Summer Wardrobe – Tips to dress for the weather but remain smart and professional!

Summer Wardrobe

Tips to dress for the weather but remain smart and professional!

Hopefully some warmer weather will be here to stay for a while! So how do you dress for the weather without compromising your professionalism in the office?

We’ve taken a look at some of the do’s and don’ts around summer office fashion!

Some Do’s……

  • Go for lighter fabrics like cotton and linen which will keep you cool and help with concentration on those really hot days – wool and winter boots can be put away for (hopefully) a few months!
  • Consider short sleeved shirts. It is probably harder for men to adapt their work wardrobe for the summer but if your dress code allows, you could consider short sleeved shirts, ditching the tie and even a smart polo shirt.
  • Check the weather forecast! Unfortunately, we just don’t live in a climate where hot weather is in and everything else is out – sometimes you need to prepare for “four seasons in a day” so layering is a good idea and think about whether today is a day for waterproof shoes and an umbrella!
  • Bring a jacket or smart cardigan to workDepending on your company’s dress code, you may be able to where smart sleeveless tops (with at least a 3 inch strap – see below), but a cover up may be necessary for both client meetings and chilly air conditioning…A smart cropped jacket can be a chic and handy addition to your summer wardrobe.
  • Think about the overall outfit and be sure not to show too much skin. Ladies – a sleeveless top may be better worn with trousers rather than a shorter skirt. Gentlemen – make sure that you don’t undo too many shirt buttons!
  • Consider less traditional but smart outfits (if your code allows) such as a tailored jump suit worn with appropriate shoes, accessories and a jacket.
  • Have fun with accessories! If your workplace has a strict dress code, consider adding some brighter accessories – a spring/summer patterned bag or necklace can really help give work outfits a more summery feel.
  • Think about Shoes open toed shoes or sandals can be acceptable depending on the job and work environment, but make sure your feet are clean and manicured – overgrown or dirty toenails need not apply!!!

Some Don’ts….

  • Wear shorts to the office. Despite a ‘trend’ a few years back for office shorts, it is nearly impossible to wear shorts to the office without looking too casual. Your dress code may be relaxed enough for shorts, but if it is make sure that shorts are tailored and not too ‘short’!
  • Wear strappy tops perfect for the beach but not for the office. Straps should be at least 3 inches wide and cover bra straps… Obviously crop tops and strapless tops are also a big no- no!
  • Consider casual or logo’d T shirts unless your dress code allows, t-shirts are very much weekend wear.
  • Go for maxi skirts or dresses these holiday staples scream beach and fun rather than smart and professional, consider a smart midi-skirt instead.
  • ‘Float’ around the office – Summer dresses can be office appropriate but nothing too floaty – go for styles with some structure or tailoring.
  • Show more than you intended. Lighter fabrics and colours are ideal for summer but make sure that your clothes aren’t “see-through” in certain light! Look for linen skirts and dresses with a lining.
  • Flip flop – just Google summer work wear and it’s pretty clear that flip flops are NEVER ok!! Designed for the beach, they just don’t suit a work environment….go for some smart leather sandals instead.


If in doubt err on the side of smart and take a lead from your boss and others around you. Also be sure to check out the company’s dress code and think about how you want your clients and customers to see you.

Now let’s just hope the sun comes out….!

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