How to dress for work while steamy weather, chilly workspaces, and hot deadlines?

When it’s 90 degrees, being fashionably appropriate at work gets a whole lot harder. Whether you’re just trying to make some tuition money or you’ve scored your dream internship, you want to look professional.

Whether you like it or not, the way you look plays a role in your success in the modern workplace. The problem with appearance is that it translates to performance. Even if your boss doesn’t think that they’re thinking any less of you, they will subconsciously think it. When you don’t fit in, you’re not as accepted and welcomed.

Perfecting that clean and clever look during the sweltering summer months can be a little tricky, so here are a few tips on keeping it cool at work.

Style professional!

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Lightweight Dresses and Chunky Heels

The classic look is probably the most common and easiest way to dress for office, regardless of your job, but also the most likely to get you looking boring, unless you remember this one tip: always wear a statement piece, or just a more fun item to your look (dress shoes, designer bag, jewellery, watch, lips, nails. It’s all in the details).

It may be summer, but that doesn’t mean you have to default to your brightest brights every day. Layering neutrals (think ivory, blush, and gray) can be chic and – perhaps most importantly when it comes to that sweltering commute – cool.

Dresses are easy to throw on in the morning when you’re in a rush and will keep you cool throughout the day.

Shirt dress is a great choice. They are just as classy as a button up but have the effortlessness of a sundress. We all love an easy summery dress, but wearing one for work needs to be done with caution.

The straps should be thick – no spaghetti straps or strapless – and the hem should not end anywhere above mid-thigh. The shape should be either loose or tailored; however, adding a belt at the waist will tie the whole look together.

Tight, clingy and body-con dresses are not appropriate workwear. You can get away with sleeveless styles by layering a light blazer or thin cardigan over top.

Style Professional At Work 1

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A Throw-On-and-Go Outer Layer

Usually we try to avoid hot layers in the summer, but they can actually solve a few summer dressing dilemmas. Layers help when dealing with vast temperature differences between air-conditioned buildings and the hot outdoors. If you have other plans before or after your shift, simply adding a light jacket for work allows you to be appropriate on the job.

I love long, sleeveless blazers. These sleek modern vests offer that structured businesslike look with a lot less fabric.

Style Professional At Work 3

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The Pencil Skirt Updated With Pattern and Color

Sophisticated office wear is easy to do, but it needs training, so experiment away and have fun with clothes. The tip for this look is: enjoy fashion and always wear at least 1 statement piece, clash styles, use a classy look for a start base and then add items according to your personality and job: men inspired looks with super sexy heels, massive bling, sporty luxe sweatshirts with classy pencil skirts, hats, prints, leather, sheer, denim – all that the non-connoisseurs label as work inappropriate is quite the opposite, because it’s about styling them & making them work. Told you… it’s about having fun.

Floral too tame? Choose another bright print—anything from tribal to gingham to abstract. Keep the silhouette of your pieces classic (like a shift dress or pencil skirt), and you’ll still be office-appropriate.

Pattern Mixing! There’s nothing that will multiply your outfit choices faster than mixing patterns. And the summer, when you can get away with brighter, bolder patterns, is the perfect time to try it out. The easiest? Stripes and florals. Once you get the hang of it, try using other prints, too—like paisley, polka dots, and tribal prints.

Skirts are also comfortable, breezy and flattering. If your workplace is more casual, you can pair a skater skirt with a polished top.

If you work in a more professional setting, a pencil skirt or straight style looks fresh with a loose tucked in tank and skinny belt. Again, the hemline needs to be longer than mid-thigh. If your office requires business casual, keep it to just above the knee.

As for shoes, the age-old rule says the shorter the hemline, the shorter the heel. In a dressier office, heels and wedges are appropriate, but save the sky-high pairs for a night out on the town.

You might be allowed to wear sandals, but steer clear of flip-flops. You can break those out on the beach later.

Style Professional At Work 2

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I hope you use this post for inspiration!

How do you dress for business in summer? Let me know in the comments below!

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