This post will show you 4 casual summer office outfits to keep you cool in hot weather.
Whether you’re starting an internship or a new job after graduation, the buildup and the first few weeks of on-boarding can be a mix of nerves and excitement. You’re meeting new people, being introduced to new topics, understanding different ideas, getting acclimated with a new corporate environment, the stimuli are endless.
But after the excitement of the first few weeks wears off, all we’re really left with is the excitement of dressing up. Just kidding. Jobs can be an extremely rewarding part of our lives or something.
Dressing up for your job can really get you in the mood to go to work and be extremely productive. It’s the reason I wear jeans on my work days because there is something uncomfortable about jeans that makes me productive. Luckily, internships and jobs are starting to be in person which means people will actually see what you wear.
While putting together outfits for work during every other season requires layering, over the summer, we need breathable clothing.
For many decades now, women have been subject to intense public scrutiny for what they wear to work — from whether the pantsuit is too masculine, or a dress isn’t “business-y” enough, or a skirt is too provocative, we have heard all kinds of comments.
The bottom line of this scrutiny is not about what we should or shouldn’t wear to work, it was always about us being at work in the first place. (More on how “professionalism” is just code for oppression here.)
But newsflash, women are in the workforce and we are crushing it, obviously.
However, we are still subject to dealing with the tricky issue of dressing for work in the summer. If you are comfortable wearing a pantsuit in 90F weather, by all means be my guest. But for those of us who aren’t, here are a few things to keep in mind when getting dressed for work in the summer:
Tips for Dressing for Work & Internships in the Summer:
- Favor breathability: Think breathable fabrics – satin, silk, linen, cotton – and silhouettes – flowy, draped, loose.
- Warm neutrals with bright colors: The workplace is generally not a place to wear your favorite neon dress, but that doesn’t mean you can’t incorporate some color. Mix warm neutrals like beige and chocolate with a pop of blue or yellow accessories – heels, belt, bag.
- Conference room blazer: While when you don’t need to be wearing a blazer when you’re just sitting at your desk, it’s good to always take one with you and have on hand in case of a conference room meeting. Those meetings tend to be more formal and you’ll likely be expected to wear a blazer — also, they usually have A/C so don’t worry.
- Balance when it comes to showing skin: While I believe you should wear what makes you feel comfortable, unfortunately there’s an undeniable power dynamic at play. You’re a young professional who would most likely like to get hired full time or receive a good recommendation, so it’s better to stay on everyone’s good side and play it safe.
Now, here are some casual summer office outfit formulas to get you started with your outfit planning for your summer job.
Pencil skirt + silky blouse + blazer
If Elle Woods taught us anything, and let’s be honest, she taught us a lot, it’s that pink is a power color. Wear different tones of pink for a mix of strength and warmth.
A pencil skirt is a workplace staple, but during the summer, a satin fabric keeps it cool. Pair it with a silky top that is both professional and stylish like this hot pink one.
Jeans + white t-shirt + tweed blazer + heels
Jeans and a white t-shirt to work? You heard me. The power of heels and tweed will prove me right.
Pair a nice white t-shirt with some nice jeans with no rips and then accessorize with some elegant pieces. Pointed toe heels are classic office wear, a blue shade will complement the jeans while also showing a pop of summer. Lastly, while tweed blazers can look a bit outdated, when paired with casual clothing, the outfit will balance itself out.
Don’t be scared of mixing colors, and blue and orange are complementary colors.
Polo shirt + skirt + booties
A little inspired by Rachel Green and in part inspired by my obsession with equestrian style, this is my favorite work outfit. Polo shirts are formal and yet casual depending on how you accessorize. So again use the power of tweed to your advantage and pair a small polo with a white tweed skirt.
Finish off your look with some booties and matching blazer, like this one that complements the color but adds an on-trend animal print detail that isn’t too extravagant.
Midi skirt+ white button down shirt + matching accessories
I’ve never liked the way midi skirts looked on me and I thought it was because of my height. But I’ve realized I just never really had the occasion to wear one and dress it up.
Midi skirts have a mature vibe to them but in your early years, choose one with a fun print like this animal print and pair it with a classic white button-down.
Finish off your look with some bold accessories — nothing looks more fierce than red and animal print, and yet the combo looks tasteful.
If you were feeling nervous about your first day, I hope this makes you at least a little excited about what you wear and a little calmer knowing you have some ideas. Remember that you should wear what makes you feel comfortable and able to deliver your best work.
What is your favorite casual summer office outfit formula?
What’s your go-to summer work outfit? What are you most excited about for your work this summer? Let us know!