With much of the country in the middle of a massive summer heat wave, dressing for the office with a balance of cool and professional can be a challenge. To pull off a chic, work-ready look during the summer months, start with the basics like a gray or white dress and then accessorize with bold pops of color that reflect the season.
For example, blue reminds me of the ocean, which automatically conjures up fond memories of the summer, so I love adding vibrant shades of cobalt to simple pieces for a crisp, fresh approach. But if blue isn’t your go-to color, you can achieve a summery look with other bright hues such as fuchsia, orange, yellow or green. Whether you accessorize in the form of a bag, scarf or jewelry, don’t be afraid to experiment with color. Summer is definitely the time to mix it up and have fun with your wardrobe even in an office setting!
While I do believe in investing in the classics such as a timeless black shift dress, a chic white blazer and black pointed toe pumps, I’m including more budget-friendly options below because these are staples every woman should own. And don’t forget that as a Splender member, you will receive cash back on each purchase, from the basics to the pops of color!
- Black Shift Dress: This is an office staple – forgive the pun – you’ll reach for time and again. So, don’t feel guilty splurging on a quality piece such as this version by David Meister (available at Neiman Marcus with 6% cash back). I love the cinched waist, the bateau neckline and the mid-knee length, which is appropriate for any office. This budget-friendly option for less than $70 is the perfect alternative (available at Macy’s with 4% cash back).
- White Blazer: How crisp and clean is this fitted, sleek, white blazer? It’s the ideal summer staple whether you pair it with a silk cami and jeans or throw it on over your LBD for a polished and professional work ensemble. I’m coveting this version by Barbara Bui (available at Intermix with 8% cash back), but for a more wallet-friendly choice, this one from Banana Republic (with 3% cash back for Splender members) is a steal for $130.
- Silk Scarf: A vibrant silk scarf is such a chic summer office accessory. You can wear it as a belt with a classic white button down and jeans, worn around your waist as a pareo poolside, worn as a head piece a la Grace Kelly (you’ll need a convertible, too), or around your neck to accent a simple LBD (and keep your neck warm inside an air conditioned office). I love this bright blue version by DVF (available at Diane von Furstenberg with 5% cash back). And this affordable option by J.Crew Factory with 4% cash back is also a great choice – and less than $25!
- Oversize Sunglasses: No outfit is complete without a sophisticated and timeless pair of oversize sunglasses. This pair from Elizabeth and James is the ideal accessory with an LBD for the office (available at Bergdorf Goodman with 6% cash back). For a less expensive option, this pair from Forever 21 (with 3% cash back) is equally chic and only $6!
- Statement Bag: A structured statement bag is a must when completing an office look. I love this bold, blue option by Fendi (which is definitely an investment, but it’s a piece you will have forever). This one is available at Neiman Marcus with 6% cash back. For a more budget-friendly option, this version from Furla would also be office appropriate (available at Bloomindale’s with 4% cash back).
- Pointed-Toe Black Pumps: No matter the season, a pointed-toe black pump is an absolute office wardrobe necessity! It instantly elevates any look, whether you’re wearing jeans and a blazer, a pencil skirt or a black shift dress. I would invest in a good pair, because you will wear these a lot (I’m loving this pair by Jimmy Choo, which is available at Neiman Marcus with 6% cash back). If this price point isn’t what you had in mind, this pair by Louise et Cie is the perfect alternative for a fraction of the cost (available at Lord & Taylor with 8% cash back).
If you’re looking for office outfit ideas, start with the basics such as a simple shift dress, a fitted blazer and classic pumps, and then choose colorful and versatile accessories like a silk scarf, a polished statement bag and tasteful jewelry. Even though you work in an office setting, that doesn’t mean you can’t brighten up your look for summer and give your wardrobe a fun, fresh face-lift!
Don’t forget to shop for everything through Splender, where you’ll find deals and discounts and earn cash back on every purchase.
Kate Dunphy is the author of Taffeta & Tulips, a lifestyle and fashion blog created to inspire and elevate the every day through timeless and approachable fashion choices, healthy and easy recipes, and creative and simple ways to improve your living space.