8 Summer Work Outfit Ideas
Looking to heat up your work wardrobe for summer? We rounded up eight key tips for summer office dressing inspired by stars like Olivia Palermo and Taylor Swift, from the sophisticated shorts look to the printed pencil skirt to (our favorite) the summer pantsuit. Click to see them all.
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OUTFIT 1: The Bold Maxi
Often worn as weekend- or beachwear, maxis are casual musts. For a more refined look, copy Jordana Brewster's structured silhouette, higher neckline, and accessories that boast the same yellow undertones, like warm leather accents.
OUTFIT 2: The Graphic Sheath
Try out Jessica Chastain’s take on the traditional LWD. A graphic print upgrades it from weekendwear, plus the design forgives and flatters every body shape. White pumps and a bright cobalt blue bag leave a crisp, clean finish.
OUTFIT 3: The Work-Appropriate White
The key to pulling off white pants? The fit. Anything too loose or too tight can cross the line from office-friendly to office-faux-pas. Like Gwyneth Paltrow, couple a tailored ankle-skimming pair with a classic black top nude sandals. Shoulder an oversize tote by day and carry a clutch by night.
OUTFIT 4: The Summer Pantsuit
It’s a tad intimidating to follow Olivia Palermo’s footsteps and match head to toe. Pick a peplum top in a citrus hue and pair it with pants a shade darker or lighter. To avoid color overdose, break the look up with a leopard print belt, a dark-hued satchel, and colorful ankle-strap sandals.
Milly, viscose-blend, $250; net-a-porter.com.
10 Crosby by Derek Lam, cotton, $245; farfetch.com.
Express, leather, synthetic, $25; express.com.
Asos, polyurethane, polyester, $65; asos.com.
French Connection, leather, $90; frenchconnection.com.
OUTFIT 5: The Casual-Chic Crop
Sing rhapsody blues with Miranda Kerr in a chambray button-down tucked into navy-and-white print shorts. Important note: Look for an appropriate length and not one that rides uptothere. Metallic ballet flats add a touch of polish to an otherwise low-key look.
Topshop, cotton, $58; nordstrom.com.
Zero + Maria Cornejo, acetate, cotton, polyester, $198; lagarconne.com.
Topshop, leather, $160; topshop.com.
Circus by Sam Edelman, man-made, $53; zappos.com.
OUTFIT 6: The Sophisticated Shorts
Take advantage of the shorts-suit trend, just like Taylor Swift. Balance the shorter hemline with a long-sleeve blouse (you can always shrug on the matching blazer for power meetings) and finish off with nude kitten-heels—save the sky-highs for after hours.
River Island, polyester, $64; riverisland.com.
Babaton, triacetate, polyester, $65; aritzia.com.
Mango, polyurethane, $35; mango.com.
Zara, leather, polyurethane, rubber, $50; zara.com.
OUTFIT 7: The Printed Pencil
Diane Kruger, a professional print mixologist, married a black-and-white striped peplum top with a blue-and-white patterned pencil skirt. Do the same, selecting patterns that offset each other (i.e., subdued and bold, not subdued and subdued). Opt for pointy-toe hot-red flats—the style is office-appropriate, but the color says, "Hello!"
OUTFIT 8: The Floral Skirt
Perfect for balmy days, a fun floral A-line gets an office upgrade with a sleeveless white button-down, like Emmy Rossum's look. Stick with neutral accessories; but if you’re looking for that extra oomph, glam up your look with a textured purse and a hint of glint at the heel, all within the same color palette.