10 Ways to Refresh Your Summer Workwear

10 Ways to Reinvent

Classic Summer Workwear

Summer is upon us and with it comes weekends at the beach, backyard barbecues and hitting summer festivals. Contrary to the easiness of summer weekends, there’s the Monday-to-Friday work grind. As you transition back to work from your fun weekend in the sun, the last thing you’re thinking about is wearing a boring and stifling suit. Trying to choose outfits that balance the need to stay cool with office appropriateness can be exhausting. Luckily, this season there are many ways to freshen up your summer work wardrobe. Here are 10 ways to reinvent your classic summer workwear.

1. The New Button-Down

A button-down shirt is a workwear staple item that can be worn for every work occasion. This summer give your button-down shirt a well-deserved break and instead wear one of the many revamped versions. These versions have fun details like bell sleeves, tie waists, ruffles and tie sleeves. The fun details add a bit of flare and whimsy to your outfit, and who doesn’t need a little extra pop in the summer? These shirts are just as versatile as the classic button-down so wear them with your pantsuit or a skirt and with or without a blazer.

2. The Classic Midi

The midi-dress is the perfect look to wear from the office to all your dress to impress after-work events. Classic, cute and chic you will be sure to feel like the boss lady you are in this outfit. Paired with heels or flats you can’t go wrong with this spring style.

3. Denim Redefined

Everyone’s favorite fabric is a perfect way to style your workwear. The ease and feel of denim are incorporated into work-like silhouettes such as tweed jackets, midi skirts, dresses, and pumps. Also, the denim stretch fabric does not heavily wrinkle so it’s perfect to pack for business trips. Wear a denim sheath dress with black wedge shoes for a modern look.

4. Chunky Mule Sandals

Commuting to work while wearing your heels in the summer equals swollen feet and blisters. Commuting while wearing flip flops is great, but then you have to lug around your work shoes and change. The chunky mule sandal sweeps in to the rescue! The chunky block heel offers stability and comfort. The slip-on aspect offers ease, and the sandal part is perfect for summer. These sandals can be worn with dresses, pants and skirts. For a classic look, wear a chunky mule sandal with a fit-and-flare dress. For a modern look, wear a chunky mule sandal with wide leg pants and a front tie shirt.

5. Infuse Bold Prints

This summer, infuse dramatic bold prints into your work wear. Examples of these eye-catching prints are colorful stripes, globally inspired prints, zig zags, and florals.

The best way to wear these modern prints for work is to pair them with neutral color items. For example, take a bright yellow floral top and pair it with tan pants. Another option would be to wear a dress with a globally inspired print such as a batik, and pair it with a solid black blazer.

Photo Courtesy of Lulus
6. The Shirt Dress

Dresses are perfect for summer workwear. Easy and cool to wear, dress-code appropriate, there are options for every body type. The shirt dress is a fresh silhouette to add to any work wear outfit rotation.

7. Millennial Pink

From clothing to furniture to housewares, millennial pink is the color of choice. A throwback from the 90’s, this color has chugged along through the times, and shows no signs of slowing down, but actually gaining in strength. What makes this color so successful? Quite a few things: it can easily match with other colors, adds a nice pop to an outfit or room and it’s a gender-neutral color. It’s soft enough to wear in the summer, yet strong and confident enough for workwear. Looking to go for an all-out pink work outfit? Try a millennial pink bell sleeve A-line dress with pink wrap sandals. If you want to just dabble in the color you can add pink accessories such as earrings, a handbag or shoes to a tan or navy dress.

8. Belted Blazer

When you think of workwear you immediately think of blazers. They are an essential part of any suit and they’re easy to throw on when you’re looking for a savvy look. But they can look a bit dull and uptight. Switch up the classic blazer by wearing it with a belt. Take a medium width belt, with or without a print, and wear it around your waist over your blazer. Cinching a belt around the waist gives you more definition and makes for an updated look. This is also a great day-to-night look.

9. Pattern Mixing

This look is perfect for summer, but not for the dull at heart. You can throw caution to the wind at work and yet not be sent home for wearing an inappropriate outfit. This trend entails paring various prints together into one outfit. For work, mix two different prints. For example, wear a floral blouse with a striped skirt, plain pumps and a cardigan or blazer.

10. Oversized Tote

There’s a lot to carry when you go to work: your laptop, makeup, phone, wallet and maybe a light sweater for AC-blasting offices. Carrying an oversized tote accomplishes two things: it’s a place to put all your things, and it’s one of this summer’s freshest trends. Any of these workwear options will have you looking and feeling confident this summer.

This article was first published on 7/17
Monisha Kapur

Monisha Kapur learned how to spot trends while working in NYC's fashion industry. She believes that every woman should embrace her own personal style and that maintaining her style doesn’t have to fall victim to her hectic lifestyle. Through her company, 344pm, Monisha provides women with one-on-one online wardrobe consultations that are tailored to their individual style, budget and body shape. Monisha has contributed to publications such as Working Mother, Not Now Mom's Busy and Red Tricycle Seattle. When she's not working with her fabulous clients, or blogging, or binge watching anything on Netflix she can be found spending time with her techie husband and 9 year old daughter (aka her assistant buyer).

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