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From Boardroom to Beach: Summer Fashion Inspiration for the Workplace

By Kelsey Hokit
  • Fashion & Apparel

Navigating summer fashion in the workplace can be a challenge, especially when balancing professionalism with the desire to stay cool and stylish. The key is to find versatile pieces that transition seamlessly from the boardroom to after-work beach outings. Here’s how you can incorporate summer fashion into your work wardrobe without compromising on professionalism.

1. Light and Breathable Fabrics

The foundation of any summer work wardrobe is the fabric. Opt for light, breathable materials like cotton, linen, and chambray. These fabrics allow air to circulate, keeping you cool throughout the day. Linen blouses, cotton dresses, and chambray shirts are perfect choices. A tailored linen blazer can be a stylish layer that is both professional and comfortable, providing a polished look without the weight of traditional suit fabrics.

2. Bright and Bold Colors

Summer is the perfect time to experiment with color. While the workplace often calls for a more subdued palette, don’t shy away from incorporating bright and bold hues into your outfits. Think coral, turquoise, and sunflower yellow. A vibrant blouse paired with neutral trousers or a colorful pencil skirt with a simple white top can bring a pop of summer into your office attire. These colors not only brighten your look but also your mood, making the workday feel a bit more cheerful.

3. Versatile Dresses

Dresses are a summer staple that can easily be adapted for the workplace. Look for styles that are modest yet stylish, such as midi dresses or shirt dresses. Wrap dresses are particularly versatile, offering a flattering fit that suits most body types. Choose dresses in solid colors or subtle prints that can be accessorized for a more formal look. Pair with a lightweight cardigan or blazer during office hours, and you’re ready for a beachside dinner after work.

4. Comfortable Footwear

Footwear is crucial when it comes to summer fashion. Opt for shoes that are comfortable yet professional. Espadrilles, loafers, and block-heeled sandals are excellent choices that offer both style and comfort. Avoid overly casual footwear like flip-flops or overly high heels that may be uncomfortable for all-day wear. A chic pair of open-toe mules can also be a great addition, providing ventilation while maintaining a professional appearance.

5. Accessories and Layering

Accessories can make or break an outfit, especially in the summer. Lightweight scarves, statement necklaces, and elegant belts can add a touch of personality to your work attire. Sunglasses are a must for those sunny commutes and can add a touch of glam when heading to an after-work gathering. Layering is also key; having a lightweight jacket or cardigan on hand can help you transition from the cool office air conditioning to the warmer outdoor temperatures with ease.

6. Smart Casual Attire

Many workplaces adopt a more relaxed dress code during the summer. Embrace the smart casual trend by mixing formal pieces with casual ones. A tailored blazer over a simple t-shirt and chinos, or a structured skirt paired with a relaxed blouse, strikes the perfect balance. This approach allows you to stay professional without feeling overdressed in the heat.

Dressing for the workplace in summer doesn’t mean sacrificing style for comfort. By choosing breathable fabrics, incorporating bright colors, selecting versatile dresses, prioritizing comfortable footwear, accessorizing smartly, and embracing smart casual attire, you can effortlessly transition from the boardroom to the beach. This summer, let your wardrobe reflect the season's vibrancy while maintaining the professionalism required in the workplace.