The Worst Pieces To Wear To Work In The Summer


Dressing in the heat is hard enough without throwing in an office dress code to boot. And at this point in the season, all of us are facing this reality on the daily, struggling every morning to find a work-appropriate ensemble that won’t leave us sweating in minutes. The temptation to wear a slightly inappropriate top or dress to get through the day and risking the wrath of HR is something most of us have probably already given into in the name of comfort. We get it. But rather than despair whilst dripping buckets or toe the line of unprofessional, we’ve put together six simple guidelines to follow to ensure a polished look sans the sizzle. Consider the rules ahead when picking out your hot-weather work ensembles.

Julien Boudet/

Summer Trends To Avoid At Work

You're probably familiar with the rule that if a garment requires a strapless bra, you probably shouldn't wear it to work. We stand by that, which means our beloved off-the-shoulder tops and dresses should be left for evenings and weekends. Instead, a boatneck or bateau neckline or widened collar is more suitable. You can even shimmy a wide collar off one shoulder for a show of skin once you're off the clock.

Striped Blouse With Embellished Sleeves



Shop The Solution

This should seem obvious, but alas, we've witnessed some repeat offenders. If you're trying to get by in little to no fabric, a fluid material like silk is cool to the skin while still providing coverage when worn in a longer silhouette.

Leclair Ruffled Polka-Dot Satin Midi Skirt



Shop The Solution

Again, this seems obvious, and yet again, we feel the need to say it. If what you're seeking is a swift breeze, go with a loose-fitting tunic that feels less constricting and promotes airiness. If you're petite, a tunic can likely work as a dress. If you're tall, we'd suggest layering over a lightweight pair or trousers in cotton or linen.

Oversized Cotton-Poplin Tunic



Shop The Solution

Speaking of linen, it's the perfect fabric in the heat for breathability and our number one suggestion for those tempted to wear something sheer (this writer has a particularly fond memory of a former intern wearing a completely neon sheer dress over just her skivvies and hasn't been able to shake that memory). From dresses to pants to tops, linen has a lot of structure and versatility, which helps it maintain a professional appearance.

Tall Drape Knot Dress In Irish Linen



Shop The Solution

Jean shorts never have been, nor will they ever be, office-appropriate. If you're wanting to show a little leg while maintaining your boss-lady standing, a Bermuda-length short is the way to go. Tailored options with a fluid fit and solid color schemes are easy to pull off with a range of tops and jackets. We recommend ensuring your shorts hit just above the knee to avoid looking stumpy, no matter your height.

Dresses Loose Fit Shorts


& Other Stories

Shop The Solution

Like the strapless bra rule mentioned above, if you need one for a cutout or one-shoulder top or are unsure if your underwear may reveal itself through a cut in a dress, you definitely shouldn't wear it to work. Crochet pieces are timeless in summer and offer breathability, similar to linen. Aim for classic options with knit panels or with lining (many crochet offerings are designed for the beach and are too revealing for the workplace).

Crochet-Paneled Fil Coupé Cotton Shirt


See by Chloe

Shop The Solution