How to Dress for the Office in the Summer

As Summer approaches, it just gets hotter and hotter, which probably makes you want to wear less clothing. However, it is important to be conscious of your Summer clothing choices when dressing for work. There is a time and a place for everything, and work is not the place for clothing yourself in revealing garments. Here are some reminders and tips for how you can dress appropriately for the office in the Summer.

Tip #1: Keep Sensitive Areas Covered

You should not show your chest, stomach, underarms, or your butt at the office. This may seem obvious, but unfortunately not to everyone. You will often be reminded of this at almost any job, as well as when you work in an office environment. So, what can you do to dress appropriately? You may not want to go with full coverage because of the heat, but that’s what lighter materials are for, especially with blouses. First, try to stick with blouses and tops that have sleeves. While long sleeves may be too much for the heat, short-sleeves or ¾ sleeves are great for Summer.

Second, remember to wear bottoms that aren’t too short or too loose and casual because they don’t appear like work pants. Leggings and yoga pants are great, light materials for Summer, but they are not appropriate for work. Instead, wear linen pants or khaki pants. You can also forgo traditional dress pants for stretch dress pants, which are usually made of light material and give you room to breathe in the heat.

Third, check your dress and skirt hemlines to make sure they aren’t too short. If your hemlines are too far above the knees, or you can’t bend over without fear of showing your butt, then reevaluate your clothing choices. In addition, do not wear skirts or dresses that are too tight. Form-fitting is nice and will accentuate your appearance, but if the clothes are just tight they can border on inappropriate. Finally, no crop tops! You are not at a Summer concert, okay?

There are some workplaces where these things are exempt, such as in the Fashion industry, in some restaurants and bars, and in very casual workplaces where prior approval was given. An office environment is usually not the place.

Tip #2: Say No to the Toes

As beautiful as you might think your feet are, especially with a fresh pedicure, you will often be discouraged from showing them in the office. Keep that in mind when you choose your footwear in the Summer. There are many close-toed options for work shoes in the Summer, such as flats. They make almond-shaped, round, pointed, and square-toed flats. I’m partial to a perfectly round-toed flat. If you really want to wear sandals and heels, then choose ones that do not show your toes. Keep in mind that footwear such as slides or flip flops are not for the office.

Reminder #1: Always Have a Cardigan or Cover-up on Hand

This reminder is very helpful if you are like me, and you get cold very easily. In the Summer, most offices will blast the air conditioning units because no one likes a stuffy workplace. However, sitting in central air for hours can really bring on a chill, which is something I know too well. It helps to always have an extra cardigan or jacket at your desk, in your bag, or in your car. When you feel like you’ve had enough of the air conditioning but everyone else is still hot, just pull out your cardigan and use that extra layer to get warm. If that doesn’t work and you are freezing, then I wish you luck! Let me know if you have some tips for what measure to take next…

Reminder #2: Dress Comfortably but Professionally

Whether you dress by-the-book for work or you take appropriate risks, you should always remember to dress in a way that makes you comfortable and in a way that maintains professional standards. Don’t wear things that you will constantly have to adjust all day or that leave you regretting your choice in clothing. You should create the best working environment for yourself, and dressing comfortably is a part of that. However, you should also keep the professional standards in mind when dressing comfortably, which means you do not make the choice to wear items such as sweatpants or something similar in the office. 

Sometimes it can be hard to tell what you can and cannot wear in the office, especially when the weather changes, but hopefully this post has helped you. If you would like to share some of your tips and reminders, please do so in the comments below. 


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