20 Effortless, Office-Ready Outfit Ideas for Sweltering Summer Days

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Think back to the last time you stood in front of your closet in a full-blow panic. What was it? Was it the realization that you needed to do a closet clean-out? Or maybe you wondered, "What do I wear to the office?" Since you clicked on this story, we're guessing the latter. But there's no shame because your work clothing–related anxieties are valid. The question of how to dress for the office is ever more fraught, especially considering that we've collectively spent the last few years social distancing in our comfiest clothing.

Let's say we're all overdue for a refresher on how to dress for work since we've seen the traditional 9-to-5 office job drastically change. But if that weren't stress inducing enough, dressing for the summer is challenging too. It's even more fickle when you're not trying to get the side-eye from HR due to indecent exposure. So what can you do when you're overwhelmed trying to get dressed for work?

Well, for starters, you can keep scrolling, as we've done hours of research to identify the 20 best summer work outfits. Moreover, we've created simple formulas to save for later and shopped out the work staples you need to complete each look. While everyone's work environment is different, these effortless ensembles can hopefully make getting dressed for the office less work (pun intended). 

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Sunglasses + Pinstripe Suit Vest + Mary Jane Shoes + Watch + Clutch
(Image credit: @deborabrosa)

The secret to looking stylish when it's scorching hot outside is having a few solid suiting separates. You really can't go wrong with opting for a waistcoat with matching trousers. Make them feel fashion-forward by opting for iterations in trendy prints or styling them with the It accessories of the season. 

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High-Neck Tank + Pencil Skirt + Sheer Socks + Pumps + Woven Bag
(Image credit: @emnitta)

If you prefer wearing skirts in the summertime, you'll want to screenshot the look above. Styling your favorite pencil skirt with a tank top, pumps, and a woven bag is an effortless office-ready look. 

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Oversize Button-Down + Tank + Maxi Skirt + Mules + Handbag
(Image credit: @sylviemus_)

Don't believe tank tops can be professional? Think again. If you throw an oversize button-down over your tank top and then finish off the look with a maxi skirt and mules, you'll strike the perfect balance between comfortable and professional. 

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Sunglasses + Linen Suit Set + Matching T-Shirt + Belt + Sandals
(Image credit: @astyleedit)

Not to sound like a broken record, but having at least one matching suit (ideally made from cotton or linen) will make dressing for work during the summer a less stressful endeavor. Personally, we recommend going for a full monochrome moment by pairing linen shorts with a matching blazer and contrasting accessories. 

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Oversize Sunglasses + Hoops + Shirtdress + Pumps + Handbag
(Image credit: @greceghanem)

Another work wardrobe staple you can try on all summer? The shirtdress. We all know that the oversize button-down is a hero piece for any closet, and this dress is its second cousin. It's a piece that can easily be worn for years to come and still feel spicy with the addition of accessories. 

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Button-Down Shirt + Slip Skirt + Barely-There Sandals + Woven Bag
(Image credit: @nlmarilyn)

While we all may have grandiose visions of trends we want to adopt during the summer or are coveting ultra-pretty dresses when it comes to getting dressed for the office, simplicity really is the best move. Pairing a button-down shirt with a slip skirt, sandals, and a woven bag will always ensure you look stylish, sans fuss. 

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Sunglasses + Tweed Jacket + Button-Down + Belt + Trousers + Ballet Flats
(Image credit: @lefevrediary)

For those last summer days or frigid offices, layering is a must. Styling a tweed jacket layered over a button-down will keep you from freezing while you're at your desk, and if you decide you need to ditch a layer, you'll still look polished enough to not procure any weird glances at work. 

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Tailored Blazer + Bermuda Shorts + Heeled Sandals + Handbag
(Image credit: @venswifestyle)

Make your summer suiting feel hotter (in a sartorial way, not temperature-wise) by leaning into recent trends. For example, you can choose to wear a blazer with more runway-inspired details like a nipped-in waist, or finish off your look with trendy sandals. 

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White T-Shirt + Linen Midi Skirt + Black Mules + Snake-Print Handbag
(Image credit: @frannfyne)

Just because you're not out of the office doesn't mean you can't feel beach-bound. Take a modest wrap skirt and style it with a T-shirt, mules, and a snakeskin bag for an outfit that will make you feel like you're on vacation, even if you're on the clock. 

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Blazer + Maxi Dress + Slides + Sling Bag
(Image credit: @gosiaboy)

One semi-obvious way you can make your summer dresses feel work-apropos is through layering. For example, styling a blazer over a maxi dress is a simple way to take a traditionally "off-duty" piece and make it office-ready. 

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Blazer + Slip Dress + Ballet Flats + Shoulder Bag
(Image credit: @chiarasatelier)

Again, you really can't underestimate the power of adding a blazer! Even the most "risqué" dresses, like a slip, can feel more work-friendly with the addition of a blazer, ballet flats, and a polished handbag. 

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T-Shirt + Spaghetti-Strap Dress + Ballet Flats + Handbag
(Image credit: @annelauremais)

Besides adding a blazer, cardigan, or button-down over your favorite slinky spaghetti-strap dress, there is another simple way to make this piece work-friendly. Simply layer a fitted T-shirt underneath and add polished accessories (e.g., closed-toe flats and a structured handbag). 

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Shirtdress + Matching Trousers + Slides + Statement Earrings
(Image credit: @daniellejinadu)

Searching for a more modest outfit you can wear to work in the summertime? Look no further than the ensemble above. Styling a shirtdress over matching trousers is super conservative and stylish too. 

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