When it comes to dressing for work during the Summer, it can become trickier to maintain a 'put together' look and remain stylish, because let's face it, when you're stuck in a stuffy office all day most people's priority is to keep as cool, calm and collected as possible and that may not always mean dressing in the most stylish of outfits.Of course it totally depends on what your job role is, but for the purpose of this post I'm going to aim it towards 'what to wear for the office when it's hot', as the majority of ladies between 25-40 most probably do work in some form of corporate environment. One of my favourite brands for affordable, on trend fashion, Dorothy Perkins, got in touch to ask me what my Summer Work Wear personality was and to create an outfit relating to it, which would be appropriate for the office during Summer. The options to choose from were: Summer in the city, Style day to night, You mean business, Casual made cute and Functional fashion. I felt Summer in the city best matched my work wear personality after reading the following description DP gave this particular style:
'You’re a city girl at heart and you’re no stranger to a last-minute lippy application on a rush-hour train. Your daily diary is filled with presentations, meetings, and a quick lunchtime trip to the high street. From fitted pencil skirts and tailored co-ords, printed trousers teamed with vibrant camis and a pair of sandals to show off your perfectly polished toes, don’t let city living spoil your style personality. Summer in the city never looked so good.'
If you're someone who regularly experiences Summer work wear dilemmas, fear not! Dorothy Perkins have put together a fun little quiz to determine your very own Summer work wear personality, with plenty of stylish pieces selected for inspiration for each personality. You can take the quiz here.
I found this Summer work wear personality to be the most accurate to me personally, give or take some of the criteria (note: perfectly polished toes are not always achievable with a near two year old to tend to as well as working - but I do try my best!) However, as for the style points, I'd say they are down to a T; I'm forever mixing pencil skirts and colourful camis, or cigarette trousers and a blouse perhaps with a coordinated blazer - I have found my Summer office wear to beat the heat in style and it works for me! In my job I don't actually have to be massively well presented, but I have always liked to look the best I can for any situation, even if no one is even going to see me/ care/ notice. I am a firm believer of looking good = feeling good for yourself, nobody else! Plus (and I'm sure I'm not the only Woman to admit to this) I generally feel much more professional when I'm wearing 'proper' work wear attire and feel like I am more capable of getting stuff done! Don't get me wrong, there are some days I definitely do rock up in my boyfriend jeans and plain T-shirt; being a busy working Mama that's a given and in my eyes totally deserved on those stressful mornings, and I guess I am lucky that I do have the option of 'dress down days'. However, I try to be as organised as possible by planning my outfits the night before and keeping those days to a minimum and only when they're really necassary.
Because it is not compulsory for me to dress in strict corporate attire, I don't feel the need to wear full on suits with heels everyday, but like I said, I do like to feel as though I am actually going to work. That's why I think this kind of look for dressing for the office in Summer is a perfect balance between the classic businesswoman look and a more laid back, fun but still professional outfit; I like to be able to inject a little personality into my outfits (who doesn't!?) and I don't see why it should be any different for work wear. Patterened co-ords such as this little beauty are a great way of keeping cool during those hot, stuffy days in the office.
For my Summer in the city work wear style, I opted for this stunning tropical print floral duster jacket and coordinating tropical print high waisted shorts, for a real Summery, fresh and fun vibe. By adding the jacket to the shorts, it gives a much smarter silhouette perfectly acceptable for the office. In my humble opinion, you can get away with most patterns for work, as long as the shape and silhouette is tailored or fitted. I just teamed this coord with a simple neutral coloured cami so as not to overload the outfit with colour or pattern, as the jacket and shorts combined are quite a bold statement, so by keeping the top neutral it maintains balance.
Now I have cheated just a teeny bit here, as I also thought this look would make the perfect Day to night as well as Summer in the city, just by changing up one item; you may have noticed I have featured two different pairs of shoes within this post. This is because, I felt the red sandals, as gorgeous as they were, were just not realistic to the style of footwear I would wear to the office, and I wanted to keep this post as honest and true to my everyday Summer work style as possible. Thereofore I have shown the outfit with a pair of simple, beige, mid heel sandals which I would wear to work - again, keeping it neutral like the cami. I have then incorporated these stunning red minimal ankle strap sandals into the outfit, to show how simple it can be to dress for the office during the day, taking you straight to after work cocktails or dinner, just by changing up your footwear - instantly you can see how much more glam this outfit looks with a killer heel! Personally, the outfit featuring the red sandals really wouldn't be too office appropriate for me, however, there are ankle grazer trousers in the same tropical print which I would definitely feel more comfortable wearing the heels with for every day.
- Pick outfits that are true to your usual style - you don't want to feel out of your comfort zone just because something is a hot trend and lose focus on the job in hand.
- If you're more of a cosy jumper lover you can easily adapt your Winter style for the warmer months - swap your long sleeved polo neck jumper for a high neck sleeveless top, knee high boots for gladiator sandals that tie up the leg and so on - the easiest way is to emulate the shapes and silhouettes you favour during the colder months to what's office appropriate for you personally in Summer.
- Have fun with dressing! If you love pattern, go for it! If you love colour, go for it! It is Summer after all. Even if you are in a highly corporate role, there's not (generally) an all black rule. It's no secret that I have become a fan of all black/ white/ neutral everything as of late, but during Summer a bit of colour is your best friend. If you're a colour phobe, start by injecting subtle accents - a blue necklace here, a pair of red shoes there, perhaps a green bag for all that important paperwork... (please however, don't wear all of that at the same time - that would clash horrendously! I'm talking baby steps :)
- Shope wisely; invest in good quality basics that will see you through all seasons - not just Summer and bargain hunt for any trends you simply cannot live without - eBay, charity shops and vintage markets are all little treasure troves just waiting to be explored.
- Stick to light, breathable fabrics to stay cool and keep it together in any work crisis that may be thrown at you - or, if you're a city girl like me, running/ driving around in the heat in a busy city! Loose cotton blouses, chiffon camis, pleated midi skirts, linen long line shorts or culottes, pencil skirts with a slight slit down the side and lightweight kimonos are all great staples to keep in your work wardrobe during Summer time.
- Get to know your style and stick to it, like i said before, invest in good quality pieces that will see you through season after season, and just restock each Summer with the occasional pieces to bring your wardrobe up to date. If you're not sure of your Summer work wear style, don't forget to take the Dorothy Perkins quiz here.
You can check out some of the other bloggers taking part in the #DPWorkIt campaign and see what their Summer work wear personalities are here. Don't forget to also check out the #DPWorkIt hashtag on social media for more updates and style tips!
I hope this post may have given you a little snippet of style inspiration if you've perhaps been in a little Summer work wear rut! I would love to hear your feedback if so.
What do you think of this outfit? Would you wear something like this to work?