Cheat Sheet: What to Wear to Work in Warmer Weather

Kristy Ojala is the director of content and programming for Tips on Life & Love. A clean freak Virgo, gem curator, acupuncture snoozer, animal lover, tortilla chip machine, Scandophile, loather of pests, reformed cynic, and fitness fiend, she's always looking for sane-ish new experiences and memorable reads.

What to wear to work in the summerBy Amy E. Goodman
Author of Wear This, Toss That!

For those of us clocking in at the office during the warm-weather months, the fashion rules of the workplace still apply (even though our minds may wander to a resort far, far away). Here’s a cheat sheet on off-limits office attire based on seasonal summer trends.

WEAR: Dressy platforms and snakeskin heels. So this season is all about wedges and sandal platforms. Platforms–defined by a thick heel and a thick sole as well–are perfectly workplace appropriate as long as they aren’t overly sky-high and casual. In most cases this would exclude a super-strappy sandal platform, which is more relaxed in feel. And how classic is a pair of faux snakeskin heels?

TOSS: Transparent clothing.
Gossamer and flowy fabrics are what hot, summer days are made for, but this trend is difficult to pull off at the office without revealing too much.

WEAR: Trouser pants. Gotta love that we get to give our skinny jeans a rest and wear a look that sports a wider cuff. Trouser pants look classy and crisp in summer weight fabrics like cotton and linen, which makes them super cool–even if they sport more fabric than most.

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by Amy E. Goodman

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TOSS: Stacked bangles. Hear me out on this, because I love piling my bangles up until one wonders wear my wrist went. In a quiet office environment where you sit close to your cubical buddy, bangles can do a bang up job of making loads of noise. So unless you’re cool with slipping them off as you sit at your desk or unless your buddy agrees they sound like music to her ears, I’d give this trend a rest until after hours.

WEAR: Head-to-toe white. There is something so completely and utterly refreshing about this look that I love. Of course every summer we embrace white, but wearing it all over is just smashing. Just make sure you have texture in your white separates so that it doesn’t read flat. White blazers are a power play for presentations.

TOSS: Pleats. Unless pleats lay flat and few in number on a skirt or pant, they can add girth to hips and stomach. Pleats have returned full force, including all-round accordion pleats (that look just like the name implies) so just make sure that yours flatter.

WEAR: Floral print dresses and gorgeous bold hues. With designers embracing feminine dressing, along with 1960s-inspired shift dresses and belted cardigans, wearing a floral print dress is more accessible than ever with a chic little belt or a sweet cardigan on top–or both!

TOSS: Beach attire. If your feet are in flip-flops, your dress could cover up a swimsuit, and your short shorts are barely covering much of anything, then it sounds like you need to clock out and hit the shore! Rarely is any of the above workplace appropriate — unless you work at Roxy.

Some of these rules may sound too stringent for your workplace. I’m simply erring on the side of conservative for those who work in those environments. Feel free to switch things up if you work in advertising, editorial or marketing (to name just a few), where the dress code tends to be as creative as the field.

Any other summer trends you wonder about wearing to the office?

Need casual wear tips, too?
Read 5 Must-Have Jeans (and 4 You Should Toss)

For more of Amy’s style tips, like Wear This, Toss That! on Facebook or follow Amy on Twitter.

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