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

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). 

Sunglasses + Pinstripe Suit Vest + Mary Jane Shoes + Watch + Clutch
summer work outfit idea: woman wearing pinstripe suit set



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. 

High-Neck Tank + Pencil Skirt + Sheer Socks + Pumps + Woven Bag
summer work outfit idea: woman wearing tank and pencil skirt



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. 

Re-create the look:

Pro tip: opt for a higher scoop-neck tank in order to make it office-friendly. 

Just think of all the ways you can style this bag. 

Oversize Button-Down + Tank + Maxi Skirt + Mules + Handbag
summer work outfit idea: woman wearing tank, button-down and maxi skirt



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. 

Re-create the look:

It's the little buckle for me. 

Sunglasses + Linen Suit Set + Matching T-Shirt + Belt + Sandals
summer work outfit idea: woman wearing matching linen suit short set



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. 

Re-create the look:

Leave it to Nordstorm to make the perfect linen blazer for summer. 

These belts just got restocked, so you'll want to add them to your cart ASAP. 

Oversize Sunglasses + Hoops + Shirtdress + Pumps + Handbag
summer work outfit idea: woman wearing shirt dress



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. 

Re-create the look:

I own this dress and can attest to it being a great addition to any work wardrobe. 

These kitten heels are also available in nine other colorways, including neutrals like black, nude, and raffia. 

Button-Down Shirt + Slip Skirt + Barely-There Sandals + Woven Bag
summer work outfit idea: woman wearing button-down and slip skirt



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. 

Re-create the look:

You'll never regret buying a button-down. 

A good slip skirt will change your life. 

Barely-there sandals will be big all summer. 

Sunglasses + Tweed Jacket + Button-Down + Belt + Trousers + Ballet Flats
summer work outfit idea: woman wearing tweed jacket, button-down, jeans



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. 

Re-create the look:

The right fit of jeans can rival trousers. 

Tory Burch's flats will add a touch of luxury to all your work ensembles. 

Tailored Blazer + Bermuda Shorts + Heeled Sandals + Handbag
summer work outfit idea: woman wearing linen blazer and bermuda shorts



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. 

Re-create the look:

Jacquemus makes the dreamiest blazers, hands down. 

You can wear these from the boardroom to the beach. 

White T-Shirt + Linen Midi Skirt + Black Mules + Snake-Print Handbag
summer work outfit idea: woman wearing t-shirt and linen skirt



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. 

Re-create the look:

Meet the perfect T-shirt for summer. 

Blazer + Maxi Dress + Slides + Sling Bag
summer work outfit idea: woman wearing blazer over plisse maxi dress



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. 

Re-create the look:

Black blazers are the fundamental building block for all work wardrobes. 

Blazer + Slip Dress + Ballet Flats + Shoulder Bag
summer work outfit idea: woman wearing blazer over slip dress



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. 

Re-create the look:

Note the contrasting layered cuffs on this blazer. 

T-Shirt + Spaghetti-Strap Dress + Ballet Flats + Handbag
summer work outfit idea: woman wearing tee under dress



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). 

Re-create the look:

This just might be the best work bag to ever exist. 

Make sure you opt for a formfitting tee if you're going to layer it underneath a dress. 

Style this with a T-shirt, button-down, or blazer and it will be perfect for the office. 

Shirtdress + Matching Trousers + Slides + Statement Earrings
summer work outfit idea: shirtdress layered over trousers



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. 

Oversize Button-Down + Tank + Relaxed Trousers + Sandals + Shoulder Bag
summer work outfit idea: woman wearing button-down and trousers



Yes, this is the fourth outfit idea in this roundup that includes a tank top and button-down, but can you blame us? These staples are universal must-haves for serving the summer. But should they feel too basic for your taste, try incorporating a few trendy accessories into your look to make them feel special—e.g., layer on belts, carry a crescent-shaped bag, or wear elevated thongs. 

Re-create the look:

Everything about this Khaite bag is divine—the chain strap, the half-moon shape, and the luxe leather. 

Can you tell tank tops are an essential part of summer dressing? 

Who said flip-flops couldn't be formal? It's all in the styling, friends. 

Blazer Dress + Shoulder Bag + Slingback Heels
summer work outfit idea: woman wearing blazer dress and pumps



We know that the traditional blazer is an essential part of any work wardrobe (summertime or otherwise). But we'd like to petition for the blazer dress also to be a part of your arsenal, as it's the perfect piece to wear to work. Don't believe us? Try pairing a  brightly hued blazer dress with a sleek shoulder bag and pumps, and tell us this is not the item you've been missing from your life. 

Re-create the look:

This bag has been promoted to the top of our wish lists. 

You can also shop this blazer dress in black, pink, and white!

Preppy Jacket + Pencil Skirt + Pumps + Shoulder Bag
summer work outfit idea: woman wearing jacket and pencil skirt



PSA: You don't just have to rely on blazers to look polished for work. You can switch up your summer work wardrobe by opting for a more prep-inspired piece. Think a tweed jacket or coat. Just be sure to pair it with other classic pieces (e.g., a pencil skirt, sunglasses, and pumps) to really feel put-together. 

Re-create the look:

Oval-shaped sunglasses can elevate any ensemble. 

Beige is ideal for summer, but you can also buy this in black if you prefer. 

Warning: You may want to also buy the gray and black versions of this skirt. 

High-Neck Top + Maxi Skirt + Belt + Pumps + Tote Bag
summer work outfit idea: woman wearing high-neck top, and maxi skirt



Climbing that corporate ladder in style has never been easier; you just have to re-create the look above. While it's definitely a casual Friday ensemble, pairing a high-neck top with a denim maxi skirt and a massive tote is sure to get you all the compliments by the water cooler. 

Re-create the look:

Yes, your work laptop will fit in this tote bag. 

You can wear this skirt on the weekends too. 

Sunglasses + T-Shirt + Nipped-In Blazer + Relaxed Jeans + Loafers + Mini Bag
summer work outfit idea: woman wearing blazer over t-shirt with jeans



Speaking of denim, you don't have to wait until the weekend to wear your favorite pair. Simply dress them up for work by styling them with a blazer, loafers, and a mini bag. 

Re-create the look:

We're obsessed with this color—it's so chic. 

These jeans are a perennial favorite among our editors. 

Add some joy to your work outfits through your accessories. 

Button-Down + Midi Skirt + Colorful Pumps
summer work outfit idea: woman wearing button-down, full skirt and colorful heels



There's no denying the importance of having a few button-downs and midi skirts for your work wardrobe. But when you're dreading getting dressed for the office, there's one other staple you should have on hand: statement accessories. You want a pair of colorful pumps or any other piece of your choosing because they'll break up the monotony of your staples and brighten your workday in the process. 

It's made from linen, so you know you won't overheat. 

Our hearts skipped a beat when we saw these pumps. 

Sunglasses + Modest Dress + Sandals + Tote Bag
summer work outfit idea: woman wearing dress and sandals



By now, you've hopefully found ample inspiration on what you can wear to the office on a warm summer day. But should you need one last nugget of parting wisdom, let it be this—less is more. When it's hot out and you're rushing to get to work, you don't need to overthink it. Opting for something as simple as a modest dress, sandals, and a tote bag will work every time. 

Re-create the look:

Be sure to go for a dress that has a modest neckline and hemline. 

You will use this every day you go to the office.