse for the perfect pairing of office-appropriate meets summer fun.
It is probably a given that you won’t be wearing your wool suit to work this summer, but what fabrics should you wear? Our go-to fabrics of the summer are linen or lightweight breathable cotton. These fabrics allow for ultimate comfort and breathability, which means you can stay cool even in long-sleeves or full-coverage bottoms.
However, if you do opt to wear a short-sleeve or sleeveless top this summer, make sure you stash a comfy cardigan sweater in your bag no matter how hot it is outside because you never know just how cold that air conditioner will be once you’re settled inside.
Another great summer fabric that is both lightweight and highly professional-looking is seersucker, a lightweight, puckered fabric that was originally developed and worn by British colonial settlers in India. Its puckered texture allows for maximum airflow, and its signature checkers and pinstripes give the fabric a professional-chic look, making it a fantastic summer office option.
Accessories matter in the office, too, especially in the summer. You, of course, do not want to wear any pieces that will add to the warmth or weight of your outfit. As we have established, summer looks are all about staying easy and breezy, even in a business-casual office environment. Opt for pieces that are lightweight and simple.
Jewelry is the simplest and easiest way to add a little flair to any outfit, but the type of pieces you choose are important. Try to stay away from the layer necklace trend these days. Even though we love this look, wearing layers of metal on your skin will likely make you hotter, and your sweat can tarnish your favorite pieces! Opt for more fun, dangly earrings instead. They can act as a fun statement piece while requiring minimal contact with your skin.
A small clutch is a great lightweight, minimalist option for your day-to-day. If you have a long commute or are just the type of person who can’t help but leave the house with half of your bathroom cabinet in your bag, a canvas tote bag is an ideal summer accessory.
Try to avoid dark colors, heavy fabrics, and unnecessary layers. Styling your wardrobe for staying cool this summer in your business casual wear is all about merging style and comfort.