Your sartorial solutions to wearing summer dresses at the office.
Dressing for the office can pose quite the sartorial conundrum; however, once the sunshine arrives and the temperatures increase it can become almost impossible. Short hemlines are generically looked down upon and your typical sun-kissed outfits are anything but appropriate for the office environment. Despite the restrictive dress code, your personal style does not have to suffer. Although you may need to rework your go-to Spring/Summer ensembles, there are still many ways to dress yourself without sacrificing your fashion choices altogether.
Here are my sartorial solutions on constructing a professional ensemble for the warm-weather and a compilation of Spring/Summer styles that will elevate your smartwear portfolio without offending your boss.
The vibe– Classic, conservative, professional, polished.
While dress codes are generally less strict than they once were, you still want to ensure you find an appropriate balance between what is office appropriate and summer-approved. Short hemlines and showing too much skin should be avoided. Choose lightweight, cooling fabrics in timeless streamlined fits for a chic tailored ensemble that will have heads turning in the boardroom.
Despite classic silhouettes being deemed as ‘safe’ options they can work wonderfully in the office. A classic dress style is usually perceived as boring and predictable; however, as someone who is passionate about the timeless aesthetic, I think that a time-honoured dress can diminish the stereotypical mundane look. This is because they make great foundations to style upon.
As exemplified with my outfit here, wearing a white shirt underneath a simply cut dress elevates the garment and exudes the impression that I am a sartorial maven. The jokes on them because this is actually a two-in-one dress and comes with the shirt attached. Despite this, the outfit formula is still a great sartorial solution and looks just as good –if not better- as individual pieces. Moreover, as this dress is a little short, covering my arms makes the style more office-appropriate and balances out my proportions whilst still ensuring I keep cool in the Spring/Summer temperatures. As mentioned a number of times- it’s always a good idea to only show off one body part at a time.
Get in line for pinstripes
No longer solely for Mr. Wolfe’s masters of the universe and business men alike, pinstripes have long been a symbol of power dressing. Their impressive history of sartorial strength is perhaps why I have always loved the design. However, they offer more than just a boost of female empowerment when worn. This delicate and discrete print adds a touch of depth to your ensembles, elevating that typically ‘boring’ dress to new heights. Moreover, thanks to gangsters and successful bankers favouring pinstriped suits and wearing them like armour, this famous print is strongly associated with professional dress codes. Simply throw on a pinstriped item and marvel at how quickly your ensemble transitions to a nine-to-five look.
This really should be self-explanatory, however, sometimes it is overlooked. Ensuring you are always wearing light, breathable fabrics are highly important in putting together a warm-weather workwear look. A morning commute to work can be long and stressful at the best of times (London commuter speaking here) and thus, the last thing anyone wants is to be sweating on the train. Therefore, it is advisable to wear airy fabrics such as cotton and linen blends whilst avoiding heavier fabrics such as wool, acrylic, and cashmere. Although I do not recommend animal fabrics regardless of the season due to the dreadful animal cruelty behind each material.
Putting together an office-approved outfit is no easy task. This is why curating a formula that works for you through is highly important. By considering certain silhouettes, materials and print and textures for added depth, you can achieve a successfully professional summer outfit that will revive your nine-to-five with coveted chic flair.