Summer office style can be difficult to master. Whether you’re hopping onto a steamy subway or dealing with air conditioners on full blast at the office (or both), figuring out the right thing to wear can be a challenge. And if you do opt for summery styles, are they actually appropriate to wear at work?
To find out how to navigate the tricky topic, we enlisted the advice of Who What Wear’s editors. Just like you, we think about this topic often and have figured out the styles that strike the perfect balance of fashion-forward and office-appropriate. Ahead, we’re sharing the pieces we would never wear to the office—and the outfits to wear instead.
Keep reading to find out the pieces we never wear to the office, then shop editor-approved picks to wear all summer long.
“Although we often talk about how to dress leggings up, I’d never wear them to the office. I think there are certain ‘treggings’ you can get away with, but in general, they’re just too form-fitting and casual. If I want to be comfortable yet polished, I’d instead wear these high-waisted black jeans and a pair of kitten heels—so chic.” — Allyson Payer, Editor
Vintage-influenced clothing is always loved in a fashion office.
Kitten heels are cute and comfortable.
“As much as I love a good slip dress, it’s a little too ‘minimal’ to wear to the office. To make sure not to traumatize my boss, I’ll layer a slip dress with a T-shirt or top. More coverage and a chance to get creative works for me.” — Aemilia Madden, Editor
This summer slip dress is great for the office and busy weekends.
You can never go wrong with basic white tee!
“Anything that requires a strapless bra is off-limits for me at the office (thanks for the rule of thumb, Hillary Kerr!).” — Michelle Scanga, Managing Editor
This statement top is perfect with a basic pair of pants for the office.
“I would definitely never wear jean shorts to the office. It seems no matter how you style them, they never feel elevated enough. Instead, I would opt for a breezy midi skirt and graphic tee.” — Lauren Eggertsen, Associate Editor
Upgrade your staple white tee with a fun, fashionable design.
A midi skirt is a safe bet for an acceptable length for the workplace.
“I would never wear off-the-shoulder tops or dresses at the office. Like our co-founder Hillary Kerr says, if you have to wear a strapless bra with something, it’s a no-go for 9-to-5. Instead, I’d wear a bra-friendly dress like this Reformation one and pair it with affordable Zara shoes.” — Erin Fitzpatrick, News Editor
This patterned wrap dress is flattering on every body type.
These affordable mules are totally versatile enough for your different office looks.
“I tend to skip tank tops at the office. Unless, of course, I throw a blazer on top. Then, they turn out to be the perfect layering piece for the office.” — Kristen Nichols, Associate Editor
This French brand is loved by fashion girls everywhere.
A basic white tank top is our new obsession this summer.
“I’d never wear a tight, body-con dress—even if it were midi length. I don’t think I could make it through the day in one. Instead, I’d opt for something breezy yet still flattering and polished.” — Nicole Akhtarzad, Market Editor
Add this pop of red to your work outfit routine this summer.
“While we have a bit more of a relaxed dressed code than, say, a corporate finance office, in the summer, a good rule of thumb I follow is just to never to wear anything that looks like I plan to sneak away to the beach anytime soon (so no cutoff shorts, flimsy dresses better suited for a swim cover-up, strappy tank tops, etc.). Actually, this HVN dress is my ideal summer work look. It’s tailored yet has a breezy skirt, and it’s in a bright, powerful shade of red—a personal favorite.” — Gina Marinelli, Senior News Editor
Pair this dress with pumps and statement earrings for the office.