What to Wear to Work in the Summer

what to wear to work in the summerOver the years, we’ve had a lot of discussions about what to wear to work in the summer and still look polished, so I thought I’d pull some posts together for one handy dandy post. Readers, what are your biggest challenges for dressing for the office in summer? What are your favorite products or hacks to make summer office clothes more comfortable?

Workwear Hall of Fame: Favorite Products to Wear to Work in the Summer

Dressing for Work in the Summer: Our Best Advice

What Not to Wear to a Conservative Office in the Summer

We’ve talked a lot about what not to wear as a summer associate, and what items should not be considered summer work clothes… for all of the below items, make sure you know your office before you wear them — ideally by seeing a midlevel wear them before you do.

  • sleeveless looks
  • maxi dresses
  • Sandals of any kind (shoes that expose at least three toes per foot)
  • Shorts (and yes, despite our April Fool’s shorts suit roundup a year ago, we do include short suits on the list of NO)
  • Completely wrinkled clothes (linen has its own challenges, but it shouldn’t look like you balled it up, packed it in a suitcase, and then decided to wear it)
  • Short skirts — there is a spectrum here, but for business it really should be as close to your knee as possible!
  • Spaghetti-strap tank or other top that makes no effort to hide bra straps (or worse, requires you to wear a strapless bra)
  • Off-season items such as heavy tweed, boucle knits, tights, boots, thick wool trousers (but note that summer tweed is OK, as is seasonless, tropical wool)
  • Cleavage of any kind.  If at any point you look down during the day and see your bra, you need a camisole.   (You may want to check out some of the newer demi camisoles if the idea of another layer makes you swelter).

Readers, what are your best tips on what to wear to work in the summer? Do you prefer dresses, skirts, or lightweight pants in the summer? If you need a layering piece, are you on team cardigan or team blazer? Do you have any hacks to help with sweltering commutes, freezing offices, melting makeup, or other summer issues? 

Stock photo via Deposit Photos / deagreez1.what to wear to work in the summer - image of a stylish young professional looking polished but cool

When temperatures climb, commutes can get nasty—while offices may be freezing because of A/C. So we rounded up our very best tips for professional women on what to wear to work in the summer so you look polished and stay cool.



  1. I wish I could dress like your model does in the summer for work, but if I did, Frank would be lookeing up my skirt as well as down my blouse all summer! FOOEY on that! He is MARRIED, tho you would NEVER know it, as he acts as if he has NEVER seen a female’s private area’s and I do NOT want to do anything to help him discover anything new via anatomy lessons. DOUBEL FOOEY on that! There are alot of good hints you’ve put in here for those of us who do NOT have Frank’s to deal with. If I were free to dress as I pleased, it would strictly be Espadrilles and Capri Pant’s with a nice cotton blouse, but even tho this would be comfortable, the manageing partner wants me in dresses, so perhaps a nice breezy a-line or wrap dress with 3″ pumps? What does the HIVE think? I need more room in the seat so no pencil skirts for me in the summer! FOOEY!

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Thank you for commenting. On the off chance that your comment goes to moderation, note that a moderation message will only appear if you enter an email address. If you have any questions please check out our commenting policy.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.