Your 9-To-5 Summer Wardrobe

by Sonja Bistranin


Just because the temp is going up doesn’t mean your style has to go down—there are ways to adhere to your workplace’s dress code while beating the heat and staying on trend. We’ve compiled 10 celeb-inspired tips to help you look put together and professional despite the heat. Prepare to start turning heads at the office for more than just your admirable work ethic!

The Summer Staple

Topping your go-to blouse with a white or beige blazer is a no-brainer for staying comfortable in an air conditioned office. Choose a blazer in a breathable fabric like cotton to avoid feeling the heat during your commute. Take a cue from Lauren Conrad and pair a light-colored blazer with a top in a similar shade for a look that lends itself to color blocking.

Sunny Statement

Brighten your workday with a sunshine-hued piece. Yellow is the ultimate summer statement color and a bright pattern adds to the cheery vibe. When choosing a yellow, consider your skin tone to make sure it doesn't overwhelm your complexion. Fair skin glows in golden shades, olive tones look best in lemon and darker complexions look angelic in buttery yellows. To balance the ensemble, pair the vibrant hue with black pieces like Jessica Alba.

Simple and Sophisticated

Got a full day of meetings ahead of you? Clean and chic, an all-white ensemble with minimal accessories is a low-maintenance and versatile conference room-ready look. Complete the look with a thin belt (or two, like Ms. Beckinsale) in any color and a simple clutch to pull it all together.

Bold and Bright

What better time to be daring with your work wardrobe than summer? Be bold with colors and prints like Whitney Port. When incorporating a pattern into an outfit, choose a jacket with printed lining for a subtler look, like the tribal-print lined jacket Whitney's wearing. To make this punchy look work for you, pick two equally bright colors from the pattern to be the focal points for your outfit -- Whitney plays up blue and orange in this look.

Twice As Nice

Business casual can quickly turn into fashion boredom. Banish the boardroom blues by swapping out a neutral pencil skirt for one in a saturated hue. For maximum impact, pair the skirt with an equally bright blouse. Quick color blocking tip: To stand out, opt for eye-catching reds, pinks, and yellows like Katharina Schüttler. For a softer look, stick with greens, blues and violet tones.

Upgrade to Lace

Lacey summer dresses aren’t reserved for frolicking in fields. Take this sweet look from carefree to business-savvy by channeling Katie Couric. Choose a lace overlay dress in your favorite color and pair it with nude heels. To keep it office appropriate, pick a frock with sleeves and a hemline that hits below the knees.

Flower Power

For a colorful look that’s as interesting as your project proposal, take style notes from Iman and incorporate a floral blazer into your summer work wardrobe. Pick a print with softer hues like rose, apricot and peach to add a subtle pop of color to a neutral ensemble. Retire your black slacks in favor of lighter bottoms and don a solid blouse to keep all the attention on the eye-catching print.

Take a Bow

Apply your keen eye for detail to more than just your work. Delicate details such as bows can easily amp up your summer office wear. Emulate the first lady’s classy look by adding a feminine blouse to your closet. Opt for a lighter color to keep the look seasonal (and to show off your summer tan, of course). Tuck the blouse into an A-line skirt or cropped slacks, and be sure to wear your hair up to show off the detail!

The Dark Side

Summer office style isn’t restricted to light colors, as Tyra demonstrates. Darker pieces can be fit for warmer months if the fabric is light and the print is understated. Look for patterns without blocks of colors or larger prints, which can be visually overwhelming. Instead, choose a frock with delicate details in colors that complement each other.

All Hands on Desk

Just because you're land-locked dosen't mean you can't rock the cubicle with some seafaring pieces. Nautical-inspired looks like Gillian Jacob’s ensemble are perfect for casual Fridays. Sea-inspired blue stripes look yacht-worthy with a navy pencil skirt. For the office, pair low-key stripes with a bold lip color to command any room.

Photo Credits

  • Ryan Pierse/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

About the Author

Sonja Bistranin is completing her Bachelor of Arts in communication studies at Loyola Marymount University. She has experience in social media management, public relations and marketing. A native of Colorado, she traded the Rocky Mountains for the West Coast shoreline and is based in Los Angeles.