Bright sunshine, clear blue sky and warm temperatures make for the type of weather Michiganders dream of all winter long. Summer offers that option to slip into a simple sundress or a pair of shorts and sandals without a care in the world. But when it comes to dressing for the office it can sometimes be tricky to transition summer into everyday that is spent working at the office.
The secret to looking and feeling good at work for summer is actually quite simple. Like any other season, it’s about mixing and matching items to create a professional, stylish, and comfortable look.
Start with the basics.
Collared shirts, pencil shirts, simple black pumps, suits, and slacks are some of the major staples that consist of work attire. Depending on the dress code at the work place, it can, sometimes a little leniency is given. To keep it simple, keep these staple items to wear in the office in mind and simply mix in separates to achieve a professional summer look.
For example, instead of wearing a white collared shirt with a pencil skirt or pair of slacks, choose a shirt with color or light embellishments. Ruffles would be an elegant and simple embellishment choice. Try to stray from embellishments that include stones or busy patterns. A short sleeved blouse with a small bow that drapes down the front is another great embellishment option.
A subtle, pattern is a great choice too. A pink or blue pin-striped short-sleeved shirt is pretty and appropriate for the office. It’s simple and classic but still dolls up work wear.
Lastly, when it comes to shirts, don’t be afraid to mix different fabrics. A blouse that has layers of chiffon, lace, or silk can add more femininity to a business look. A blouse can always pair perfectly with a basic skirt or pair of pants.
A printed skirt can also work as long as it is styled with an understated blouse or short-sleeve collared shirt. Be mindful that a print says plenty on its own so it does not require an equally-vivid item. Depending on the work place, a printed skirt may be too casual so air on the side of caution, if uncertain.
Mixing in interesting separates is not the only way to add summer appeal to work attire. Consider shoe wear and jewelry. Shoes can be tricky because some work places allow open toe shoes or even a slight peep toe while others simply do not.
Use summer as an excuse to do some shopping for a new pair of shoes or two. A pair of closed-toe wedges and stylish flats can easily wake up a typical professional look. Slip into pair of flats by Michael Kors, Tory Burch, or Kate Spade (to name a few) with an everyday business dress or pants. It’s tasteful and stylish.
The size of a heel doesn’t always matter. It’s truly about the style. A pair of beige or black leather wedges can go a long way in adding to professional look too. Wedges can be a welcome change from a pump or stiletto. They also have a fun, summer feel to them.
Aside from shoes, jewelry is another way to accessorize and bring summer to a look. A statement piece or a colorful piece of jewelry can make a difference. Jewelry that features distinctive colors, stones, and shapes can be a subtle way to add summer to a look.
Look for unique stones such as Smoky Topaz, Onyx, Mother of Pearl, and Amethyst. Even with the strictest dress code, jewelry is an acceptable way to slip in the color, brightness, and lightheartedness of summer for work attire.
Remember summer is only here for a few short months so enjoy it. Make everyday in summer a fashion hit by keeping these dress tips in mind for the office.
Raquel is a Michigan native with a Bachelors in Journalism from the University of Michigan. She loves fashion and writing about life’s everyday stories. She has written for various local publications that include Dearborn Press & Guide and Detroit Fashion Pages.