May 17, 2018 Street Style

The Summer Dress You Should Never Wear to Work

by Lauren Eggertsen

Dressing for the office when it's really hot outside is always a challenge, as you question what is and isn't appropriate for the workplace. A little while back, we turned our co-founder Hillary Kerr's unparalleled advice into a story on the number one bra "rule" that should be applied while dressing for the office. "I've always felt that if an outfit requires a 'stunt bra'—meaning strapless, one-shoulder, or whatever—it probably isn't the best choice for the office. It's a boring rule of thumb, but I think it's important to err on the side of professionalism versus the ultimate expression of your personal style—at least when you're at work," says Kerr.

We know what you're thinking—what about the off-the-shoulder trend? Here at Who What Wear, wearing off-the-shoulder anything is a huge no. While we all clearly love to wear the fun summer style on the weekends, according to Kerr's go-to bra rule, it simply is not appropriate for the office. Sadly (and obviously), that means no off-the-shoulder dresses, which are basically the most popular dress style of the summer—we know! But don't stress out too much, because we've rounded up the best summer dresses that are 100% work-appropriate. In our book, that means midi length, shoulder coverage, and no plunging necklines. Ready to shop?

Go on to see and shop dresses that are appropriate for the office during the summer.

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Style du Monde

The piping on Giovanna Battaglia Engelbert's dress makes a world of a difference. 

H&M Calf-Length Dress ($30)

Available in sizes L to 4XL.

Ganni Bijou Leopard-print Cotton-poplin Wrap Dress ($315)

Available in sizes 34 to 42.

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Collage Vintage

Want to wear that slip dress to the office? Just layer a button-down underneath and you're good to go. Margaret Zhang makes it look so easy because it is.

Who What Wear Striped Long Sleeve Midi Shirt Dress ($37)

Available in sizes XS to 4X.

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Collage Vintage

Alexa Chung's T-shirt–and–white boots combination is extremely fashion girl–approved. 

Maje Ruched Striped Gauze Midi Dress ($570)

Available in sizes 1 to 3.

Saloni Lea Dress ($625)

Available in sizes 0 to 12.

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Style du Monde

As long as the straps aren't spaghetti, you're in the clear. Gala Gonzalez shows us how it's done in this stunning mustard yellow number. 

Violeta by Mango Prince of Wales Dress ($100)

Available in sizes 10 to 18.

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Style du Monde

See? Work dresses can be fun too, according to Marina Larroude.

Zara Long Check Dress ($70)

Available in sizes S to L.

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Style du Monde

Of course Anna Wintour has the office-appropriate look down pat. 

Oscar de la Renta Fringed Houndstooth Wool-blend Tweed Dress ($2990)

Available in sizes 2 to 12.

Farrow Sora Dress in Navy Plaid ( $128 ) ($90)

Available in sizes XS to L.

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Collage Vintage

Wear this dress to the work and on the weekend. Maybe with some fresh sneakers? 

Rixo London Jade Printed Chiffon Midi Dress ($430)

Available in sizes XS to Xl.

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Collage Vintage

Feel like cheating the system a bit? Shoulder cutouts can often be fine for the office as long as the part on top of your shoulders offers enough coverage as shown here by Pandora Sykes.

Pixie Market Brown Polka Dot Midi Dress ($88)

Available in sizes XS to L.

Joseph Crosby Polka-Dot Silk-Georgette Midi Dress ( $745 ) ($373)

Available in sizes 36 to 44.

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Style du Monde

You can't go wrong with a classic wrap dress.

Ganni Tilden Floral-Print Mesh Wrap Dress ($250)

Available in sizes 34 to 42.

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Style du Monde

Sneakers and silk always make our heart skip a beat, as will Caroline Issa.

Hillier Bartley Plimpton Silk-Satin Midi Dress ($1420)

Available in sizes 6 to 14.

Mango Striped Bow Dress ($100)

Available in sizes 2 to 8.

Next up, check out the number one pair of shoes everyone will own this summer.