Office not got air con? Got to endure a sweaty commute on the Underground? Yep, us too. Dressing for work in summer is a challenging mission that's not for the faint-hearted. Not all places of work are strappy summer dress– and flat sandal–friendly. After all, you have to look relatively formal and smart enough for all manner of meetings. But, chances are, as soon as the clock strikes 6, you'll be dashing out the door to start more fun social activities, so your wardrobe needs to work hard for you, taking you from your desk to drinks seamlessly and (hopefully) without breaking a sweat (literal or otherwise).
We rounded up the best outfit ideas inspired by our favourite fashion experts to give you a helping hand. Because as much as we'd all rather be on the beach (or at least in a park), it's not always possible. Welcome to your new-season summer style.
Midi Skirt + T-Shirt
Skirts that fall just below the knee are an appropriate office length while still letting you show a bit of that summer glow. Pair with a simple crewneck T-shirt in a bright summery shade and some woven sandals—a cooler office-appropriate footwear choice in every sense of the word.
Simple, but with such nice fabrication that it's smart enough for work.
The perfect summer shoes.
Cotton Trousers + Shirt
Thank heavens for minimalism and its focus on pared-back wardrobe essentials. For when there really isn't movement on the classic office dress code, look for lightweight cotton chino trousers with a contemporary cut and an unfussy shirt or blouse that will keep you as cool as you are covered. Chic.
No one said your shirt can't be fun.
Dress down over the weekend with a T-shirt and slides.
Half shoes, half sandals. Mules really are the heroes of a summer work wardrobe.
Wrap Dress + Boots
A simple breezy wrap dress is a great alternative to a floral maxi, which might at times feel a little too prairie for the office. While Roberta's Mango dress is silk, look for a lightweight cotton alternative in a similar silhouette: The billowy skirt will keep you cool. Ankle boots do work well, but sneakers or flat sandals would be just as good.
Wear this one on the beach, too.
Like a tote bag, but better.
Shorts Suit + Kitten Heels
A shorts suit is a great solution to the "what to wear to work in a heat wave" conundrum. Renia styles her Tibi co-ord with a pair of on-trend Balenciaga kitten heels and a wide belt to give shape to the boxy silhouette. You can also adapt this look to fit with the formality of your workspace—just add a shirt rather than a tee for a more classic look.
Why not see what our editors wore during the last heat wave for more inspo?