How to Look Polished and Practical at the Office This Summer

It’s the perpetual question: How do you dress for the office in the sweltering heat while still looking perfectly put together and work appropriate? The answer is updating your look with key pieces that skillfully strike the right balance of polish and practicality. In essence, thigh-high shorts and cropped tops, you’re fired. Billowy blouses and midi dresses, you’re hired! To help navigate the tricky rules of summer workwear, we’ve rounded up 27 essential picks to keep you looking cool, professional, and stylish when the temperatures are soaring, the humidity is unrelenting, and the AC is blasting. (Yes, we know all too well what it’s like to sit under an air vent for eight hours. Hello, layers.)

Click through for office-friendly outfits to beat the heat without breaking the dress code.

A white shirt is the foundation of any great work ensemble. Opt for looser sleeves and a slightly boxy fit for a relaxed take on the corporate classic.

The flouncy sleeves, button-down detail, and flattering silhouette make this an instant workwear winner.

Available in sizes 0 to 12. 

Skip the jeans and wear with a tailored skirt to balance the frilly details.

Available in sizes XS to XL.

Billowy blouses and puff-sleeve details are playful and professional, allowing for plenty of airflow on sticky summer days.

The lavender gingham on this puffed-sleeve piece adds a fun element to your workday outfit. 

Available in sizes XS to M. 

When it comes to breezy cotton, bigger is better. Balance the look with a pencil skirt and pumps.

Available in sizes IT36 to IT48. 

Nothing beats a classic button-down, especially when paired with a high-waisted skirt and delicate jewelry.

You'll wear this one forever. 

Available in sizes XS to XXL. 

Anchor your office look with a clean and cool collared silhouette.

Available in sizes XXS to XXL. 

Is there anything more fun than sashaying through the summer breeze in an effortless midi skirt?

Don't be afraid of a floral print for the office. This sophisticated silk version is a no-fail option. 

Available in sizes 14 to 26. 

This skirt can go straight into morning meetings when paired with a slick black blazer. 

Available in sizes 0 to 14. 

A short-sleeve midi dress cinched at the waist is definitively the staple of our summer work wardrobe. Opt for an effortless yet elegant shirt or wrap dress for your easiest outfit of the season.

Just add neutral flats and modern gold earrings for a work-perfect look.

Available in sizes UK4 to UK16. 

Head-to-toe white is the way to go when temperatures start to rise, especially in a cooling linen fabric. 

Available in sizes XS to XXL. 

Cropped wide-leg pants are the easiest answer to looking sophisticated in summer. Trade black for a lighter, neutral hue.

Team these trousers with a fitted tee, a longline vest, and strappy statement sandals.

Available in sizes 0 to 12. 

Try them in an on-trend pastel hue.

Available in sizes 14 to 28.

Stripes infuse every outfit with a nonchalant elegance. Negotiate a gentler approach to the classic print with a loose fit.

Give these striped, laid-back pants an office-worthy makeover with a sleek blazer up top.

Available in sizes 0 to 12. 

Pair with a simple tee on casual Fridays.

Available in sizes FR 34 to FR 44.

Layering is essential when maneuvering from city streets to the subway to the boardroom and everywhere in between. Tackle unpredictable climates with a lightweight blazer, longline vest, or cashmere cardigan.

Opt for soft tailoring in a neutral shade. 

Available in sizes XS to XXL. 

For those of us battling the AC, a cozy cream cardigan is the perfect sartorial solution.

Available in sizes XS to L. 

Elevate your relaxed work look with refined accessories in black, white, and neutral shades.

Black mules work with every ensemble. 

Available in sizes 6 to 10. 

Pack your laptop, SPF, and summer essentials in this timeless and seriously chic black leather tote. 

 

An abstract statement ring provides of-the-moment polish for a finishing touch.