As the weather heats up, your closet demands a serious cool-off session. But while it’s easy enough to choose what to wear on steamy weekends and balmy days at the beach, it’s decidedly less simple to choose your work outfits during the hottest months of the year.
It all comes down to choosing some key summer basics — those pieces that help see you through the heat in style and comfort, while also providing you with some extra comfort whenever someone decides to turn the air conditioner down to arctic levels. Here are a few options that will help you stay cool and stylish all summer long.
Never underestimate the power of beautifully tailored shirt dresses . Some styles are naturally more suitable for office wear than others; it’s always best to err on the side of caution and stick with structured silhouettes and defined cuts if you work in a more conservative environment with a strict dress code. Look for features like collars and buttons to lend it a more dignified air. Pair your dress with no-fuss pumps for a coolly comfortable look.
In a more relaxed or creative space, you may have more room to experiment with your attire. A lighter weight shirt dress without structural elements like collars and buttons may fit in nicely in that case. You can finish that outfit with a pair of simple ballet flats for a quick and easy outfit that works well throughout the season.
The humble midi skirt is easily one of the most versatile garments that a woman can add to her closet. While it’s great to wear during fall and even winter with boots and tights, it makes a seamless transition to summer — especially when you opt for lighter weight fabrics that gently graze your skin instead of constricting movements.
A material like rayon is an exceptional choice for warm-weather wear; it’s relatively thin compared to others, yet still substantial enough to work well in the office. Yet its lighter weight is airy and breathable and will keep you comfortable all day long while still providing coverage that’s suitable for a professional environment. Try one in a bright color and balance it with a structured white top for a balanced look. The white will help cool you down, too!
Can you get away with wearing women’s cropped pants to the office? It really depends on your workplace. In some spaces, such relaxed styles are more welcome than others. When in doubt, take your cue from others your co-workers or higher-ups. Do they routinely wear chic, less traditional attire in the workplace? Then you’ll probably be okay adding these comfortable bottoms to your professional rotation.
You can opt for a slightly longer length to convey a more polished look that’s suitable for the office. Pair it with a neutral top and, if the air conditioner or fan is blowing on you, slip into a matching blazer to pull the outfit together. Step into neutral heels or pumps to finish this look beautifully.
Although summer is hardly synonymous with sweater weather, there’s always room for a light sweater at the office. These are the saviors that step in and do all of the hard work for you when the air conditioner suddenly runs a little too low. It’s not worth getting into an argument over — but it’s a great excuse to invest in a couple of cute, work-friendly toppers to keep you going during those chilly moments.
The best options are those that fit in with your existing professional wardrobe. If you typically wear simple black pants or skirts and neutral tops, then a sweater in a neutral hue is a great choice. But if it’s appropriate to wear brighter shades to the office, don’t shy away from something light and colorful to liven up your look and give it a more summery feel. It’s best to steer clear of pullovers, which may feel like too much during these warmer months. Airy cardigans are ideal. Some feature “flyaway” silhouettes, making them especially easy to pull on and off with ease.
Ultimately, nothing matters more than your comfort — but you also know it’s important to stay in line with your office's dress codes. It’s helpful to tackle your summer work wardrobe at the start of the season so that you always have a few tried-and-true basics at the ready. Make sure to consider everything, from skirts and dresses to women’s blouses and sweaters. Creating a small capsule collection for the season will help you feel prepared no matter how hot it might be out there.