While summer is vacation season, many of us still must work in an office on a daily basis. Whether you are the CEO of your own company or interning for the aforementioned CEO, these smart staples will keep your look businesslike during the hot summer months.

White jacket:

Adding this flexible foundation to your summer work wardrobe is a must. A white jacket can dress up a casual sundress, flowing printed skirt or slim ankle pants. Treat yourself — and your wardrobe — by selecting more than one white jacket in different styles. A trim cotton-blend blazer looks great with the sleeves pushed up and the collar popped over a pair of brightly colored jeans. A washable unlined woven boyfriend jacket can be thrown on in case your cubicle gets chilly. A white denim jacket is a great casual Friday addition to a gingham shirtdress, printed palazzo pants or an eyelet skirt.

Navy blue:

This dark color is a must for office wear in the summertime. It’s a serious foundation color that pairs beautifully with the bright tones of summer. Navy blue ankle pants look great with kelly green, aqua and orange. When looking to update your summer work attire, consider navy blue dress pants, skirts and sheath dresses for a serious, but seasonally appropriate look for the office.

Closed-toe mules:

When your pedicure is less than perfect, don a pair of closed-toe mules. These shoes are so on-trend right now and can be found in most any color or pattern. If you need to be serious at work in the summer, consider wearing a nude colored patent leather pair. To add a bit of summer fun to your work wardrobe, wear a pair of floral patterned closed-toe mules. The low heel looks great with trim ankle pants or the season’s updated culottes (yes, they are back!).

Summer wardrobe don’ts

Heavy winter cardigan:

You know the dark gray cardigan hanging on the back of your office chair that you don every time the air conditioning is a bit too nippy for your sleeveless shoulders and bare legs? Stash it in the trunk of your car for the next “snowpocalypse.” Instead, use the white jacket previously mentioned, or choose a fine-knit cashmere or cotton-blend cardigan in a bright summer color like coral, raspberry, teal or lavender. You will look stylish while fending off the faux chill of the office air.


Do yourself a favor and put all of your black work pants and cardigans in the back of the closet with your ankle boots. It’s just too serious and drab for the summer. Winter will be here soon enough. Give your black and gray items a break. Wear navy, tan, dusty plum or white in the summertime.


These are never office appropriate, even the bejeweled ones. If the dress code doesn’t shame you into upping your footwear game, listen to this. Flip-flops cause a myriad of foot problems. The lack of support can cause plantar fasciitis, tendonitis and bunions. They also expose your feet to all kinds of bacteria. Yuck!

Final tip:

Store your heavy dark leather handbags until the leaves start to change. For a professional, yet summery look for the office, look for metallics (gold is hot this season), woven or floral printed handbags to show that even though you bring home the bacon, your heart is on the waterslide or the beach.

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