Beat the Heat: 5 Tips For Creating Cute (And Professional) Summer Work Outfits
As the months pass by and the temperatures rise, here comes the heat along with the big question: what exactly does summer workwear look like…? Winter-weight blazers, thick trousers, and dark, heavy colors don’t exactly translate to the warmer months.
There’s no single answer to summer dressing, so keep scrolling for some tips to keep you stress-free when crafting your sharp, warm-weather wardrobe.
1. Dress for Your Commute
In order to flaunt your summery fashion sense at work, you have to make it there first! There’s no use putting together an elegant ensemble if you’re just going to end up rumpled, sweaty, and frazzled after three crowded subway transfers and a mad dash from the station to your office. Whether you plan to take a bus, train, car, or even ferry to work, your commute is an inevitable part of any weekday.
If you know your morning commute is hectic, opt for fabrics that don’t wrinkle easily — light wool and cashmere work best in cooler climates, otherwise fabrics blended with polyester or rayon are your greatest allies. Check out the materials section on the product detail page for the clothing you browse on thredUP. Silk and linen are also great investments for pieces that breathe easily and only get better with age.
Planning to bike or walk to work? Pack a change of clothes to bring with you or stash a set ahead of time to change into at the office. Then feel free to pedal or pace your heart out in trendy activewear without worrying about stains or tears appearing on your nicest pieces. Keep a handy kit at your desk with deodorant, facial wipes, and a simple misting bottle to cool yourself off (and take wrinkles out of clothing!).
2. Consider Your Workplace and Company Culture
Different work environments dictate different dress codes. While a full pantsuit may be expected in more traditional, corporate workplaces, such as investment banks or law firms, well-fitting, dark-wash jeans may be the norm elsewhere, such as at startups or nonprofits. Take note of your colleagues’ formality and remember the power of simple accessories to transform any outfit.
Don’t forget to consider the kind of work you’ll be doing. If you know you’ll be on your feet for most of the day, scoring a pair of cute and supportive flats is always a smart move. With that in mind, a reliable bag can also go a long way when it comes to lugging things to and fro throughout your busy day. Consider a messenger bag, tote, or satchel!
3. Account for Climate and Location
Summer weather can be unpredictable. One minute you’re sweating through your button-up shirt, the next you’re caught in a sudden downpour. Beyond unpredictable weather, the transition from a chilly office pumped with AC to the sweltering humidity that greets you on the sidewalk at 5pm can be brutal.
Layers are your friends. Structured blazers and pop-color cardigans from classic brands like J.Crew and Gap not only add visual interest to your look, they’re also easy to swap on and off. Don’t forget to keep some facial blotting papers and hair ties at your desk to stay put-together during a heat wave.
A great place to find layers is our Elevated Essentials page, where you can find hundreds of pieces just waiting to be mixed and matched.
4. Don’t Be Afraid to Maintain Your Personal Style
In other words? Do you.
Although it’s important to keep professionalism in mind, this doesn’t mean you have to compromise your unique sense of style. Avoid wasteful spending by building on the basics that you already own and love. It’s totally possible, not to mention fun, to show off your personal flair in the workplace!
If you favor a more boho look, consider fun espadrilles or tropical patterns to break up a monotone color palette. A classic, preppy appearance can be highlighted with colorful blazers or cardigans. Otherwise, an edgy, contemporary vibe can shine through with wide-leg trousers and platform shoes.
5. Stay Flexible
Although you’re working hard to achieve your #goals, don’t forget that summer is the best time for a balance of work and play. Incorporate flexible elements in your workwear so you can transition easily to after-work drinks, dinner, or even bowling. Simplicity is your secret weapon to take any outfit from day to night. Mix in sleek dresses and jumpsuits that can be dressed up or down in a flash for the ultimate work-play changeup.
Above all, remember that the best workplace essentials you can bring with you are your confidence, diligence, and creativity!
What’s are some of your summer workwear staples? Let us know in the comments.