While the warm, balmy weather of the summer season is perfect for a backyard barbecue or an afternoon spent lounging by the pool, the last thing you want to do on a sweltering June day is head to the office in a pantsuit. And while clocking in (even during the glorious, vacation-worthy days of summer) might be unavoidable for most of us, the good news is wearing a pantsuit to do so is not. Thankfully, there are oodles of alternatives to traditional work attire that are chic, appropriate, and, most importantly, forecast-friendly. With these ensembles, you can stay cool and meet the office dress code during even the hottest of summer days.
Cotton T-Shirt + Skirt
Cotton, with its breathability and lightness, is by far the best fabric to wear during the warm months of summer. And while it may initially seem too casual for an office environment, cotton is surprisingly versatile enough to make the leap into your workweek wardrobe. To ensure the casual material is polished enough for the office, begin with a crisp, white tee and tuck it in to a midi length skirt made of an easy knit. Then, round out the ensemble with simple jewelry and classic heels.
Shorts are likely not the first thing that comes to mind when you think of work-appropriate clothing. But, depending on the style (and your office dress code; super formal environments might not mesh well with shorts), this summer staple can easily be transitioned from weekends to workdays. Refinery 29 suggests that you look for longer cuts, structured fabrics (no denim!), and flattering silhouettes in shorts that will be worn nine-to-five. Pair with a blazer and nude pumps to create an office-ready look.
Midi Slip Dress + Vest
Not only is the slip dress a must-have trend for the summer season, it’s an incredibly versatile and work-friendly option for warmer weather‚ when paired with the right pieces. It also proves that you can either go formal or casual to match the modern office vibe. To capture the more lax (but still professional!) look, opt for a midi-style slip that hits mid-calf, then top with a sleeveless vest that features a collar and lapel (like a blazer) but is the same length as your dress. This kind of topper looks professional and sophisticated but doesn’t take away from the feminine silhouette of the dress. While the style is frequently seen in luxurious silks, choose one in lightweight jersey knit, linen, or chambray for a heat-friendly fabric that’ll feel breezy during the summer season.
A Shoulder-Baring Blouse
Shoulder-baring necklines are one of the most wearable trends of the season, thanks in part to their universally flattering design and sweet yet sexy vibes. Though a fully off-the-shoulder style might be a bit too flirty for work, a top with shoulder cut-outs (often called the cold-shoulder blouse) has instant on-the-clock approval. For a boho-infused boardroom ensemble, Brit + Co recommends styling it with wide-leg trousers and strappy clogs for an outfit that’s summer-friendly and appropriate for the office.
Let us know in the comments below which of these options are you going for?