Summer work fashion: what to wear to the office in the summer

These 5 office outfits will keep you both cool and comfortable during the heatwave

The office is back! Which means only one thing: the dreaded daily sartorial deliberation. Take the stress out of dressing with these summer office outfit ideas. 

Now that the office is back (remember the office?), there’s many a frazzled morning brain trying to make sense of the clothes lining the recesses of their wardrobes.

If this hit a nerve, you’re not alone. After how-ever-many-months spent WFB (Working From Bed), WFKT (Working From Kitchen Table) or WFFH (Working From a Friend’s House), for many the office is being woven back into our daily rituals, which means that the sweatpant/pyjama hybrids we haven’t taken off for two years are facing relegation. And if there’s one thing your CEO doesn’t need to see, it’s just how feral your bottom half’s fashion game really has become.

There’s help at hand, though, and for those returning to the world of work wives, £15 Pret lunches and water-cooler chat, it’s in the form of this bumper guide to dressing for a return to the office – specifically during the balmy months of summer. After all, if there’s anything that could make the return of dressing in the dark after a 6am alarm even worse, it’s the concept of doing it in the blazing heat too.

Dressing for summer is a minefield at the best of times, but view it as a fine art – one that merely needs to be practised and finessed. There is, after all, a fine line between being professional and put-together without melting into a puddle at the foot of your hot desk. Consider this your summer office outfit best friend, or make it easier for yourself, and follow these five outfit formulas for foolproof heatwave office dressing. You’re welcome.

Embrace a linen two-piece suit

Summer work fashion: what to wear to the office in the summer
A linen two-piece suit looks put-together without requiring any actual effort from the wearer.

The true MVP material of summer is linen, which manages to morph itself into being exactly what its wearer requires. Should your get-up need a structural touch, employ the services of a tough linen; should it need a billowy breathable hand in the right direction, linen is a no-brainer. For workwear in the summer though, it’s the linen two-piece suit that ought to be given your full attention. 

Reach for a floaty floral dress

Summer work fashion: what to wear to the office in the summer
Familiarise yourself with the humble floral dress, it's a workwear saviour.

It’s the summertime perennial that you most likely already rely upon to carry you through the rest of the year in style, but for the return to the office, allow your floaty floral dress to do all of the talking for you. Should your place of work adopt Summer Fridays or just team drinks on Thirsty Thursday, a floral frock is the seamless stylistic option that will transition you from desk to dusk with minimal effort. 

A pinstripe shirt is your friend

Summer work fashion: what to wear to the office in the summer
A simple T-shirt and pinstriped shirt combination will take the stress out of workwear dressing.

Whether you steal one from the man in your life or invest in your own, a pinstriped cotton poplin shirt is a summertime essential. Avoid sweaty ’pits on the commute and keep it light and airy by sizing up and wearing with XXL trousers that allow skin to breathe for optimal summer style points. 

Jeans + sandals = style perfection

Summer work fashion: what to wear to the office in the summer
Jeans and sandals are an office no-brainer for during the warm weather.

There are few style combinations as foolproof as jeans and a classic pair of sandals, and for the office in summer, this singing duet truly comes into its own. The key is to keep jeans ankle-length and sandals chunky, so as to avoid any sloppy flip flop-esque connotations. Forget the old rule of never showing your toes in the office – this is summer after all. 

Dress and trainers is a foolproof formula

Summer work fashion: what to wear to the office in the summer
A simple dress and trainer combo is simple and faultlessly stylish.

The virtues of the humble dress and trainer combination have been extolled at large. Here’s a sartorial duet that is the sum of merely two components, both of which are likely already lying in the dusty corners of your wardrobe. To make it as office-friendly as possible, reach for a punchy-coloured dress in a primary colour and a pair of crisp, white trainers, and there you have the two-second office dressing hack you never knew you needed. 

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