Summer Office Wear – Beating the Heat with Professionalism

When the temps and humidity rise, the last thing you want to do is wiggle into a crisp button-front shirt or shrug into a tailored blazer or lined suiting trousers. How to stay polished at the office when it’s the peak of summer outside? My go-to look is a breezy blouse. Below I share ways to style such a blouse; all pieces featured in this post are under $100.

summer office wear silk top ankle pantsShop Summer Office Blouses:

A drapey or fuller blouse in a breezy fabric like chiffon, challis, crepe, or silk feels great on a hot summer day but if styled incorrectly can add bulk to the body and also give off more of a pajama or loungewear vibe. Styling such a top with a pair of crisp and trim trousers balances the volume and adds a professional touch. While it may feel too hot for closed-toe shoes, such a choice clearly makes the outfit officewear. Consider commuting in a pair of sandals and slipping on the pumps once you arrive at your air conditioned destination.

Shop Straight Pants for the Office:

A drapey pair of pants (joggers, harem pants, pleated crops, culottes) can also work if you tuck in your top or choose a more fitted top. Again, your shoes determine if this outfit is for weekend or the workplace; a pump, mule, or slide with a heel will add a level of formality to an outfit with a lot of volume.

summer office fashion loose pants blouseShop Loose or Slouchy Pants for the Office:

A blouse in a thin fabric can tuck in nicely without adding too much volume. Pairing with a pair of wider leg trousers also in a fabric that drapes (linen, poly blends, rayon, tencel) works if you choose accessories to temper the volume. Tucking in the blouse shows the figure; consider adding a belt with a bit of shine to better enhance the figure and also add polish. A pendant necklace holds down the blouse, again showing the figure. A flat shoe keeps you grounded; while it may be tempting to throw on a pair of flip flops or even leather thongs, your shoe with such an outfit determines if the look is good for a resort or an office. Sandals with wider straps in polished leather or a metallic, slides with soles to match, and pointed toe flats are all great choices. Even if your outfit is made of linen, it’s important to iron or steam your look for the office. There is a clear difference between creases from the car or office chair and rumpled fabric from lack of care.

office fashion cropped pantsShop Summer Office Wear Under $100:

No matter the heat, there is never an excuse for exposing lingerie or too much skin when at the office. While sleeveless tops are acceptable in many office environments, racerback, tanks, spaghetti straps, halter necks and strapless tops and dresses are not appropriate, even if you attempt to cover with a cardigan. Crop tops, exposed backs, and cutouts are not for the office. Check our reflection when standing in front of a window or light source and if you’re exposing too much, consider a slip (I love this one, it doesn’t add too much warmth in the summer and works with most every piece in my wardrobe).

7 Comments

  1. Jennifer Schmidt Pritchard
    January 10, 2016 / 5:29 pm

    …we can’t do a cami under a cardigan?

  2. Tania
    July 8, 2015 / 4:15 am

    Excellent post, thanks. Great point about shoes.

  3. Kay Tee
    July 7, 2015 / 10:17 pm

    Thanks for this helpful post. You mention a slip you love, but I do not see the link, can you provide it?

  4. fashionforgiants
    July 7, 2015 / 4:36 pm

    I’m all about culottes this summer for the office. I love all these looks though!

  5. July 7, 2015 / 9:12 am

    Very nice looks – I esp love slouchy pants, even though I don’t go to the office anymore. xo

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