Style Guide: Summer Work Attire

During the hot and sticky summer months, layering is key when it comes to office attire. While the idea of buying an entirely new wardrobe is tempting, there’s no need to splurge. To be honest, there are only a few basic pieces you actually need to give your wardrobe an updated, summery feel without resorting to crop tops and cutoffs and maxing out your credit card. 

Without further ado, here are my five summer must-haves for all you working (or interning) ladies out there:

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TopShop Peplum Top, Anthropologie Petunia Crops, J.Crew No. 2 Pencil Skirt in Neon Tweed, LC Lauren Conrad Bow Sandals, J.Crew Jackie Cardigan

  1. Put some pep in your step. Add a trendy staple such as a peplum top to your repertoire. Wear it with a swingy skirt, straight legs or even cropped pants for a playful yet professional look.
  2. Crop and print. Combine two of the summer’s hottest trends by snagging a pair of printed, cropped trousers. Pair them with pointed pumps for the ultimate summery-chic update to your 9 to 5 uniform.
  3. Sharpen your pencil (skirt). Turn this traditional office garb on its head by opting for its colorful counterpart. I especially love the neon coral tweed version included in the collage above; wear it with a simple striped top and dainty heels for an HR-approved summer ensemble.
  4. Refresh your bottom line. Invest is a fun pair of flats, peep-toes, or nice sandals. Heavy boots and darker hued shoes should be stowed away for colder seasons. Summer is the prime time to let that pedi shine, ladies!
  5. Keep it under wraps. While it may be blisteringly hot outside, usually offices are just the opposite inside–freezing. By having a light cardigan around, such as a knit pastel cardi like the once included above, you can easily layer it over your summery outfit for both warmth and added modesty.

If these five picks aren’t for you, just make sure whatever you do end up buying fits the following criteria: It’s modest, it’s bright, it can be layered under a sweater or blazer.

For more tips on dressing appropriately in the workplace, be sure to check out my blogs about casual work attire, formal or professional wear, and business casual dress codes.

What’s on your summer shopping list?

XO Lauren

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Categories: Style Guide, Wear
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  • Lily P.

    Awesome!

    I love the Peplum Top,the Floral Sateen Pants and of course the Bow Sandals!

    I was looking for them everywhere!

    xoxo Lily

    ->http://lilysfashionvalley.blogspot.gr/

  • Melissa Panici

    Love these looks Lauren! More sandals are on my shopping list for summer! I work in an office so these tips were really helpful and I need more summer shoes!

  • Sarah Heckle

    Oh I adore those pants! Madewell and JCrew have been my go-tos this year for stuff to wear to work!

    Sarah

    http://tulleandtrinkets.com/2012/06/13/pare-down-for-summer/ – A sundress + my summer makeup/hair routine

  • Teresa M. Cuevas

    i love it! especially the pants… will be getting a pair soon<3

    xx

    teresa

    http://www.trend-ish.com

  • Courtney L

    Just bought the bow sandals last week and wore them to my internship yesterday! Received nothing by compliments from my coworkers. Perfect for summer.

  • Amy Breckenridge

    loving the mint sweater! i can’t get enough of pastels lately :)

    xoamy
    http://www.cupcakesncouture.com/2012/06/design-inspiration-feminine-chairs.html

  • Petra Zeller

    Love the peplum top. I have also one and it looks really pretty. Also love the flower pants. They are perfect for spring/summer time.
    xo, Petra

    http://www.sweetsoflife86.blogspot.com < – take a look on my new Outfit Post ;)

  • Melissa mould

    love these picks. I’m forever wearing my peplum and i love the skirt here. I’d like a jacket in a similar style

    Mel

    UK Style Blogger

    http://www.mediamarmalade.com/

  • Kellie Norton

    This is excactly what I needed! Running out of ideas for office wear in my closet :-) Thanks Lauren!

    -Kellie N.

  • Michelle LaPorte

    Starting a new job on monday! Great ideas!!

    XO Michelle

    http://michellelivinglifebeautifully.blogspot.com/

  • Martin M

    Floral prints and mint green are my fav for the summer. It has to look like a fresh breath of ais. So perfect choices :) Wish you alla wonderful week :) XOXO

    http://www.look-scout.blogspot.com

    http://www.look-scout.blogspot.com

  • Rafael Centenera

    lol ^_^

  • Jolie Goodnight

    Somehow a peplum makes an already stellar outfit, even better!

  • Umbrella Drink

    I love the shoes and the peplum top.

    xoxo,

    http://www.umbrelladrink.com

  • marija jurlina
  • Laura Ledesma

    Jus in time … I needed new fresh ideas for my new job ! Thanks Lauren…

  • Amanda Maguire

    can’t wait to mix these into my work attire!

    xo. amanda

    http://www.colortheeastcoast.blogspot.com

  • Larissa Wilhelm

    Thanks for the tips! I’m working in my county’s DA office and these will definitely bring some cheeriness into the high stress environment!

    http://fitnessmisc.blogspot.com/

  • Rachael Yanta

    A cardi is a must for me at my office! I swear I have one in every color! And flats.. I love fun flats in the summer!

    http://www.rachaelkhawkins.blogspot.com

  • PlumeIt

    These are all adorable, especially the bright colors that scream summer. And they can be dressed up by fun jewelry, always an office must. Good choices!

  • Alyssa Hart

    I love that top. I’m actually looking around to buy one as we speak because of this blog post!

  • Jessy Bursens

    I adore the pants. But I can’t find it on the website? Does someone know where I can find it?

  • Madison Castro

    this is an essential for spring Color blocking :) http://pinterest.com/iheartnyjets/

  • Stacie

    This is very helpful, I just wish it had comes a few weeks ago! It’s been pretty hot here in Texas.

    I’ve already picked up some sandals and new tops for summer, but I need help on integrating these pieces into my existing wardrobe.

  • Meghan Conard

    I work at the corporate office of a fashion company so almost anything goes when it comes to work attire! Looking forward to wearing bright dresses all sumer long!

    xx-MC

    http://mc2squared.blogspot.com

  • Rebekah W

    that top is amazing and looks so feminine yet chic! also the pants! *_*

    xoxo

    http://www.flirting-with-fashion.blogspot.com

  • Megan Dutro

    the perfect sleek & professional office attire

  • Jennifer VG

    I like the peplum top and white shoes! Perfect for summer :)

    XO Jenn, http://jenny-kate.blogspot.be/

  • Liesl
  • Linh Ly

    I really love all these items and could wear them all to work! Probably not the sandals, but definitely would be perfect for when the clock hits 5! My favorite is the peplum top and the skirt.

    Follow me!

    http://befashionfit.blogspot.com/#!/2012/06/swan-princess-lake-maxi-skirt.html

  • soupforthegirlysoul

    I love that top and the printed pants! They’re the best trend right now in my opinion

    http://www.soupforthegirlysoul.blogspot.com

  • Stephanie DiMaggio

    Love the top and sweater!!

    http://coutureconfidential.blogspot.com/

  • Valerie Lynn

    i have the bow sandals and looove them. Perfect for work, or a casual day :) the skirt and tops are perfect!

  • Melissa mould

    love this, I often wear peplum tops skinny jeans and a nice blazer to work. I have an outfit on my blog today which is a good office look :)

    Mel x

    http://www.mediamarmalade.com/

  • Liz W.

    the No.2 skirt was on sale when I went in to J Crew the other day for $35! J. Crew Women’s Sale=love!

  • Ashley Rouse

    Love the shoes and the pants. So Cute!

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  • Sofia Alleyne

    So Cute! all summer style sets.
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