Summertime evokes happy childhood memories of sunny days spent at the beach making sandcastles and devouring sugar-y popsicles. But now that we’re older, the hard truth is the majority of your summer will be spent basking in the rays coming from your office computer screen rather than the sun. When dealing with the high temps with a pair of cutoff jeans and jelly sandals is no longer an option, dressing both comfortably and office-appropriate can be challenging. Most fashion bloggers have full-time day jobs just like the rest of us, so we scoured the blogs from top fashion bloggers (including some of our StyleSpotter Elite users) for the top ten summer essentials that will keep you cool and stylish all summer long.
Above Image via Vogue
1. The Printed Shift Dress
This dress is the perfect “throw it on and go” item for summer. The loose shape and high collar make it appropriate for work, while the bold and bright print keeps you feeling summer festive. The best part about this dress is that you can pull double duty and pair it with flat sandals on the weekend for an outdoor dinner party or barbecue. We love that Cortney Dryden of Cort in Session matches the pink color in her dress to her ladylike accessories. Check out Cortney’s StyleSpotter profile for more polished and ladylike fashion must-haves.
2. The Cream Short-sleeved Boxy Blouse
Similar to the shift dress, the shape and neckline of this top make it perfectly demure enough for the office without sacrificing on style. Opt for a solid neutral tone on this one – this top will look equally chic with all the on-trend printed skirts, pants, and simple black trousers. We love how Jacey of Damsel in Dior dresses up the neckline with a sparkly statement necklace.
3. The Midi Skirt
During the summer we are continuously on the hunt to find equally comfortable alternatives to the usual pair of jeans, and this season’s popular midi skirt is our answer! Get one in a natural material like cotton or silk rather than synthetic so it will breathe more. A floral print is a great way to add some color to your wardrobe, and the a-line silhouette is oh-so flattering. Pair it with a striped knit tee like Kristin from Living in Color Print did to look perfectly polished. You can find more of Kristin’s fashion picks on her StyleSpotter profile.
4. The Button-Up Silk Blouse
Pairing a button-up white blouse under a dress is one of our absolute favorite ways to make a dress more office-wear appropriate. We especially love this one Rach of Pink Peonies wore because of the eyelet detailing along the sleeves. This makes it feel a bit more summer-y and dresses down the chiffon-pleated dress, which might have looked too elegant for the office. Be sure to get one in a thin fabric like silk, because it will feel more comfortable layered underneath a dress.
5. The White Blazer
Just as the black blazer is a classic piece in the fall and winter, a white blazer is a spring and summer essential. This piece is so crisp and polished that it can transform even a neon dress into appropriate (and fabulous) work attire, as seen on Nikki of My Style Diaries. Blazers are a wardrobe staple that you will hold on to for a while, so take your time when shopping for one. The sleeves should start right at your shoulders, and end where the base of your thumb meets your wrist. Check out Nikki’s StyleSpotter profile for more modern and on-trend styles.
6. The Blazer Vest
Every season there’s a trend that is so functional and wearable, that we think it was sent to us from the fashion gods themselves. This season the blazer vest is it! The tailoring on this summer must-have will not only dress up a more casual summer dress, as seen on Kimberly of Eat Sleep Wear, but will also add shape to a fuller silhouette. The best part is it’s lack of sleeves keeps it feeling super lightweight and cool, while the longer cut is demure enough for a business casual work atmosphere. Wear it again on Friday with a mini-skirt and bustier top for a fresh girl’s night out outfit. Hallelujah to the fashion gods!
7. The Silk Pant
We’re not sure who transformed pajama pants into acceptable work attire possible, but whoever it was, womankind owes you one! In a world of painful stilettos and skin tight dresses, the silk pant is a total treasure. The loose cut on these pants are not only super comfortable, but the silk fabric makes them light as air. Style these pants with a structured blouse (like a short boxy blouse) or a blazer as seen on Diana of LA by Diana. We love her cobalt blue and lime green color-blocked look, check out her StyleSpotter profile for more on-trend styles.
8. The Striped 3/4 Sleeve Tee
No print is more classic than stripes, and this 3/4 sleeve tee is no exception. The longer sleeves makes the fitted shape more modest, while the lightweight fabric keeps you feeling cool. This top looks exceptionally chic styled with a red lip and gold jewelry as seen on Emily of Cupcakes and Cashmere. The striped print can be paired with black, white, or neutral bottoms without looking boring, yet can also refresh a bold floral print for an easy take on the print-on-print trend.
9. Tailored Shorts
Shorts are usually an office no-no, the shorter hemline can show too much leg and are often seen as too casual. However, Emily from Bows and Depos demonstrates shorts done right. Get a well tailored version with a higher waistline. The front pleats makes them look smart rather than sloppy, and the longer hemline and loose fit keep them modest. Dress them up with a tucked in blouse, and you’re good to go! Check out more ladylike and chic styles on Emily’s StyleSpotter profile!
10. The Lace Blouse
When it comes to elevating more casual items for the office, a lace top is an absolute blessing. The intricate detailing of the fabric looks polished and ladylike, while it’s thin quality keeps you cool. Wear it to dress up silk pants, tailored shorts, and maxi skirts for the office. Annabelle of Viva Luxury styles her blush toned lace top with tweed pants in a similar color for a feminine monochromatic look.
Do you have any other tips on how to stay cool and professional in the summer? Leave a comment below!