How to Dress in the Office in the Summertime
Office Life

How to Dress in the Office in the Summertime

Dressing for the office during the summer can be tricky. Here some summer workwear outfit ideas

As the temperatures rise, you need to adjust what you wear to the office. Companies have differing dress codes, and so your choices will depend on what is acceptable in your office.

In finance and the legal professions, dress is more formal whereas, in the IT environment, more casual attire is usually acceptable.

Relaxed and casual but not too casual

People love wearing shorts in summer, but shorts are not typical office attire. Perhaps those in creative fields or offices with a more laid-back culture could get away with them. It also depends on the shorts – some are more casual and revealing than others. Capris, culottes, and jumpsuits, on the other hand, can make great office wear.

Short-sleeved blouses are perfectly acceptable for women in most offices in summer whereas open backs, plunging necklines, peek-a-boo midriffs and very short skirts are not.

T-shirts are usually acceptable in more casual environments, but high-quality loose cotton T-shirts can be worn in most offices, especially when paired with tailored trousers or a full skirt.

Stay away from crop tops and any attire that would look more appropriate on the beach or at a barbeque than in an office.

Wear dresses

Summer dresses are generally flattering on women and cool to wear in summer. Opt for dresses with some structure for a more formal look. Loose tunic-like dresses or shifts also look good on most people. Fine cottons, linens, and jerseys are good fabrics to choose. It’s better to avoid synthetic or clingy fabrics in summer.

Keep those strapless or halter top sundresses for weekend wear. Hemlines should be at the knee or a little shorter. No-one wants to see too much when someone reaches for a file.

Lightweight suits

Men in formal professions can opt for lightweight, breathable suits and long-sleeve button-down shirts made of cotton or linen.

Have fun with summer shoes

The shoes you choose can add flair to your summer outfits. Open-toed shoes are popular in summer, and they come in a wide variety of styles and colors. Experts agree that women can wear sandals with an ankle strap or backing, but anything that goes between the toes is not acceptable, no matter how much they cost.

Flip-flops should be worn to the beach, not to the office. Fortunately, backless mules are comfortable, practical and on trend.

Men should opt for loafers, rather than shoes that show their feet.


Offices often make use of air conditioning in summer, and this is where layering can be useful.  Pairing an outfit with a lightweight jacket or a cardigan helps women to adjust to varying temperatures they might experience during the course of the day. Adding a jacket may also help to create a more professional look when seeing clients.

In summer, you can make use of bright colors, lightweight fabrics and more casual styles without going over the top and looking more like you’re at the beach than at the office. How bare is too bare will depend on your office’s policy but if you want to be taken seriously, looking well-dressed and professional is important, even in the hottest months.