With the balmy weather outside and the frigid air-conditioned temps indoors, getting dressed for work in the summer is no easy feat. It's hot out, so there's the urge to wear as little as possible, but it's also, well, work (!), and you've got to look appropriate. Having a trusty summer cardigan by your desk is practically mandatory, but looking seasonally appropriate and not sweating through your clothes means lighter, breathable fabrics, like cottons and linens, as well as lighter colours—meaning less blacks and dark greys and more whites, creams, blushes, and pale blues. Working in a school means that I endure wardrobe restrictions all year long. So when school is closed and I still have to come into work, I love exploring my freedom with prints, shorter dresses and skirts, sandals and most importantly, JEANS! Of course, you'll still want to inject some fashion-forward pieces into your work wardrobe, so mix in a long waistcoat or a cool culotte with your trusty wide-leg pants or a classic blazer.
Sound too hard? Don't worry, I already rounded up some inspiration for you. Ahead are the 10 summer-ready looks that are great for work.
Tips: Wear eyelets instead of lace, go short but not too short, if you have to wear sleeves, pick something thin (lightweight not see-through) and breezy, and know your office culture. For example, I know that I can get away with wearing a maxi dress because I live on an island, but it may not be appropriate in your office.
- Prints & Tees: A printed skirt and T-shirt make for a great outfit option for more casual office environments this summer. Opt for a printed skirt to keep morning dressing a breeze, and add or remove jewellery as your plans evolve. It's social-butterfly-approved!
- Hot-Weather Looks: Sometimes it can feel like it's too hot to wear anything at all. We get it. On days like this, tank tops are allowed—just make sure they aren't too strappy or low-cut. Balance out the skin-baring top with a mid-length skirt and chunky-heeled sandals. And carry a cardigan, just in case.
- Dress-Up Your Monday to Friday Trousers: Suiting pants for the office all of a sudden don't seem so basic when styled with head-turning accessories or bright heels. If you want to add a bit more detail to the look, mix it with a printed or brightly coloured top.
- Keep it Simple: When in doubt, simplicity always wins. For hot summer days, reach for a flowing mid-length skirt and tighter-fitting top with a pair of high-heeled sandals to finish off the look.
Final Word of Advice: Have fun with prints, textures and layers but still look like you're going to work, not Spring Break in Cancun.