Soaring temps and a busier social schedules offer plenty of opportunities to experiment with your style. But it also comes the inevitable juggle of dressing for the weather or your corporate dress code (flip-flops don’t really fly at most companies).
How do you dress comfortably for a formal meeting when it’s so hot it’s hard to imagine wearing more than a tank top and shorts? What can you wear, besides cardigans, when it’s 99 degrees in the shade, but your office is like a meat locker?
Table of Contents
- Sticky Situations
- You need pants that won’t make you melt in the heat.
- You need a heel that works with lightweight summer dresses and suits.
- You want to wear shapewear without adding bulk (or breaking a sweat).
- You need a dress (but not another black one, please) that goes from day to night with no more than a fresh coat of lipstick.
- You want an inexpensive way to dress up your basic summer dresses.
- You’re traveling light and need a comfortable shoe that packs well.
- You have a high-profile work event and want something colorful but cool.
- You want to ward off the office chill, but you’ve worn out all your cardigans.
- You want a top that looks fresh, but will last longer than a season.
Soaring temps and busier social schedules offer plenty of opportunities to experiment with your style. But the season also comes with the inevitable juggle of dressing for the weather and your corporate dress code. (Unless you’re fortunate enough to work from home in flip flops and shorts.)
How do you dress comfortably for a formal meeting when it’s so hot you just want to slip on a sundress and sandals? What do you wear to work when it’s 99 degrees in the shade but your office is like a meat locker?
We’ve got solutions to 9 of the season’s stickiest style challenges—from day-to-night dresses that work as well in the office as they do out with friends to shapewear that won’t make you sweat. And the products we found will take you right into fall. Even better: We’ve partnered with Hukkster, a platform that lets you tag items online and then alerts you when they go on sale or are covered by a coupon code. Click on the “Track this Product” button for any item you like in this slideshow and Hukkster will send you an alert when it’s discounted.
You need pants that won’t make you melt in the heat.
The Fix: Fortunately, there are dozens of lightweight pant styles to choose from this summer, in a range of fun prints and bright colors. Try bold print trousers with simple solid tops and jackets. It’s a classic way to work a strong pattern without letting them overpower you.
The striking pattern makes a major statement, but the cut is so classic you’ll find them easy and elegant to wear. The natural linen fabric is an ideal warm-weather material that will help you keep your cool.
You need a heel that works with lightweight summer dresses and suits.
The Fix: Open-toe sandals are an easy solution, but they won’t work in many offices. Fortunately, shoe designers have been unleashing a bounty of elegant, single-sole pumps with sexy pointy toes this year. These sleek silhouettes will help you stand taller and give your clothes a more sophisticated vibe. Try metallics to add some shimmer to your look.
Metallics function like a neutral because they go with everything. Even better, you can wear these right through the fall, giving you a great cost-per-wear ratio.
You want to wear shapewear without adding bulk (or breaking a sweat).
The Fix: Who wants to wear heavy-duty, constrictive shapewear in the summer? Cosabella has a collection of lingerie called Never Say Never Sexy Control, which combines the technology of shaping with gorgeous fabrics, hot colors and great fit. The best part: It doesn’t look or feel like a shaping garment. (But it works like one.)
Their unique power mesh lining stays hidden behind the lace band so only you know it’s there. And the high-rise waist gives you a little extra coverage.
You need a dress (but not another black one, please) that goes from day to night with no more than a fresh coat of lipstick.
The Fix: Your wardrobe should multitask as well as you do. (It’s also easier on the pocketbook when your clothes can do double-duty.) Try a chic shift dress that’s not too sexy for work, but playful enough for your less serious side. If you need to cover up, you can always throw a blazer or sweater over it in the office.
This clean, non-frilly style gives your work look a polished attitude while combining a fantastical print with an easy body skimming shape. It’s such an easy style to wear. Slip a basic black blazer over it at work, then slip it off for your evening event.
You want an inexpensive way to dress up your basic summer dresses.
The Fix: Indulge in a major necklace. Show that your style means business with a personality-packed piece that plays with color, a mix of materials and a little bit of sparkle. Adding a simple, unique touch like a bold necklace can inject style into a simple single-color suit or dress.
The substantial gold chain gives this piece a bit of downtown attitude, but the fun yellow and chalk-white, smooth cabochons add a distinctive summertime vibe. Surprisingly versatile, this necklace can (and should) be worn with clean or open tops and even peeking out under the neckline of a blazer. Clash it with opposing brights and bold patterns too.
You’re traveling light and need a comfortable shoe that packs well.
The Fix: Forget sneakers or flip-flops (which offer zero protection from the elements). A pretty ballet flat is easy to slip in and out of during a long flight and takes up less space than a pair of flip flops.
Our Pick: Ballasox Prince Stretch Flat, $53.99
This ballet flat from CC Corso Como is made with a form-fitting cozy sock that is sewn right into the lining of the shoe. The elasticized edges also make them easy for packing. Just squash them and go.
You have a high-profile work event and want something colorful but cool.
The Fix: Try a structured dress with a slightly longer length in a beautiful, bright color. While the LBD (little black dress) always gives a clean, professional vibe, a great way to distinguish yourself from your colleagues without looking like you tried too hard is to wear a simple modern silhouette in a striking shade. Keep the look minimal with just a sleek clutch and chic shoes.
The pretty, calming shade coupled with its clean minimal shape says professional and polished, and the print gives it an up-to-the-minute style sensibility. The sophisticated flourishes are built-in, so you can skip the accessories.
You want to ward off the office chill, but you’ve worn out all your cardigans.
The Fix: Try a motorcycle jacket. The biker is a classic and there’s a current onslaught of punk-revival trends. Plus, this adds a major dose of style no matter what you put it over. All those zips and snaps add an edge to tailored trousers, soft grungy dresses or even a structured skirt.
Our Pick: Biker Jacket, $85 by TopShop
The classic biker reimagined in faux-leather is lightweight enough to work year-round but still cool enough to capture that rock n’ roll spirit.
You want a top that looks fresh, but will last longer than a season.
The Fix: Who doesn’t love the ease and comfort of a t-shirt? It’s a universal wardrobe staple. Now designers have latched onto the simplicity of this wonder-garment and refashioned it with luxe fabrics, extraordinary detailing and stylized finishes. But the style is timeless and so versatile it can be mixed and matched with anything. Pair it with slim black or white trousers or a sharp pencil skirt in a hot, electric summer color.
Our Pick: MADE Faux-Leather Tee, $34.99, Macy’s
It might be black, but the faux-leather brings your look up to the moment, the shape is perfectly minimal, and the boxy style gives a relaxed fit.