While in Japan women have stood up against the high heel policies, that companies in the country tightly hold on to, we here in Europe struggle to juggle in the middle of office outfit policies and immense heatwaves.
It can be a slippery slope negotiating strap shoulders and sandals that work well for the commute but do not look professional at all in the meeting room. Also, as we know, the air conditioning in most offices is set on a level that benefits men wearing suits. Meanwhile, us ladies shudder away.
Yes, Summer fashion for office can be a tricky game. There are certain pitfalls that should be avoided at all costs, and some gray lines that differ from office to office.
Some companies send their teams an e-mail instructing everyone on the Summer dress code. But there are cultural differences; in Central and Southern Europe such e-mails are a norm and nobody bads an eyelid at them, whereas in Northern countries such orders would be frowned upon, perhaps even taken offensively.
But no matter whether you receive an instruction e-mail on outfit policies or not, there’s an easy way to make sure you’re always dressed respectfully without having to melt outside or freeze inside.
These are the main rules to keep in mind to maintain your chic while adapting to office dress codes during the hot months.
Office Appropriate Summer Fashion Rules
Let’s start with the basics, shall we. When clothes get lighter and thinner, the underwear you choose plays a much bigger part on how appropriate (or not) you look. My advice is to stick to skin toned bra and undies throughout the Summer months.
White jeans, skirts and shirts are a rage every Summer, and we all understand why. But white is also very delicate. Even white denim can easily be see-through, so please don’t pull on bright red pants in case you plan to wear a white bottom half.
I’ve recently developed a bit of a craze to white tops and T-shirts, and after couple lapses of judgement I quickly learned that a black bra shining through a white T-shirt makes you look very cheap indeed. And I do not want to look cheap!
Light and breezy fabrics
As mentioned above, my go-to Summer outfit is a white T-shirt. I also like a white denim skirt. But if white feels like too risque an option, you will do just as well opting for colours, as long as you make sure that the fabrics you drape yourself with are easy, breezy and light.
The best and safest options for Summer clothes are cotton and linen. Both very light and beautiful fabrics. When I think about Summer clothes, the first thing that pops into my mind is light blue linen dress worn by a woman running on a field of flowers.
Yep, I’m a Summer romantic. I don’t know anything better than Summer, it makes me happy and gives me energy, so what’s not to like. Thus, my style is reinvented each Summer, because inspiration just keeps on coming.
Bare Toes – Yay or Nay?
Now, this debate differs from office to office. I’ve worked in companies where even peep-toes were banned during Summer, let alone wearing sandalettes. But I’ve also worked in companies where turning up even in flip flops was completely fine.
If your office doesn’t provide you with any dress code, you’ll be safe to assume that basic sandals are a no-go. Pretty sandalettes, on the other hand, can in many cases be completely acceptable. The safest option, though, are ballerinas, wedges and stilettos.
To stay safe, remember that flip flops are a no-go, no matter what the season’s trend may be, or whether your office dress code mentions them or not.
But no worries! You could instead go for mules. They’re super trendy, not too high on the heel-department and come in so many colours that you’ll struggle to choose just one pair.
Midi skirts have kept their appeal for couple years now, and they don’t seem to be going anywhere. And why should they! Midi skirts come in all shapes, sizes and materials these days, which makes it easy for each of us to find the one.
When this style broke out at first, I wasn’t keen on the unflattering length; the midi skirt had in the past been thought of as a granny garment worn by people 3 times our age. But since materials have versified and patterns and colours have multiplied, I started to climb on board.
One of my absolute favourite clothes is my brown leather midi skirt. More suitable for Autumn-wear but nonetheless beautiful and an absolute attention-grabber.
Crop tops, spaghetti strap tops and (in some offices) even bardot neckline tops are banned items. So, how can you make sure to dress appropriately and according to the weather.
One easy way to make sure that your office style is up to grade, is to invest in clothes made out of durable fabrics. Of course, any garment can suffer from a tear and stains, but you can tell a cotton T-shirt from a cheap polyester one just by looking at it.
In some offices it’s good to remember that any slogan T-shirts are banned. Even a brand name can be seen as marketing, and some companies just don’t want to take any risks.
So, my expert advice would be to invest in a proper (sustainably produced) cotton T-shirt, perhaps in several colours. Cotton is a durable and breathable fabric that looks good. And even sustainable cotton is completely affordable.
I’d love to hear what your go-to Summer outfits include for Summer? I’m always on the lookout for new style inspiration so comment below or e-mail me away. ♥
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