I'm a Shopping Expert—Here Are 5 Elevated Looks I'll Wear to Work This Summer

Sponsor Content Created With Calvin Klein

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The weather is warmer, the sandals are out and the Aperol Spritz orders are in, which can only mean one thing: Summer is almost here. The prospect of this season excites most of us in the UK. Higher temperatures, longer days, vacations pending—what's not to love? I can think of only one thing: summer office attire. Looking professional whilst keeping your personal style can be tricky at the best of times, but doing so at the office during a heatwave is a challenge even for us fashion editors. Tailoring is often too restrictive, and there are only so many work-appropriate breathable fabrics on offer. And then there's the dilemma of creating a work wardrobe you'd also wear outside the office. The ideal scenario, of course, is to build a capsule wardrobe that allows our work and personal styles to co-operate with one another. At Who What Wear, we prefer to invest in timeless, quality staples that transcend dramatic seasonal trends whilst remaining fashion-forward and elevating our looks without much effort.

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This is where Calvin Klein steps in. The brand has been a household name for decades, prominently known for its iconic slip dresses worn by celebrities in the '90s. But step inside any one of its stores, and you'll discover not only slip dresses (a flawless fail-safe option for any occasion), trans-seasonal denim and a lot of lovely lingerie but also exquisite staples that easily blend together to form a smart wardrobe whether you're in a corporate environment or a much more laid back one. Its silk shirts, leather pencil skirts, monochrome co-ordinating sets and twill short suits are the fashion person's answer to looking and feeling cool on and off duty this summer.

But you don't have to just take my word for it. I went into a store to put together five easy, elevated outfits that are sure to make you look chic without breaking a sweat. And if that isn't tempting enough, Calvin Klein are now offering an exclusive 20% in-store discount for Who What Wear readers. Simply show this article on your phone at the till, and your purchase will be discounted. Read more about this offer here, and keep scrolling to see my looks.

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Style Notes: This look is so chic. There's no question that I would love to wear this for dinner on a summer evening. The top's cut feels '60s-inspired. It's sleeveless with a fairly straight fit, but the real beauty is in the black swirl print and overlapping fastening at the back. I styled it with these slightly flared cargo pants to add shape to my silhouette, and placed this beautifully soft leather jacket over my shoulders to add a little more black. It's so sleek, minimalist, and effective. If I were going from a meeting to the restaurant, I wouldn't change a single element.

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Style Notes: Everyone knows that summer in the UK requires a trench coat, but this trench is not like any other. It's thick and structured without feeling claustrophobic. It's the perfect length, too—almost the exact length of the midi skirt I wore underneath, so it will still show a little leg below. As for midi skirts (which are having a renaissance this season), this timeless leather number deserves a mention. It would also be fantastic in the cooler months with knee-high boots, so consider it a big investment piece. I styled these with this oversized leather pouch bag (I couldn't resist its giant chain strap) and made this look feel a little preppy by wearing a thick, velvet headband. If you want to make it feel more contemporary, slick your hair back in a low bun, and you're good to go.

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Style Notes: I couldn't go into Calvin Klein without trying on one of the sleek slip dresses. Despite the brand priding itself on a neutral palette, pops of colour like this cobalt blue make the occasional appearance. This hue has been a huge trend in the last 12 months, looking sublime against monochrome and silver/grey tones. The low back and spaghetti straps mean this number is an elegant choice for special events such as weddings, but wearing it with sandals and this "ludicrously capacious" bag and bucket hat gives it a casual edge. If there's one thing that gives me joy, it's being able to genuinely style a dress down or elevate it for a multitude of circumstances.

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Style Notes: Those that know me will tell you how obsessed I am with short suits. Each year, I count down the days to April, which I consider the official start of Short-Suit Season. Bridging the gap between contemporary-cool and chic, a tailored short paired with a matching blazer has an androgynous, sporty feel that's a welcome alternative to floral maxi dresses that are often a go-to in warmer weather. Depending on what's in your diary for the day, dress this particular one up or down to suit (pun intended). If you're wanting a more relaxed vibe, look to sneakers, open-toed sandals and a cap. (Maybe even remove the blazer belt.) But if you're seeking something more sophisticated, opt for a slingback and cinch in the waist.

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Style Notes: A monogrammed belt is an easy and obvious way to make an ensemble look expensive, but ensure the rest of the look is pared back to keep it understated. Instead of other logos, gaudy prints or colours, look to contrasting textures such as this silk shirt with twill tailored shorts. Sometimes, the secret is to keep it simple, so I've gone all black so the warm ivory of the shirt can really sing.

Want to shop more of the Calvin Klein collection? See what's online here or head to the store to receive 20% off with our exclusive Who What Wear offer. Just show this article at the point of purchase.

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Rebecca Rhys-Evans is the branded content editor at Who What Wear UK, where she leads the editorial side to commercial projects. Previously a freelance writer and content consultant, she has written for a variety of publications and brands such as Polyester, Screenshot, Marie Claire and Culture Trip, reporting on everything from fashion NFTs and internet culture to sustainability and sex work, and held editor positions at Buro, Koibird and Shop Magazine.

Having got her taste for luxury fashion (as a very green graduate) in her first position as content editor at Flannels.com, she was quickly promoted to managing the company's e-commerce and content teams. Since then, Rebecca has moved to East London with her partner and cocker spaniel Joni Mitchell and has also delved into styling, copywriting, art directing and social media consultancy, where she loves helping brands carve out their tone of voice, strategy and aesthetic. Fully immersed in the contemporary fashion landscape—the one with TikTok, Y2K and the Metaverse—she is enthusiastic about personal style, pop culture and digital trends.