The Summer Dress You Should Never Wear to Work

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 HQ, 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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Collage Vintage

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

A flowy silk dress will keep you cool and comfortable.

With the flutter sleeves and handkerchief skirt, this dress channels all sorts of romantic vibes.

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Style du Monde

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

A collared dress is always a good option for the office.

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Style du Monde

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

Style a cool denim jacket over this to dress it down.

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Style du Monde

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

A breezy silk dress is perfect for the warm summer heat.

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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.

Brighten up your work wardrobe with this orange dress.

We love this summery take on a classic shirtdress.

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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. 

A sleeveless linen dress is essential for summer.

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Style du Monde

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

The split-toned fabrics make this dress so eye-catching.

All you need is a pair of heels to complete an outfit with this dress.

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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.

We can't get enough square necklines in our life, can you?

Keep this buttoned up for the office, and then style it open over a pair of jeans and a tee for the weekend.

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Collage Vintage

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

A stylish poplin dress is great for both the office and the beach.

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Style du Monde

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

You can never go wrong with a pretty wrap dress.

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

This post was originally published at an earlier date and has since been updated by Dale Chong.

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